Annie and the Old One:
Navajo Geometry
Objectives
Students will be able to identify and
label geometric shapes using are
of Native Americans, specifically the navajo
tribe.
Materials
pictures of Navajo
blankets (one per
table)
overhead projector and transparency w/ picture of blanket
on it
story of origins
of weaving
transparency w/ grid lines for concluding activity
graph paper
Introduction (5 min)
Read the history of Navajo
blanketweaving. Emphasize the fact that
weaving a is a learned skill that is passed down from
older relatives, like
in Annie and the Old One.
Review geometric shapes and their
properties.
Modeling (5 min)
Using a picture of a Navajo blanket
copied on to a transparency, point
out some of the shapes in the pattern.
Outline a couple of the shapes in
the blanket to make them more
visible.
Pick out others with the students'
help.
Make sure they know what they're
looking for.
Practice (10 min)
Pass out different pictures of
Navajo blankets to the student.
Give them time to find the shapes
in the their blankets.
Wander between desks to make sure
each child understands what hey
are supposed to be doing.
Application/Conclusion (10
min)
When students have finished, ask
them to count their shapes.
How many
total?
How many circles?
How many
triangles? How many
rectangles?
How many
squares? What shapes
have we missed?
Write each type of shape on the
board including a grand total category.
Note the number of each shape under
each one.
Challenge the student to add the
columns on their own.
When all have finished, total each
column as a class.
Which shapes do we have the most of? The least of?
What does that
mean?
Some shapes
easier than others to design?
Cultural
meaning of shapes?
As a class think of other places
during the day where we see shapes.
(List on board.)

fabric 
posters 
carpet  playground
equipment
Extension:
Take students on
a walk through the hallways and the outside to find
geometric shapes in their environment. Discuss findings
as a class. Do
shapes have meaning in our life? What shapes are most
common? If we
were to weave a blanket representing our lives, what
shapes would we
use and why? Have students design a blanket using art
supplies that
represents their lives.
Activity (30 min)
1. Like the Navajo create designs
that are meaningful to their lives, the
students are going to make a design using geometric
shapes that reflects
their lives. An example is the Tree
of Life blanket
pattern.
2. Using an overhead transparency
with grid lines, create a design using
shapes that have meaning to your life.
3. Brainstorm some ideas the
students can do for their own pattern.
4. Pass out sheets of graph paper
one per student.
5. Make sure that they orient their
papers vertically to mimic a blanket.