Exploring Other Cultures: Indigenous Peoples in the Americas – Animal Projects

3-D Paper Bear

Vocabulary: Symmetry and asymmetry

Materials: Glue, scissors, and pencil, markers, colored pencils or crayons can also be very useful


  1. Read about Indigenous Peoples in the Americas bear mythology: http://www.native-languages.org/legends-bear.htm Bears are symbols of strength and wisdom to many Indigenous Peoples in the Americas and are often associated with healing and medicine.
  2. Trace bear template.
  3. Cut bear body.
  4. Create folded bear.
  5. This construction paper bear can become three-dimensional when the feet are bent and glued onto a separate piece of paper.
  6. Cave, mountain, trees, beehive, stream, blueberry patch or other components can be added to make a woodland scene.
  7. In addition, students can make their own animals using this folded paper method.


  1. Read about bear mythology: http://www.native-languages.org/foxstory.htm
  2. Read about the mythology of stars: http://home.comcast.net/~lsmch/starmyths.htm
  3. Constellation project: Students can use white chalk on black paper to make Big Dipper and create their own origin story for a real or invented constellation.

Opportunity for Discussion and play:

  • Why do you think people invented myths?
  • What makes a good myth?
  • Have students share their own myths, reading them aloud and having audience clap for each.

Animated children’s books for preschoolers:

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? by Eric Carle


The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Birthday by Stan and Jan Berenstain