Native American Life Project






The Task:

1. Create a diorama of Native American life, including an Iroquois longhouse or an Algonquian wigwam. 

2. Write an essay summarizing all you have learned about Native American life before the first European settlers came to what is now New York.

Optional Extra Credit Task: Create a model of a Native American artifact or craft.

Your completed diorama will be displayed in school along with your essay and any extra credit artifact or craft your create.

You may use your social studies textbook and any other reliable reference source, such as library books, an encyclopedia, or the internet, to help you find information for this project.  Look below for links to photos of projects created by other students and online resources. 

Remember: These projects are being created at home and must transport it to school so the diorama should not be too large, too heavy, or too fragile.  Building the diorama in a shoebox or on a piece of heavy cardboard or foam board will make it easier to carry. A maximum size of 16 x 16 for the base is recommended.  Bigger is not always better. What matters is following directions and meeting the requirements.

You are encouraged to discuss your diorama plan with an adult at home before beginning and to ask for help using any tools that might be required (like a hot glue gun), but the project should be the your own work. 

This is a great opportunity for you to be creative and demonstrate what you have learned.

Before beginning, be sure you know the answers to the following questions:

      What was a longhouse or wigwam made of?

      How many people lived in a longhouse or wigwam?

      What kind of beds did they sleep on?

      What other furniture did they have?

      Where would the fire for cooking have been located?

      Where did the smoke from the fire go?

      Where was food stored?  What kind of food would it have been?
What would the containers have looked like?

      What artifacts might have been seen in and around the house that you could include in your diorama?

      What time of year to you want to represent in your diorama?

      What clothing would the people have been wearing?

       Are there any plants, animals or other natural features you could include to make your diorama more detailed?

Materials You Might Use Include (but are not limited to):

Shoebox or other small box                      Twigs                             Bark
Heavy cardboard (for base)                       Glue                               Clay
Light piece of wood (for base)                  Markers                         Papier-mch
Cardboard                                                      Feathers                       Cloth
Paper grocery bag                                       Paint                              Soil

Click here to see the Scoring Rubric

Click here for Helpful Links

Click here for Photos of Dioramas by Previous Students