Food and Culture, Past and Present in Choctaw Culture

Learning Activities


Activity One

Each activity below requires students to conduct library research using one or more of the resources listed in the next section, and to compare the information they learn with their own experiences.

  • Introduce the diversity of indigenous Native American cultures and relate this diversity of geographical locations, ecosystems and natural resources.
  • Research and outline the Choctaw history time line, life-ways and foods, identifying significant cultural influences and changes.
  • Compare the Choctaw foods to students’ favorite foods.
  • Research traditional foods’ nutritional values.


Activity Two

Each activity below asks students to compare what they learned about Choctaw foodways with their own local practices.

  • Collect and share cultural and traditional activities, images, recordings and lifeways in your area that have remained strong and involve food.
  • Research the foods you normally eat by listing everything you have had to eat or drink for 48 hours. Write the origin of those foods. Choose the main food item from each meal and list its ingredients (protein, carbohydrate, fat, sugar, salt, vitamins and minerals).
  • Create a story board that illustrates a comparison of the foods students eat with the Choctaw traditional diet, as well as positive and negative changes from introduced foods, technologies and other resources and influences.


Activity Three

Each activity below asks students to delve more deeply into the results of cultural change and to apply the information to their own lives.

  • Research and write about dietary diseases and food-related concerns of the Choctaw Indians and other Native Americans.
  • Document your own dietary habits and health risks, and develop an appropriate plan for improvement.