9 Map of Native American Villages and Trails

Competencies: Social Studies, Geography, Social Studies Skills

Geography 3.2.1: Understands how the environment affects cultural groups and how cultural groups affect the environment.

Geography 3.2.2: Understands the cultural universals of place, time, family life, economics, communication, arts, recreation, food, clothing, shelter, transportation, government, and education

Social Studies Skills 5.3.1: Engages in discussions that attempt to answer questions about cultural similarities and differences.

CBA: Humans and the Environment


Objective: Students learn about the places that Native Americans lived, traveled, and conducted their daily lives in the Issaquah and Lake Sammamish area.  Students consider solutions to the problems that the Native Americans had to face.  Students also consider how natural landforms, lakes, hills, forests, wetlands, etc. influence Native American settlement and travel.

Materials: teacher copy of the map, six blank maps of new areas


  1. Explain to the students that they are going to try to find solutions to problems that the Native Americans had to face. Present each of the following questions to the class and allow time for them to think about solutions, share in small groups, and share with the entire class their solutions. *Questions and the Native American’s solutions are listed below.
  2. Share the Native Americans’ solutions to each of the problems and compare their solutions to the students’ suggestions. Did the students come up with any of the same solutions?
  3. As you explain the Native Americans’ solutions, point out the villages, trails, and points of interest on the projected map.
  4. After you have shared the Native Americans’ solutions to all of the problems presented, tell the students that they are going to have a chance to create their own map. Tell the students to imagine that they are in a new area and looking for a place to build their houses, hunt and gather food, provide clothing, find ways to travel, and meet all of their basic needs. Where would they build their houses and make their trails? It is important that they know that there is not one right answer, but they may want to consider the reasons why the Native Americans set up their area as they did.
  5. In groups of four, students draw on a map; villages, trails, various points of interest, etc. using the key as a guide.
  6. Students share their final maps with the class and explain why they chose to place each village or trail where they did.

Questions and Native American Solutions:
Where would you build your long houses?
Near the lake because it provides easy access to fishing and hunting –animals come to the lake and streams for fresh water. It is also an open area and safer than the thick woods. Predators like bears and cougars are less likely to attack in an open area. The waterfront also provides easy access to the lake for travel by canoe.

Where would you make your trails?
Native Americans made their footpaths near the lake because the land is flat and easy to traverse. The lake also provides a reference point. It is much easier to get lost in thick woods than if you are traveling around a lake.

Where are the best food supplies?
Native Americans knew when and where to gather food, such as water chestnuts and hazelnuts.


Activity 9 (DOC)
Activity 9 (PDF)
Teacher’s Key & Area Maps

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