Nez Perce Pinecone Game
activity exercisesuggested grade levels: K- 4

view Idaho achievement standards for this lesson

Nez Perce children had many chores, but always found time to play. There were no toy stores in their time, so they invented games with easy to find, natural objects. Pincone throwing and catching games and contests were very popular. The children would compete to see who could throw further or higher or with better aim.

One popular pinecone game used a hoop. Hoops were made from long reeds or willow branches that were bent into a circle 12 to 24 inches in diameter. Hoops were held closed with sinew or long grasses. The hoop was placed a few feet from a designated throwing line and then the children took turns tossing pincones through it. After each round, the hoop was moved further back from the throwing line. The game would continue "knock-out" style until only one child was left who could successfully throw a pinecone though the hoop which was now typically very far from the line. For variety, the children would change the rules and play in teams, or all have to throw underhand or the like.
Collect pinecones and play your own throwing game using a hoop you make from natural materials, a plastic hula hoop, or a small box (cones must land and stay inside the box).

Related Lesson Topics:
Geography: Geography Topics

Lesson Plan provided by Vita Taube, 2000
Idaho Achievement Standards (as of 7/2001) met by completing this activity: