Pre-Columbian Settlements and People

Resources We Can Use

California Indians Today

Watch these kids talk about what it means to 
be a California Indian.

Click here to learn more about these youth ambassadors from the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center.

A Good Book About California Indians

You can download this book that has lots of great pictures 
about the food and culture of California.


Miss Jackie tells the Turtle Story about the formation of California at: 

The Mojave Indian Tribe

Here is a very useful website that answers lots of questions about the Mojave peoples past and present  at this link.

California Indians

Many different groups lived in California before Spanish colonists arrived. This website has links info on many American Indian Groups.  To find "Native American Indian Groups - California Culture," click and scroll down this page.

Ohlone Indians' Resources

On this page the writer first tells us some general information about the Ohlone Indians.  Scrolling down, you will see a table of contents of resources the Ohlone Indian used in their daily lives.  You can click 'Continue' to see pictures and descriptions of these resources. Click this link to start.

Chumash Indians

Read here the history of the Chumash who once numbered in the tens of thousands in California. 

Watch this video provided by the Channel Islands Live program that presents an exploration of natural resources utilized by the Chumash Indians.  This footage is a previously recorded live broadcast of a ranger on Anacapa Island to a third grade classroom on the main shore.  The ranger compares and contrasts the survival needs and resources of the Chumash Indians to our own survival needs and resour

ces in the 21st century.

Information on the Luiseño Tribe

Use this link to discover information about the Luiseño Tribe


Saving the Bay - Cultivating an Abundant San Francisco Bay

This video briefly describes how the San Francisco Bay landscape was shaped and influenced by the local tribes, which are known as the Ohlone and the Coast Miwok.

Native Californian Tribes

Did you know that California is home to more than 50 Native American tribes? This map shows where they lived before contact with western settlers. Find out more information on these people by clicking here!

This link shows a collection of pictures of Native Californians in the 20th century. Click to learn about California's Native population and how these Native Americans began providing jobs for themselves when few were available.

National Museum of the American Indian 

Search the museum's collections of art, archeology, artifacts, photography and contemporary works by Native Americans. You can narrow down by Northern, Central or Southern California and by specific tribe. 

California Native American Day Resources
This link is a collection of learning resources on California's many Native American tribes. Learn incredible facts about the histories of these people, and their ways of life!

Native American Art via Encyclopedia Britannica 

Encyclopedia Britannica has a robust section on Native American Art that includes detailed information, lots of photos, and interactive quizzes for students.

Go here for information about Native American art methodology and materials. 

Go here for images and videos of Native American Art.   

California Museum Videos

Here are videos about tribes, Indian places, ideas, foods and other aspects of Indian life from California Museum in Sacramento.

California Indian Tribes

Follow the links on this page to find out about California Indian Nation/Tribes.

Indian Cultures

Click here to read about Indian life:  the distinct macro-cultures, what they ate, what games they played, what clothing they wore.

Indian Storytelling

Click here to read about why Indian storytelling was important and to read a few stories!

Project Ideas

How some Native Americans lived in California long ago

After a tour of the state of California, kids narrate a group of pictures about early Native American tribes in California in this great video:
  • Can you and your group find other videos or pictures of early Native American life? 
  • Perhaps you can find a book about some interesting tribes. 
  • What would you recommend to other 4th graders studying about Native American tribes?

Native Californians

Students create a native folder and are assigned a tribe name. Folder entails various aspects of lives of natives. 

Have your students explore the EFFECTS Europeans had on Indians when they discovered the New World!

Chalk Art Native A
n Design

Students pick a Native Tribe of California and create a picture representing that tribe's culture. The artwork can then be displayed within the classroom.

Paper Plate Weaving

Teach students about basket weaving with this fun hands-on craft.

Dream Catchers

Making dream catchers is a great project to tie in when teaching students about the legends and beliefs of Native Americans.

This link will lead you to step-by-step directions for making these with your class:

Example of a 4th Grade Teacher's California Native American Project

Check out an example of an actual 4th grade teacher's California Native American Project. A ton of great resource links here

Your Creative Projects

The Miwok Tribe of Yosemite

Here is a sample of a presentation you could make.


Mr. Webb's 4th graders show the Native American Indian village projects they have completed in a short podcast. From the 2007-2008 school year at Pleasant Valley Elementary School.

Subpages (1): 2- Teacher Resources