Native Americans
The Yosemite Indians of the Ahwahnee Valley

The Yosemite Indians of the Ahwahnee Valley
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.11

     challenging words:    pronunciation, prospectors, reprieve, seekers, uzumati, resentment, grudge, provided, unique, clan, mysterious, settled, reservation, easily, miserable, treaty
     content words:    Miwok House, Yosemite National Park, Native Americans, North America, Yosemite Indians, Great Spirit, Ahwahnee Valley, Mariposa Battalion, James D., Merced River

Print The Yosemite Indians of the Ahwahnee Valley
     Print The Yosemite Indians of the Ahwahnee Valley  (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 The Yosemite Indians of the Ahwahnee Valley
     Leave your feedback on The Yosemite Indians of the Ahwahnee Valley  (use this link if you found an error in the story)

The Yosemite Indians of the Ahwahnee Valley
By Joyce Furstenau

1     Caption: Miwok House, Yosemite National Park, California, USA.
2     Native Americans lived in North America thousands of years before non-Native Americans set foot here. They grouped themselves together into clans, or tribes. Each tribe had its own way of living. This made each tribe unique. The Yosemite Indians belonged to a group or clan known as the Miwok. Yosemite, pronounced yoh-sem-i-tee, was a name given to this tribe of Native Americans by the white newcomers. It is thought to be close to the pronunciation of an Indian word "uzumati," which means grizzly bear.
3     Legends tell of a band of peoples being led by the Great Spirit into a valley. These natives spoke the Miwok language and settled into the "Ah-wah-nee" valley, which means "a deep, grassy valley." Some say it means "place of the gaping mouth." Either way, the tribe took on the name of the valley in which they settled. It was later called Yosemite, which is now a national park in the state of California
4     The Ahwahneechees easily lived off the land in the Ahwahnee Valley. The streams were full of trout, and the forests provided bear, deer, and elk meat. The trees and bushes gave them acorns, pine nuts, fruits, and berries.
5     Around 1800, a mysterious disease forced them to leave their villages in the Ahwahnee Valley. The valley remained empty for many years. Several generations passed before a band of about two hundred Indians decided to move back to this fertile valley. Once again, the Ahwahneechee tribe lived well in the valley.
6     The discovery of gold in 1848 in the nearby mountains brought thousands of gold seekers. They scattered out among the hills churning up the land and streams in their search for gold. Those that followed brought in great herds of cattle that used up the acorns and grasses along the way. The Ahwahnees' source of food was used up, so they moved quickly to find new food sources.
7     As the Indians moved higher and higher into the mountains, their food supply dwindled. They began to prey upon the cattle and horses that belonged to the gold seekers. They raided the settlements for food and were met with guns and great resentment. As the violence grew, so did the gold seeker's fears. Finally, a group of men called commissioners was sent from Washington, D.C. to a place named Mariposa in the heart of the Yosemite area. Their mission was to try to subdue these "Yosemite" Indians and make a treaty with them.
8     In 1851, the Mariposa Battalion was organized. They elected a local trader named James D. Savage to head up the battalion. He lived in the Yosemite area and made himself powerful by marrying women from nearby tribes. He also had a personal grudge against the Yosemite tribe because several of his supply stores had been attacked, destroyed, and the men in charge murdered by them. He is reported to have said, "If I ever have a chance, I will smoke out the Grizzly bears (the Yosemites) from their holes." 1

Paragraphs 9 to 16:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable

Weekly Reading Books

          Create Weekly Reading Books

Prepare for an entire week at once!

Native Americans
             Native Americans

United States
             United States

    American Government  
    Black History and Blacks in U.S. History  
    Children in History  
    Government Careers  
    Hispanic Heritage  
    How Can I Help?  
    National Parks and Monuments  
    Native Americans  
    Presidents of the United States  
    Women's History  

United States History
    A Nation Divided
    A New Nation
    After the Civil War
    American Revolution  
    Cold War
    Colonial America (1492-1776)  
    Lewis and Clark
    Spanish American War (1898)  
    The 1890's  
    The 1900's  
    The 1910's  
    The 1920's  
    The 1930's  
    The 1940's  
    The 1950's  
    The 1960's  
    The 1970's  
    The 1980's  
    The 1990's  
    The 2000's  
    The Civil War
    The Great Depression
    The United States Grows
    The War of 1812  
    Wild, Wild West  
    World War I
    World War II  

50 States

             Fifty States Theme Unit

Document Based Activities
      Document Based Activities

More Activities, Lesson Plans, and Worksheets

Back to School
Graphic Organizers
Alphabet Worksheets
Sight Words
Math Worksheets
50 States

Monthly Themes

Place Value
Time and Calendar
Earth Day
Solar System
Following Directions
Cursive Writing
Patterns and Sequencing
All About Me

First Grade
Second Grade
Third Grade
Fourth Grade
Fifth Grade
Sixth Grade

Main Idea
Cause and Effect
Order of Operations
Community Helpers
Addition and Subtraction
Bulletin Board Ideas
Word Searches
Crossword Puzzles
Printable Puzzles

Reading Comprehension
Reading Skills
English Language Arts

Copyright © 2011 edHelper