Great Basin Native American

Grades 3 and 4

The Great Basin Native American Traveling Trunk helps teachers share with students the history and culture of the Northern Paiute Indians in a hands‐on, interactive way!

The Great Basin Native American Traveling Trunk includes topic‐specific artifacts, photographs, and lesson plans.

Trunk contents include:

  • Instructions and strategies for using the Great Basin Native American Traveling Trunk in the classroom.
  • A list of Oregon Department of Education State Standards related to content and topics presented in the Great Basin Native American Traveling Trunk.
  • Recommended resources for students and teachers on Native American history and culture.
  • The Northern Paiute: Historical Narratives for Teachers and Students . The Historical Narrative for Teachers is designed to provide teachers with a background history on the landscape, history, and culture of the Northern Paiute tribes living in the Great Basin of Oregon. The Great Basin extends across the southeastern portion of the state. The Historical Narrative for Students is a one‐page summary of some of the key themes affiliated with the Northern Paiute tribes that can be copied and passed out to students.
  • Hands‐on trunk objects available for students to handle in a supervised setting and a corresponding document called Description of Objects , provides teachers with background information on each object and how it relates to Northern Paiute culture.
  • Trunk objects included edible and medicinal harvest samples, basic tools, basketry fragment, food processing and hunting tools, trade goods, and gambling related items. Photographs portray both traditional and contemporary Paiute life.
  • Three lesson plans designed to enhance the use of the elements included in the trunk:

The Remembering the Past, Nurturing the Future lesson plan helps students learn about some of the traditional lifeways of the Northern Paiute while also learning what tribal members are doing today to try to preserve traditional knowledge for future generations.

The Living with the Land lesson plan helps students understand how peoples' lives are affected by the physical environment. Using the cattail as an example, students will explore different ways that the Northern Paiute gained sustenance from the land.

In the Speaking Northern Paiute lesson plan, students will have the opportunity to learn some simple Northern Paiute words and to understand just how different Native American languages are from each other.

Download a description of the Great Basin Native American Traveling Trunk (PDF)

If you would like to schedule a rental, please fill out and return the Traveling Trunk Request Form. If you would like to reserve a trunk by phone, have additional questions or would like to view any of the Traveling Trunks' lesson plans or content, please contact OHS Museum Education at or 503.306.5279.