Learn about Native Americans and more on Thanksgiving with these apps

Nov 18, 2014
Tech

These five mobile apps, appropriate for middle school and up, provide information about Native American tribes, languages, customs, and culture.

Next week, families across the United States will gather around Thanksgiving dinners. While a small fraction of these folks will literally be celebrating a successful harvest season, it is the time of year to reflect on American history, especially events that focus on Native Americans. These five mobile apps, appropriate for middle school and up, provide information about Native American tribes, languages, customs, and culture.

Native American Encyclopedia (iOS Free)

The Native American Encyclopedia app covers this history of peoples native to North America. Students can browse entries on tribes, meaningful quotes, famous Native American chiefs and contemporary figures, images, sacred landmarks, beliefs, myths, and so much more. We highly recommend for students giving presentations.

Native Language App (iOS Free)

Do you want to learn a few animal words from major Native American languages? Developed by Vision Maker Media, the app covers those of the Navajo, Sioux, Muscogee Creek, and Ponca. All of the audio pronunciation is voiced by people who were raised speaking the language. Vision Maker Media exists to help tell the stories of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

13 Colonies: America During the Colonial Period (iOS $1.99)

While this selection could stir some controversy at the dinner table, it provides a straight overview of the 13 British American Colonies. Students can read about the founding of each colony, maps, primary source documents, and experience some multimedia videos. They can use all of these resources to understand what daily life was like for the Colonial history in the United States.

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NLM Native Voices (iOS Free)

The NLM Native Voices iPad app, brought to the App Store by the National Library of Medicine, presents an exhibit aimed at exploring “the interconnectedness of wellness, illness, and cultural life for Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.” There are sections dedicated to Navajo Code Talkers, Art, and several professionally produced videos that introduce visitors to the entire Native Voices project. This app provides loads of educational content and truly connects you to the these wonderful people.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (iOS $5.99, Android $4.99)

This digital storybook, while not directly covering Native American culture, is a good option for the kids table. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is your go-to for watching the original 1973 animated special, with loads of interactive activities. The app offers three reading modes: Read To Me, Read Myself, and Autoplay. The first option is narrated by Stephen Shea (the voice of blanket-dragging Linus)!

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Stephen Danos

Stephen Danos is the Associate Editor for appoLearning.com, AndroidApps.com, and Appolicious. He has contributed to articles published on TechCrunchThe Chicago Sun TimesThe Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere.

He received his BA in English from the University of Iowa and MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Playhouse State (H_NGM_N Books, 2012) and Gravitational (The New Megaphone, forthcoming).

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