Writing in Symbols

Native Indian Tribe

Writing in Symbols

The use of pictures, signs and motifs were put to good use by Native American Indians when writing in symbols. Pictograms using symbols conveyed their ideas in basic pictures of visible objects on various forms such as on their war paint, weapons, the bark of trees and the skins of animals with which they made their clothes and tepees.

The content of this website is filled with authentic images and pictures of men and women from various tribes. Every picture really does tell a story. The symbols on their war paint and the pictures and signs that decorated their homes hold secret messages - for those that can read them. Creating a pictogram is a form of writing in symbols that uses drawings to tell a story. Kids and children will enjoy creating stories by writing in symbols. All the kids need are some basic pictures to work with and some creative ideas and activities.

Journey symbolHunting
Canoe SymbolBear paw symbol
Indian Camp Symbol - VillageBeaver

Writing in Symbols for Children and Kids
Many elements of a pictogram are elemental, basic and logical and provide the means to convey a story and ideas by writing in symbols without the need to use the correct spelling, grammar and punctuation. Writing in symbols therefore provides kids and children with freedom of expression enabling them to use their imagination to create stories without the normal limitations. Because they are so visual children and kids can emulate the concept and language of a pictogram to tell their own stories by writing in symbols. 

Writing in Symbols - Ideas and Activities
We have provided worksheets containing pictures and images that can can be used as a fun basis to illustrate stories and ideas by modern children and kids, whilst learning about the heritage and culture of Native Americans.  Writing in Symbols was a form of non-verbal communication practised by Native Americans. It was used for a variety of reasons such as telling stories and conveying messages (refer to Camp Fire Symbol). Our worksheets on Writing in Symbols, providing pictures of symbols and their meanings, can be used in different ways to increase various skills of kids and children. Activities for either individual children or groups of children can be used increasing the fun elements and the learning experience of writing in symbols. Suggestions for ideas and activities are detailed below encompassing a variety of different exercises to increase many skills:

  • Pictures can be copied and colored
  • Pictures can pasted on to story boards
  • Children can work as individuals, in pairs or in groups to to convey their ideas and their story and create the story boards
  • They can then increase their language skills and develop skills of interpretation to 'read' the stories - they will need to fill in the gaps as the 'little words' used in everyday language are not 'written'
Native American Symbols
Native Indian Tribes Index

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