The Lost Cities of Native America
A reading comprehension lesson on two Native American civilizations of the past. Includes printable teaching lesson worksheet.
• Students will be able to describe the role of archaeologists and artifacts in understanding history.
• Students will be able to identify the Cahokia and Anasazi people by stating when and where they existed.
• Students will be able to describe the lifestyles of the Cahokia and Anasazi people as well as characteristics of their environments.
4th Grade - 5th Grade - 6th Grade
Print the reading comprehension passage and questions (see below).
Students should read the passage silently, then answer the questions. Teachers may also use the text as part of a classroom lesson plan.
Archaeologists are scientists that search for clues about the past. They search for objects called artifacts and other clues that tell them what life was like in a certain place at a certain time. These scientists have discovered a lot about lost Native American cities.
For example, in the state of Illinois, archaeologists found remains from a city called Cahokia, which was built by Native Americans more than 1,000 years ago. The people who lived in this city did not leave behind any writings, but they did leave many interesting artifacts that give us clues about the way they lived. For examples, they made tools by carving blades out of stone and attaching them to wooden handles.
This suggests that the Cahokians were farmers. Other clues include dried seeds and bits of food. These findings tell us that the people who lived in Cahokia grew corn, sunflowers and squash. We can also tell that they caught fish and hunted deer and rabbit bones because they left behind fishhooks and charred bones from the animals they hunted.
Print this printable worksheet for this lesson: