Native Americans
Native American Baskets

Native American Baskets
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.55

     challenging words:    antique, prickly, archaeologists, saliva, pliable, legend, purpose, unique, sacred, meaning, funnel, spiritual, beginning, artists, tribe, fell
     content words:    Native American, Native Americans, Ojibwe Indians, Navajo Indians, Most Navajo

Print Native American Baskets
     Print Native American Baskets  (font options, pick words for additional puzzles, and more)

Quickly Print - PDF format
     Quickly Print: PDF (2 columns per page)

     Quickly Print: PDF (full page)

Quickly Print - HTML format
     Quickly Print: HTML

Proofreading Activity
     Print a proofreading activity

Feedback on Native American Baskets
     Leave your feedback on Native American Baskets  (use this link if you found an error in the story)

Native American Baskets
By Colleen Messina

1     Basket weaving is one of the oldest Native American crafts. Archaeologists have found ancient baskets that were almost 8,000 years old. Each tribe made baskets from the materials that they found around them. Each tribe had its own unique weaving techniques, basket shapes, and patterns, too.
2     Baskets were even a part of Native American legends. In the beginning of time, the very first man lived in a forest of pine trees with his wife. One day, an old woman came to greet them. She called herself the basket woman, and she said that she was the mother of the stars. Her name was Moon. She had some special gifts for this couple. Basket woman taught the man and the woman games and ceremonies, as well as sacred songs. Perhaps this legend is one reason that basket weaving is thought of as a spiritual craft.
3     Baskets were practical and necessary in Indian life. You might be surprised at how many things a basket could help the Indians do. They used their baskets to catch fish, store food, and to carry items or clothing. Native Americans could even cook in a basket! They filled the basket with water and then dropped hot rocks inside. They kept the rocks moving so that they did not burn the basket. They also made porridges out of acorns or fruit in baskets, too. Baskets led to the invention of pottery. Archaeologists believe that the first pottery came from a basket lined with clay that fell in the fire. The basket burned away and left a hard, clay pot in its place.

Paragraphs 4 to 9:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable

Copyright © 2009 edHelper