Plains Indians Teepee

The plains Indians and Indians of the Rocky Mountains used teepees for at least part of the year. We made our own, non-authentic Indian teepee out of canvas and long poles. First, I cut out four triangles of canvas and had the kids paint it. Then we looked up some authentic Native American symbols so that we could use them on our teepee.


Next, I sewed the four triangles together, creating sleeves for the poles as I went. The door is a circle cut out of the canvas and reinforced with a zig zag stitch.  I left the door attached at the top and it has ties, so you can roll it up and tie it when you want it open.

Finally, I put the poles into the sleeves and lashed them at the top with rope.

A teepee is sure a fun project to add spice and make memories while you’re studying Native American Peoples.

Additional Layers

  • Definitely check out some books from the library about native peoples and tribes.
  • Read some of the myths and stories from the Native Americans. They are fascinating and interesting. I am especially fascinated by the tales of Mouse Woman from the Pacific Northwest Indians. Dover Publishers has several volumes available very inexpensively if your library doesn’t have any. Read them in front of your teepee late at night with only candles or low lights burning.
  • Learn about types of houses that people all over the world live in. Why do they live in the houses they live in?
  • Native Americans really did paint symbols on their teepees. Find out what they mean and why they were used.
  • Visit a Native American museum, dance ritual, or other site.
  • What tribes lived in your area? Once you know, find out more about them.  It’s a part of the history of the land where you live, and it’s something your kids should know. Include Native Peoples in your study of your home town or home state.

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