Serrano Snacks

Teachers Notes

Grade Level and Unit:

Grade 3, Unit 2: Native Americans of the Local Region

Grade 4, Unit 2: Pre-columbian Peoples

History/Social Science Standards: Grade 3

3.3 Students describe the American Indian Nations in thier local region long ago and in the recent past in terms of how physical geography, including climate, influenced the way the local Indian nations(s) adapted to their natural enviornment.

History/Social Science Standards: Grade 4

4.2 Students describe the social, political, cultural, and economic life and interactions among people from pre-columbian societies to the Spanish mission and Mexico rancho periods in terms of the major nations of California Indians, their geographic distribution, economic activities, legends, and religious beliefs; and how they depended upon, adapted to and modified the physical enviornment by cultivation of land and sea resources.

Grades 3 and 4: Language Arts Standards

1.0 Writing Strategies: Students write clear and coherent sentences and paragraphs that develop a central idea. Their writitng considers audience and purpose. They sucessfully use the stages of the writing process.

2.0 Writing Applications: Students write compositions that describe and explain familiar objects, events, and experiences. Student writing demonstrates a command of standard English and the drafting, research, and organizational strategies outlined in Writitng Standard 1.0.


This experiential activity enhances childrens understanding of the ways the Serrano adapted to thier enviornment by using available resources to provide for their basic needs. During this activity, students will gain computer research skills as they learn about new food sources. With the information students gather from the comptuter work, they will create a "Serrano Cookbook" that features information and drawings of each type of food featured in the lesson. Once the cookbook is complete, the class will participate in a Serrano Feast Day where they prepare Acorn Mush, or WIICH. In addition to the WIICH, which can be eaten several ways (see below), students will sample a variety of Serrano Foods during the feast, such as yucca, pine nuts, and prickly pear pads.


This lesson will take up to 6 hours of class time.

  • 2 hours of computer lab research time
  • 2 hours writing, illustrating Serrano Cookbook
  • 2 hours for preparing the WIICH and feasting

Materials Needed

  1. Teachers will need to reserve at least two hours in the computer lab for students to do research.
  2. Each Student will need:
    • 5 pieces of 8.5" X 11" white construction paper
    • 1 pieces of 17" X 11" brown construction paper
    • 3 pieces of yarn (4 inches long) to tie book together
    • crayons, markers, or colored pencils
  3. Teachers will need to gather acorns, cactus, and other Serrano foods for the Serrano Feast (see further details below). Don't worry, many of these items can be found at a well-stocked grocery store, or on the internet.

More On Acorn Meal and Other Serrano Foods.....