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Iowa Past to Present

Iowa Past to Present Online Teacher's Guide

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Chapter 2: American Indians, The Earliest People in Iowa


The story of the people who have lived in what is now called Iowa goes back for thousands of years. Many different American Indian groups have hunted on the prairies and in the woodlands and planted gardens along the rivers and streams. While each tribe had its own way of doing some things, they were alike in many ways. American Indians got their food by hunting and growing food. They built shelters against the cold winters and learned the best ways to survive the changing seasons. The state gets its name from the Ioway tribe, and many places in Iowa have taken their names from American Indians. For example, several counties are named for other Indian tribes – Sioux, Winnebago, Pottawattamie, and Sac. Others are called after Indian chiefs, like Black Hawk, Keokuk, Appanoose, and Poweshiek. The names of many Iowa rivers, cities, and towns are also Indian words.

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Suggested Classroom Resources and Lesson Plans


Iowa Past to Present Chapter Listing

This online teachers guide was developed as a companion to the textbook Iowa Past to Present: The People and the Prairie (Revised 3rd Ed.); written by Dorothy Schwieder, Thomas Morain, and Lynn Nielsen; published by University of Iowa Press. Select a chapter from the list below to find related content and classroom resources.



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