5-7 Plains Indians

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The Plains Indians

  From the Rocky Mountains in the west to the Mississippi River in the east, a great grassland called the Great Plains stretches across the middle of our country.  At one time, as many as sixty million buffalo roamed freely across the Great Plains.  It was a giant pasture for the large herds of buffalo, or bison, as they are better known.  At this time the Plains Indians hunted the buffalo for food.  They found a way to use every part of the buffalo, even the parts they could not eat.  The hide of the buffalo provided clothing and shelter.  The bones and sinew of the buffalo were used for tools and weapons.  Most Plains Indians lived in tepees made of buffalo hide.

  To kill the buffalo, Plains Indians used a lance and the bow and arrow.  Guns were also used once they became available.  The Indians hunted on foot, often guiding a stampeding herd of buffalo over a cliff.  The Spanish brought horses to America and the Indians became skilled hunters on horseback.  

  In the eastern part of the Great Plains many of the tribes raised crops as well as hunting for buffalo.  They lived in houses called earth lodges.  To build an earth lodge, Indians dug a shallow hole, placed a frame of logs and twigs over the hole, and then covered the frame with soil.

  In the western part of the Great Plains the tribes did not farm.  They were nomadic people, moving often to keep up with the wandering buffalo.  


Answer the questions below

1. The Great Plains are located

east of the Mississippi River.

in the middle of the United States.

west of the Rocky Mountains.


2. Most Plains Indians lived in shelters made of buffalo hide called .


3. Horses were brought to the Plains Indians by the .


4. Another name for buffalo is


5. Earth lodges were built by

Plains Indians living in the east.

Plains Indians living in the west.

all Plains Indians.


6. Buffalo bones and sinew were used for tools and .

7. Buffalo hides provided clothing and for the Plains Indians.
8. The word nomadic means
to move about constantly.

to stay in one place.

to move once every two years.

9. The Plains Indians first used what weapons to kill buffalo?
knives and lances

lances, bows and arrows

guns and lances

10. The Plains Indians living in the east also raised for food.



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