Native Americans
in the Natural World

Introduction | Task | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion



Many stereotypes exist concerning American Indians. Contrary to popular belief, not all Indians or Native Americans lived in teepees and rode on painted horses as they are depicted in many of the old western movies. Native Americans from different parts of what is now the United States lived in many different tribes. Each tribe had their own culture: customs, language, myths, and religion. In this WebQuest, you will read and learn about four Native American tribes from different parts of the United States: North, South, East, and West.


The Task:

Your task is to compare and contrast four different tribes which were indigenous to the United States: the Tlingit of the Northwest Coast, the Hopi of the Southwest, the Iroquois of the Northeast, and the Lakota of the Western plains. As you read about the customs of each tribe you will search for information concerning important foods, myths or spiritual beliefs, and important plants and/or animals. This information will be recorded on a chart. You will also note and record the biome where each tribe lives and draw conclusions as to how the biome affects the culture of each tribe. Using the information from your chart and other data from your research, you will prepare a multimedia presentation.

(indigenous: - native to or originating in this area; already living here when this country was settled by people from other parts of the world)


The Process:

Research (at the computer):

Read all directions before you click.

  1. Print the Native Americans research chart.
    (Choose Page Setup: landscape orientation before printing)
  2. Navigate to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History website: North, South, East, West American Indians and the Natural World
  3. Click on North | South | East | West to enter the web site.
  4. After reading the introduction, choose the tribe you want to research first. (You may click on either the name of the tribe in the text, or click on a direction word in the bar at the bottom.)
  5. The section names at the top of your research chart will guide you to the sections where you can find the data for your chart. Click on a section name to find the information. Record the information on your chart.
  6. After reading a section and recording the information, use the navigation bar at the bottom of the page to go to another section about the current Native American tribe you are researching.
  7. When you have completed the research for a tribe, click one of: North | South | East | West, to go to different tribe which was indigenous to another part of the United States.
  8. Continue to repeat steps, 5, 6, and 7 for all four regions.
  9. When you have completed the chart, go back to each tribe to read the other sections not included on the chart. Record important points as you read.

Discussion (In the classroom):

  1. Discuss the information recorded on the Native Americans research chart.
  2. Think about and discuss how the biome where each tribe lived affected the tribe's way of life.

Multimedia Presentation (at the computer):

Using the information from the chart, you will prepare a 5 card Hyperstudio presentation on Native Americans. Your stack will include:

  • a Title card
  • a card on the Tlingit of the Northwest Coast
  • a card on the Hopi of the Southwest
  • a card on the Iroquois of the Northeast
  • a card on the Lakota of the Western plains

The title card should contain a graphic and buttons going to the other 4 cards in the stack.
Each card on a tribe should have a text object (containing a paragraph highlighting the important characteristics of the tribe), a graphic, and a button going back to the title card.

Upon the completion of the Hyperstudio stack, each student should present their project to the class.



Native Americans research chart.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History website:
North, South, East, West American Indians and the Natural World

For more information about Native Americans:
The First Americans



  1. The Native Americans research chart will be evaluated for accuracy.
  2. The multimedia project will be evaluated for:
    • the student's ability to include text, graphics, and buttons
    • the student's computer competency in saving, opening, and printing files
    • the content of the report
    • correct grammar and language mechanics

Hyperstudio Project Rubric



At the conclusion of this project, students will be aware of the cultural likeness and differences of Native Americans from the northern, southern, eastern, and western regions of the United States. The stereotype image of all Indians living in teepees will be replaced with the knowledge that Native Americans interacted with the environment resulting in different ways of living in the natural world.

Native Americans and the Natural World
by Cindy Cooper, Technology Specialist, Oak View Elementary

Guilford County Schools
High Point, NC

GCS WebQuests