Study Guide for The Piasa


The Piasa is an adaptation of the story “The Piasa Bird.” There is a lot of controversy over origin of the pictograph and the story associated with it. Here are some web pages:

For the controversy:

                                                      For the version of the Piasa told in this program click on THE PIASA


Illiniwek—Confederation of the Native people who lived in present-day, Illinois


Illini—a member of the confederation


Tamaroa, Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Moingwena, Miami, Mitchigamea, Peoria—Tribes in the Illiniwek Confederation


Pictograph—a picture drawn on a rock


Petroglyph—etching on rock


Vision quest—a dreamlike state attained through solitary prayer, chants, and fasting


Bluffs—area of steep cliffs that line some rivers

bulletLegend—a story handed down that changes as it is told

                                                                                                 Suggested Activities:

Art—the Piasa lends itself to many art projects: Make a mural; make a “stained glass” Piasa using colored tissue paper for the colors and black construction for the lines; make a mosaic; make a plain animal and flip over acetate pieces with the different parts of the mythical creature. Take a rock and paint pictures on it.

Social Studies—Find out more about Petroglyphs and pictographs. Compare the Piasa to other pictographs. Study the tribes mentioned in the story (see above)

Language—Write a different ending to the Piasa. Pretend you were on the Lewis and Clark expedition write a description of the Piasa in your journal.

Creative Dramatics—Develop a small playette of the Piasa

Part III Core of Rediscovery                                                                                              HOME

Along the Expedition - Flyer