How to Draw Indian Symbols for Kids

Indian symbols tell a story.

Traditional Native American language used symbols instead of letters to tell stories. Indian tribes designed sets of symbols for different situations, such as going on a hunt or heading to war. There were a few tribes that had written languages. The Cherokee, for example, was one tribe with its own written language. Most, however, used symbols as their main nonverbal form of communication.

Find images of Native American symbols on the Internet and print them out. Gather other materials for making symbols, such as markers and drawing paper.

Draw a simple Indian symbol, which is a lightening rod. According to Native American Market, a lightening rod is the symbol for “spirit.” You can make a lightening rod by drawing a jagged line.

Create the symbol for “constant life” by making lines that resemble rolling water waves of the ocean. Use a marker and draw a curved line that goes forwards and up and then rolls back, just like a wave.

Make a triangle to represent “temporary home” in Indian symbolism. You can add straight lines moving horizontally through the triangle if desired.

Draw the Sun of Happiness symbol, which, according to AAA Native Arts, inspires blue skies, by drawing a circle with several short straight lines around the edges, just like a sun.

Make the Native American symbol for “swiftness” by drawing an arrow. Make a short straight line with a point at one end. At the other end of the arrow, add two short lines on one side and paralleled on the other to resemble the feathers at the end of an arrow.

Create a story by putting all the symbols on one piece of paper. Arrange the symbols along with a drawing, using markers and drawing paper, to show how the Indian symbols work together.

Sarah Lipoff has been writing since 2008. She has been published through BabyZone, Parents, Funderstanding and Lipoff has worked as a K-12 art teacher, museum educator and preschool teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Science in K-12 art education from St. Cloud State University.