Students watch a video about Earth Lodges, the traditional living structures of the Mandan people. Students draw comparisons between the Mandan way of life and today’s modern way of life.
This lesson is part of "Great States | North Dakota Unit 3: American Indians," where students will determine how American Indians were able to thrive before the arrival of Europeans in North Dakota.
4.2.6: Describe the daily lives (e.g., roles, shelter, significance of buffalo) of the first inhabitants of North Dakota
- Video: Lewis and Clark Pathways | Earth Lodges
- An interactive whiteboard, projector, or other type of screen to project videos to the class
- Class set of the Comparing Housing worksheet
- Comparing Housing Answer Key
- Paper and pencils, markers, or other implements for drawing
Tell your students that they will be watching a short video about the Mandan people, their societal structure, and homes.
Play the video, Lewis and Clark Pathways | Earth Lodges [2:50].
Handout the Comparing Housing worksheet and ask your students to compare Mandan lodging and way of life to modern day living as they watch the video. Prompt them to keep the following in mind as they fill out the worksheet:
Have them compare the structure/architecture of the homes.
Compare the number of inhabitants, and the types of animals kept in the home.
Compare the contents of the homes.
Compare the organization of daily life, responsibilities, and social structure.
Refer to the Comparing Housing Answer Key to review the diagram with students.
Have students draw pictures or floor plans of a Mandan earth lodge. Use the completed handout as a reminder of people, animals, or items to add to the picture.
As a class discussion, ask students: Would you like living in a Mandan earth lodge? Why or why not?