Students prepare for Native American Heritage Month

7th graders learn about the native tribes of Texas


Seventh-graders Martin Franco, Bishop Keeling and team leader Evolet Vigil with their presentation display on the Comanche tribe.

November is National Native American Heritage Month in the United States.  And in Morton, the seventh grade Texas History students started early with research and presentations on the native tribes of Texas.

For the past two weeks, the seventh grade has been working on team projects on the native tribes of Texas.  The students worked in teams of three or four to study regional tribes that included the Karankawa, Apache, Comanche, Jumano, Caddo, and Witchita.  On Thursday, the teams culminated their work with presentations about their tribe.

“Jacob has been so excited to work on this project,” Florence Alvaraz, mom of seventh-grader Jacob Alvarez, said. “He has been coming home every day after school telling me about his presentation.”

Seventh-graders Uriel Barron, Hezekiah Silvas and Aaron Castillo present ot Mrs. Smith on the Apache tribe.

Several of the student teams, in addition to creating the presentation board for their tribe, created three-dimensional representations of their tribe.  These included camp layouts with tepees, adobe, and other items.  One of the teams even added a battery-powered fire to their campsite.

One obstacle many of the teams encountered was the fact that plastic play Native Americans are not readily available.  So the students used plastic soldiers to represent the tribes.

“It was a lot of fun working on the camp layout,” seventh-grader Hezikiah Silvas said.  “We used some paint to paint the soldiers to look more like natives.”

Seventh-graders Sophie Martinez, Jacob Alvarez, Joseph Garza and Yomariez Chavez are trying out some of the native foods on Culture Day.

The students made their presentations to Mrs. Smith and Mr. Hill on Thursday.  They were asked to describe the society of their tribe as well as the region of Texas they lived in, their dwelling, their diet, and their lifestyle.

On Friday, each group prepared and brought native foods to celebrate Native Texan Culture Day.  Mrs. Smith allowed the classes to use the culinary lab to present their food creations and to enjoy sampling the fare from all groups.  Among the foods were Indian Fry Bread, Corn Fritters, Corn Bread, Wild Rice, and crispbread.

On Culture Day, Mrs. Ramos, Mrs. Diaz, Mrs. Boggs, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Soliz, and Mrs. Little joined the classes to hear about the various tribes and sample their foods. Mrs. Boggs told the group about her father and his arrowhead collection and Mrs. Ramos and Mr. Hill told the students about Quannah Parker and his connections to the Morton area.

Secondary principal Mrs. Ramos tells the seventh grade about the Comanche tribe and their chief Quannah Parker.

Next up for the Texas History students will be European explorers and Spanish settlements and missions.