Read Across Texas! 2002 Texas Reading Club


Native Americans: The First Texans

Books to Share

  • Brother Eagle, Sister Sky by Chief Seattle.
  • How Turtle's Back Was Cracked by Gail Ross.
  • And Still the Turtle Watched by Shiela MacGill-Callahan.

Books to Show or Booktalk

  • Buffalo Hunt by Russell Freedman.
  • Cherokee Summer by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith.
  • Comanche Peace Pipe (Lone Star Heroes, Book 1) by Patrick Dearen.
  • Spirit of Iron by Janice Jordan Shefelman.
  • A Walk to the Great Mystery by Virginia Stroud.
  • Where the Broken Heart Still Beats: The Story of Cynthia Ann Parker by Carolyn Meyer.

Bulletin Boards

Texas Indian Tribes

On a map of Texas, label the regions where the eight groups of Indians lived in early Texas. They are: Apaches/Plains; Jumanos/West Texas; Patarabueyes/Rio Grande; Coahuiltecans/South Texas; Karankawas/Lower Gulf Coast; Atakapans/Upper Gulf Coast; Tonkawas/Central Texas; and Caddos/East Texas.


Texas Indian Life

Make a display out of Indian regalia and artifacts such as hand drums, blankets, baskets, clothes, and jewelry.


Dream Song

(From Sea to Shining Sea by Amy Cohn)

High in the sky I go, waking in the sky I go,

High above the way below, way below.

By my side a bird will go

Bird and I above the way below, way below.

High across the sky I go, walking with a bird I go,

All around the sky we go,

All around we go, in the sky we go, bird and I.

Song Of Happiness

(From Sea to Shining Sea by Amy Cohn)

Hi yo hi yo ip si ni yah,

Hi yo hi yo ip si ni yah,

Hi yo hi yo ip si ni yah,

Hi yo hi yo ip si ni yah,

Ip si ni yah!


Native American Indian Symbol Writing


  • Brown paper bag or brown wrapping paper
  • Pencil
  • Books with pictures of buffaloes or buffalo hides
  • Books showing Native American symbols and rock paintings
  • Black markers, black pens, or black crayons


In this craft, children will make a buffalo hide from a brown paper bag or brown wrapping paper. In advance, cut sheets of brown wrapping paper, or cut out the sides of large brown grocery bags and trim the bottom to make one long piece of paper. With a pencil, the children draw or trace an outline of a buffalo or buffalo hide onto the brown paper and cut out the buffalo shape, making it jagged around the edges. Let the children look at the books with Native American symbols. Using a pencil, they may then draw Native American symbols in an inward spiral beginning at upper left of the hide and circling to finish in the center of the hide. The children then trace over the pencil drawings with a black marker, pen, or crayon.

Indian Lodgings

Make tepees or wigwams using the directions on page 11 and page 13 of More than Moccasins by Laurie Carlson.

Games and Activities

Indian War-Paint

Let the children paint each other's faces with Indian designs using face paint or washable paint. Explain the symbolism of the various colors as listed below.

  • Black - Death
  • White - Peace, or it symbolizes the wolf
  • Red - Power and life
  • Blue - Sky
  • Yellow - Joy and victory
  • Streaks down the face - Represent crying
  • Dots - Used to show an Indian maiden is in love

First Texans

Bring books from your library collection and guide the children as they learn about the original groups of Indians that were in Texas when the Europeans first arrived. They are as follows.

  • Apaches - Buffalo-hunting Plains Indians
  • Jumanos - West Texas hunters and traders
  • Patarabueyes - Rio Grande pueblo farmers
  • Coahuiltecans - South Texas hunter-gatherers
  • Karankawas - Lower Gulf Coast hunter-gatherers
  • Atakapans - Upper Gulf Coast hunter-gatherers
  • Tonkawas - Central Texas hunter-gatherers
  • Caddos - East Texas village farmers

Arrowhead Hunt

Make arrowheads and spearheads out of cardboard or clay and hide them in a baby pool full of sand, or outside around the library. Let the children hunt for them.

Programs and Guest Speakers

Invite an Indian dancer or storyteller to entertain the children. Tell Indian myths and legends or invite a storyteller to do so.

Audio Recordings

  • Grandma Spider Brings the Fire and other Native American Stories by Tim Tingle.
  • Mythic Dreamer: Music for Native American Flute by R. Carlos Nakai.
  • Weaving the Strands: Music by Contemporary Native American Women by various artists.


  • History of Texas Indians: Texas Buffalo Hunters and Warriors. (28 minutes)
  • Into the Circle: An Introduction to Native American Powwows. (58 minutes)
  • The Last of the Caddoes. (29 minutes)
  • Reading Rainbow 53: Knots on a Counting Rope. (30 minutes)
  • Rock Art of Texas. (28 minutes)

Web Sites

Online Games and Shareware, including Native American Games

Texas Indians

Professional Resources

  • Indian Life in Texas by Charles Shaw.
  • Keepers of the Earth by Michael J. Caduto.
  • Learn About Texas Indians by Georg Zappler.
  • More than Moccasins by Laurie Carlson.
  • Texas Indian Myths and Legends by Jane Archer.

Texas Reading Club 2002 Programming Manual / Read Across Texas!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: November 19, 2015