• Nez Perce National Historical Park. Front Page banner photograph is of Heart of the Monster, an ancient place where the Nez Perce creation story originates. The secondary page photograph is of Nez Perce beadwork.

    Nez Perce

    National Historical Park ID,MT,OR,WA

Ranger Guided

The education programming at Nez Perce National Historical Park offers students, teachers, and parents the opportunity to learn about the Nez Perce people and culture. Programs are offered throughout the school year and include: tipi pitching; the life of children; seasonal cycle/memory string; and the park film, Nez Perce: Portrait of a People.

Tipi Pitching/Traditional Homes
Grade: 4th grade
Time length: 30 to 40 minutes

In this hands-on program each student has a job in the construction of a ten-foot Nez Perce tipi. They learn the importance of how and why tipis were constructed and used, the materials used to make traditional homes, how that changed over time, and how traditional homes are used today. Each student also has the experience of going inside the tipi. Students examine and discuss photographs of a traditional Nez Perce home, longhouse, tule mat tipi, buffalo hide tipi, and a contemporary Nez Perce family’s home.

Relevant Idaho Curriculum Standards
Science
588.05a: Unifying Concepts of Science – Understanding concepts of form and function – Discover the relationships between shape and use.
595.01b: Technology – Understanding the relationship between science and technology – Recognize that people have invented tools for everyday life.

Social Studies
440.01a: Economic Fundamentals – Understand basic economic principles – Explain how Native Americans and early settlers met their basic needs.

A Child’s Life
Grade: 4th grade
Time length: 30 to 45 minutes


Using traditional items in the museum’s exhibit cases, students learn what life was like for a Nez Perce child in the past. Discussions include children’s roles, what they learned, who taught them, and information on the structure of the family, village and band. Students will see and touch a variety of replica items that illustrate the topics. Nez Perce stories, an ancient teaching tool, will be included. Discussions about contemporary Nez Perce children today are woven throughout the program to illustrate how traditions are carried on in a modern world.

Relevant Idaho Curriculum Standards
Science 595.01b: Technology – Understanding the relationship between science and technology – Recognize that people have invented tools for everyday life.

Social Studies 431.01b: Evolution of Democracy – Understand the development of democracy – Explain how Native Americans and early Idahoans governed themselves.
432.01a: Evolution of Democracy – Identify early inhabitants of Idaho.

Seasonal Cycle/Memory String
Grade: 4 grade
Time length: 30 to 45 minutes

The Nez Perce traditionally traveled with the seasons, from their winter homes in the deep river valleys, to the higher meadows and mountains in the summer and fall, returning to the valleys again for the winter. In this hands-on program students learn about the significant events and activities occurring during each season and will see and hold some of the tools associated with these seasonal activities. The Nez Perce people used a variety of ways to remember special events and people in their lives. Students will discuss how people keep track of memories today and in the past and will make a “memory string” of their own special memories to take home.

Relevant Idaho Curriculum Standards

Language Arts
709.01b: Listening – Listening for information and understanding – Listen to gain enrichment and information about various cultures.

Science
588.05a: Unifying Concepts of Science – Understanding concepts of form and function – Discover the relationships between shape and use.
594.01a: Earth and Space Systems – Understand scientific theories of origins and changes in the earth and universe – Explore the length of a day, seasons, phases of the moon, and eclipses.
595.01b: Technology – Understanding the relationship between science and technology – Recognize that people have invented tools for everyday life.

Social Studies
440.01a: Economic Fundamentals – Understand basic economic principles – Explain how Native Americans and early settlers met their basic needs.

Movie – Nez Perce: Portrait of a People

This Twenty-three minute movie is a broad overview that depicts the history of the Nez Perce beginning with oral traditions and continuing through the present. The 1805 meeting with the Lewis and Clark expedition, the arrival of Christian missionaries, the invasion of their homeland by white settlers, the discovery of gold on the reservation and the War of 1877 are all covered. The film can be shown in the classroom as a pre-site activity.

The film is available in many school libraries and the DVD is for sale from the park for $16.95 (plus $2.50 postage and handling). Please call (208) 843-7001 to order a copy. The park will accept either personal checks or VISA/Mastercard.

 
 

Did You Know?

Canoe Camp. At the end of September, 1805, the expedition built canoes here for the last leg of their journey to the Pacific.

Nez Perce National Historical Park has three sites used by the Lewis and Clark expedition - the Weippe Prairie (1805), Canoe Camp (1805), and Long Camp (1806). The Lolo Trail, the ancient travel route used by the expedition in 1805 and 06 is also included as a park site.