Petroglyphs Activity

Before many American Indian groups had their own form of written language, they used pictures to illustrate stories. Many of these illustrations, or petroglyphs, can still be seen today in caves. In what ways do we communicate with each other today? Break up into groups of two or three people, have each group read the story and draw their own petroglyphs to illustrate the story. The list below contains some examples of different symbols which can be used. When you are finished, share with the class your group’s interpretation.

After everyone shares, answer these questions:

  • What are the differences?
  • What are the similarities?
  • What did these languages turn into?

Additionally, research how language progressed from the use of pictures into a written language.

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