As the children were beginning to write about their tribes, they had many experiences to build their background knowledge. Each class studied the types of houses the Natives lived in and then built replicas of those houses with their families during Family Night. They learned about what their tribes wore and then helped to dress a cardboard cutout in tribal gear. They also made many of the pieces that they wore during the Pow Wow. The Nootkas learned, for instance, that the spears that they made were used to spear whales. The Seminoles learned that the ribbons they made were used for ceremonial dances. The children learned what the Natives ate and then tasted some of the foods during the Pow Wow activities. Throughout the activities, the stories that they read and the research that they did, each child learned so much that they could write about!
Below is just one example of a kindergartner's writing from Miss Sasso's Hopi tribe. Nate has a title for his book, Nate's The Hopi Book.
Miss Sasso gave each child a form to help them organize a Table of Contents. Nate's Table of Contents includes:
1. What did the Hopi eat? 1
2. What did the Hopi wear? 2
3. Where did the Hopi (live)? 3
4. How did the Hopi travel? 4
5. Snake Dances 5
Nate begins each chapter with a question title. Notice also how he uses labels and in this chapter, a list.
What did the Hopi eat?