As second graders are learning about the traditional lifestyles of Native Americans, they are creating a hands-on project representing each of the four regions that we study. For the plains region, our students created coded beadwork bookmarks.

First, students learned about the ways various tribes communicated and the symbolism behind beadwork motifs and colors. Students researched traditional beadwork motifs and made a pattern on grid paper. They then chose the colors that they wanted to use. Next, students created a line-by-line code that would “program” their brain to bead in the correct order. One of our students made the connection between the pattern of beads in the code, and the pattern of code that the students just created during their Hour of Code activities. Lastly, students learned single stitch beadwork and began stitching the beads to their leather piece.


“I am proud of the patience, determination and focus that the students displayed during this project, and how we could bring a traditional art form to children today,” says Mrs. Foltz. “Cross-curricular projects such as this one bridge the gaps between academic subjects and provide authentic learning experience and opportunities for students to create connections between skills and knowledge.”