Midwestern Wickiup

In this investigation students will study the wickiup, a type of shelter used by the Meskwaki and other Native American people living throughout the upper Midwest and western Great Lakes region at the time of European contact. The word wickiup comes from the Algonquian word wi kiy bi or wi·kiya·pi meaning lodge or house. The lesson will introduce the circular, domed, pole-and-mat-or bark-covered winter home of the Meskwaki called the A-ba-ge-ka-ni (ah bah GWAY KAH nee).

Instructions for the Teacher

The teacher’s document is 35 pages, consisting of background information and four sections corresponding to the student notebook. It includes archaeologists’ interpretations of the Midwestern Wickiup site and details about the artifacts found. Quadrant maps from the archaeological site are provided for students to study and use.

Student Archaeology Notebook

The student notebook is 39 pages of articles and activities about the Midwestern Wickiup and is divided into four parts: geography, history, archaeology, and today. Mr. Johnathan Buffalo, a member of the Meskwaki, guides students through the investigation. Through archaeology students discover artifacts left behind and how artifacts assist archaeologists in understanding the lifeways of the site’s residents. Students learn about the importance of archaeological sites such as the Midwestern Wickiup today.

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