As a kid my Mom’s family had family reunions every other year in random places in the United States. One place we went several times because my great-grandparents had grown up in that area was South Dakota. I remember we would drive up there and then my Mom would use that as a launching off point to drive around that portion of the country and let us see more. That is how I saw just the tiniest bit of North Dakota. We drove up into the state to claim we’d been there. Now our North Dakota unit isn’t that bare, but I’m going to admit I wish I’d known more about the state.
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North Dakota books
- Since there was a Paul Goble book in here, I knew I was going to like at least one of the books because I love Paul Goble books.
- Spotted Eagle and Black Crow: a Lakota legend– this is potentially out of print, but if you can find it or another version of a Lakota legend that’s a great addition to this study
- A boy called Slow: the true story of Sitting Bull– I knew the name of Sitting Bull, and a little bit about what he’d done, but this book was a great expansion on my knowledge of him
- North Dakota– A great general information source about the state
- Surviving Tornadoes– Reading books of young kids who go through terrible things can be a great way to give young kids perspective, and this book did a great job of showing a little bit more. Since this is an older kids book, we didn’t read the entire thing (it’s on the level of a chapter book)
- The boy and his mud horses: and other stories from the tipi– As a warning, this included stories from several different tribes, so you can use this book for several of the Northern plain states, I made note of the particular stories I wanted to read with post-it notes
- Paul Bunyan Swings His Axe– I love tall tales, and so of course I had to get this Paul Bunyan book
- Sitting Bull: Lakota leader– the life of Sitting Bull told from a more factual perspective
- Sioux Code Talkers of World War II– We talk so often about the Navajo code talkers (and for good reason), but they overshadow the other tribes who were just as brave
- Wounded Knee– This is the final battle at Wounded Knee, one of many in the unofficial “Indian Wars” of the later 1800s
- North Dakota– Another great resource book to look through
Videos to expand your North Dakota study
There’s a good chance you won’t be able to get the same books I got from the library, so just in case, here are some videos about the materials.
First, here’s a generic facts about North Dakota video.
A Lakota story, always fascinating to hear.
It took quite a bit to find a good video on Sitting Bull because so much of his history has been co-opted into Westerns, there are also clips from his great-grandson on YouTube, but I was looking for an overview, not specific stories. The video I chose is still not perfect, because it is rather choppy to try and keep it all in his own words.
Massacre (Battle) of Wounded Knee, all right, this is one of those controversial events, depending on who is writing the history you will see it called the Battle of Wounded Knee or the Massacre of Wounded Knee. I have not done the research to truly weigh-in, but I’ll lean towards massacre offhand.
Here’s another longer video on the same topic from History Buffs, a youtube channel I follow. To warn you, there is some language in this.
North Dakota notebooking pages
We found our usual information through various websites, but the real focus of our study was the local tribes.
- Chief Sitting Bull- write a brief history of him
- Stories of the Lakota- Summarize one of the stories we read
- Tales from the Chippewa- Again summarize one of the stories we read
- Tales of Paul Bunyan- the challenge was to write their own Paul Bunyan story
More geography lessons
- Oklahoma Unit Study
- Me on the Map: My room
- Using picture books to follow maps
- Arizona picture books
- Geography Games