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Wichita: People of the Grass Lodge

Wichita grass lodge

Guided tour — Kansas Museum of History, Topeka

Grades — 1st

Experience the traditions of the Wichita Indians with a full scale replica of a grass lodge. The “Wichita: People of the Grass Lodge” tour provides students with an understanding of the culture of a Native American Indian group from Kansas.  The tour emphasizes the role of the prairie environment in determining how the Wichita met their basic needs of food, shelter and clothing.  Students grind corn on a stone ‘matate,’ spend hands-on time exploring reproduction artifacts and visit the museum gallery to see three major exhibits featuring a prairie diorama, a buffalo-hide tipi, and a full-size Wichita grass lodge.

Teachers might also be interested in this Read Kansas! lesson "American Indian Homes in Kansas" or either of these educational resource trunks -  "Indian Homes in Kansas"  or "Uses of the Buffalo" as an extension to this guided tour.

Buffalo hide tipi


Kansas History, Government, and Social Studies Standards

Standard #5 Relationships among people, places, ideas, and environments are dynamic.

  • 5.1: The student will recognize and evaluate dynamic relationships that impact lives in communities, states, and nations.

Kansas College and Career Ready Standards

  • SL 1.1: Students will participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • SL 1.3:  Students will ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood.

Cost per student including museum admission: $3.00.  One adult enters free for every 10 students.  Additional adults pay the student rate.

Bus transportation for USD 501 schools: The Topeka Metro System is offering free rides for classroom field trips along fixed-route buses for schools in USD 501 during the 2013-2014 school year.  This offer includes students, teachers and parents.

Kansas Prairie

Length of tour: approximately one hour, with a maximum of two tours per hour.

Number of students in a group: for the best experience, we recommend approximately 20 students per tour. For large groups, a maximum of 40 students will be accommodated on the tour during any given hour.

Registration and scheduling: register online, or contact Education and Outreach at 785-272-8681, ext. 414; e-mail education@kshs.org.  Tours must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.

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