Recycled Thanksgiving Paper Bag Native American Indian Vest and Headband Crafts

Many schools teach Native American history around Thanksgiving, but spring is a popular time for American Indian crafts as so many tribes host pow wows at that time. March is the time for the Navajo Morning Chant ritual, a holy period which marks the transition of seasons. It happens at the end of the thunderstorms but before the spring winds come. Here is a cross-curricular social studies unit with Native American Indian crafts, and homemade tribal costumes from paper bags. These Indian crafts are perfect for tribal costumes for Halloween and homeschool social studies lessons. This articles includes links for free printables of native American patterns to decorate Indian crafts.

Students' tribal costumes will require one large paper grocery bag each. From one bag, you will make a native American vest and headband. Draw circles on the sides of the paper bag, a few inches from the bottom (closed end) of the bag. Draw a line around the top open end of the bag, about two inches from the edge.Make the holes plenty large as these will be the arm holes. Draw a line up the center of the paper bag. Older students can measure and draw their own lines. Teachers should draw lines for younger preschool children. Younger students can practice scissor skills, cutting along these lines to make arm holes and a front opening for their vest. Next kids should cut off the flat bottom piece that the bag rests on. Cut along the folds that form the rectangle bottom. Last cut along bottom edge line and save cut off piece for headband.

When all cutting is done, turn paper bag inside out so that students can decorate tribal costumes on the blank side. Next wrap the headband piece around the child's head to size his Native American Indian headband. Use the leftover piece from the strip to make Native American Indian arm band or wrist cuff bracelet. Along the new bottom edge of the paper bag vest, draw vertical lines from the bottom up several inches. Children will cut along these lines to make a fringed edge for their Native American vest.

ECSE (early childhood special education), preschool and kindergarten teachers may want to cut and fold the paper bag American Indians vest for students and let them do the decorating. This craft does provide good scissors skills practice, however, so if you think your students will be able to do it without getting too frustrated, let them. Folding the bag inside out can be tricky, though. Teachers might assist.

To decorate the Native American Indian crafts and tribal costumes, use markers or crayons. Students can follow printables of native American designs or draw their own. If you have some feathers, give each child one or two to add to his headband. Feathers are a special possession in native American Indian clans. You could take children on a feather finding hunt for social studies and science connections. If the child uses his own feathers in his Indian crafts, this will tie in very nicely with the native way of doing things. Visit these sites for free printable native design templates and printables. This site has free printables of Native American Indian patterns for social studies. This article has free printables of Native American Indian masks for social studies

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The Green Crafts Gal

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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