Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pow Wow: The Unit Unfolds

As each classroom investigates their Native American tribe, each child works on parts of his/her Native American clothes to wear for the Pow Wow celebration. In Haley Alvarado's classroom the boys paint poles to turn into spears that the natives may have used to spear whales and larger fish. As the boys worked they talked about all the the fish that the Nootkas ate because they lived near the ocean on the Pacific side, much like we do today.

Each child also worked on his/her own small leather bag which would have been made from animal skin and decorated with shells and beads. The mighty Nootkas gathered medicines from the forest to keep in the little medicine bags.

The girls especially enjoyed making necklaces. They loved the beads with the fall colors, so like Nootka girls might have strung.

The girls also worked on weaving baskets. A couple complained because it was just "so hard!" As they worked they talked about the Nootkas also gathering turtle shells to use as larger bowls and shells to use for spoons. Some of the children wondered how hard it must have been to fix food when the First Americans couldn't even go to Publix! It must be so hard for our little ones to imagine what those early days must have been like. Gosh, it's hard for me to imagine!

The girls made shell head bands earlier in the week, but today the boys added shells to their loin cloths. Then they modeled the leather pieces and even danced around. enjoying the moment!

These same activities are going on in each Kindergarten classroom although the clothing for each tribe is different. One of the best parts of Pow Wow is what the children learn as they work on their costumes. We count on parents to make much of the costume but it's the part that the children make themselves that is the most fun and where they learn the most about people of long ago. What a fun, fun, FUN Friday the 13th!

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