Lesson Plan

Unit Two Subsistence:  Men’s Contributions

Pronghorn Antelope and Bison
Pronghorn Antelope and Bison (NPS Sketches)
NPS Sketches


Students will learn how men contributed to the dietary needs of the people living at Knife River Indian Villages through hunting, trapping, fishing and foraging through reading and discussion, graphic organization utilizing the KWL (Know/Want to Know/Learned model and through dramatization in song or skit writing. 


Students will:

      Understanddiversity by using Hidatsa words when discussing Knife River Indian Villages.

 Appreciateof the sacredness of life and food through developing a skit or writing a song that demonstrates respect.


Subsistence: Men's Contributions, is broken into two parts. First students will learn somebasic Hidatsa language referring to subsistence. The second part reinforces the literacy skillslearned in lesson 1 by engaging students with the text through use of the KWLmodel (Know/Want to Know/Learned).

 Finally students will demonstrate cultural literacy through dramatization by either writing a song or a skit using the words that they learn in part 1 of the lesson. 


KWL Chart
Student journals
CD of Hidatsa Words



Part1 (Language)


Tell the students that today theywill be learning about the roles and responsibilities of the men within thecommunity at Knife River Indian Villages. Inform students that a large portion of any culture is wrapped up intheir language, and today they will have a chance to learn some Hidatsa wordsthat relate to the subsistence of the tribes. 



Ask the students to listen carefullyas you play the CD with Hidatsa pronunciations of the following words.

a.  garden                      maw-uddoo-guhdee

b.  corn                          go-xhaw-dee                  

c.  squash                     guh-goo-ee

d.  meat                         ee-duke-shuh-dee

e.  buffalo                     muh-day-a-gawdee

f.   deer                          tsee-dudda-ghee

Step 3

Play the CD another time and havestudents practice the pronunciation quietly to themselves and then outloud as a group.

Part2 (Culture)


Write the main topic (Subsistence/Men'sRoles) at the top of the KWL grid. Askstudents to contribute what they know or think they know about this topic andrecord their answers under the column K - what they know.



Record the student's questions asdiscussion continues under the W column - what they want to know.



Ask students to read the background information and to look forinformation that answers their questions. 



Once students have completed thereading, focus their attention on the L- What We Have Learned column of thechart. Ask students to offer newinformation they discovered in the reading and record this information on thegrid.



After the K-W-L grid is complete,create a concept map that brings together all the information under eachcategory.




Divide students into groups to writea simple song that they might sing in their garden or a skit that they canperform in class to show the different roles and responsibilities of men andwomen at Knife River Indian Villages.


The songs and skits should each takeunder a minute to perform.   


Remind students that their song orskit should represent Hidatsa, Mandan and Arikara values. In other words itshould demonstrate a sense of respect for life and for food, and most of allrespect for each other.



Allow students 15 minutes to preparetheir songs and skits and then the remainder of the hour to perform them.




Ask students to write a descriptionin their explorer journals describing the roles of men and women regardingobtaining food amongst the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara.



Students provide answers to fill in the KWL chart
Student skits and songs demonstrate understanding of Hidatsa language
Students skits and songs portray respect for theculture of the Hidatsa people

Park Connections

During the Knife River Indian Villages years, the people ate healthy foods and lived more active lifestyles. After relocating to areas that were less favorable for agriculture, they became more sedentaryand began to adopt more European-like eating habits including eating commodities and in more modern times fast foods.


Ask students to write down somethingmemorable that they learned about men's roles in their journals.



Design a tool made of bone that youwould like to have had if you lived at Knife River.

Additional Resources

Book: Tools of Native Americans

Website: www.mhanation.com


Fish trap, medicine bundle, spiritual ceremonies, foraging, willow baskets, food preservation, pemmican