The Iroquois of the Northeast Woodlands

The Iroquois of the Northeast Woodlands

Over the past week and a half, students have learned many things about the Iroquois.  They have discovered the region where the Iroquois lived, the Northeast Woodlands, and learned about the tribe’s clothing, food, and shelter.  Specifics on each are listed below.  Please note that many artifacts and projects we complete throughout our study of Native Americans will remain at school as we are assembling individual portfolios.  We will showcase our work at our second trimester parent celebration.


Students have learned the Iroquois built long, narrow buildings called longhouses.  Longhouses were made of upright logs and cross poles covered with elm bark.  Students enjoyed creating individual longhouses, using construction paper to simulate the bark exterior and drawing diagrams of the interior.  In their diagram, students were asked to include a second floor for food storage, multiple rooms partitioned with deer skin to show that many families lived together in one longhouse, and shared fires with smoke holes above for ventilation.


First grade students have learned about wampum, or beads the Iroquois used for trading.  Traditionally, wampum was made from small purple, white, and black shells woven together into strings or belts.  Images or designs were crafted to tell stories from long ago.  Students enjoyed creating their own wampum wishlists, bracelets, patterns, and designs.

The Three Sisters

Finally, students have learned about “The Three Sisters.” Important crops to many Native American groups, the three sisters consisted of corn, beans, and squash.  These crops were often planted together.  They could not only be eaten fresh, but also dried and stored for future use.   Discussing “The Three Sisters,” students read and illustrated poems.

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