Friday, November 22, 2013

The Night Before Pow Wow

It is the night before Pow Wow and I can't sleep.  Wonder if there are little Native Americans under their covers, just like me,  wide-eyed thinking about all we have done this week and about the big event tomorrow?  We had a wonderful family night on Tuesday where families in each tribe made Native dwellings.  We made longhouses for our Mighty Iroquois tribe, but others made tepees and wigwams and igloos and chickees.   Our families then had an opportunity to go through the hallways and hear presentations about the tribes from fifth graders who completed projects for their fifth grade Social Studies.  Our longhouses sit in the hallway under the gingerbread cut-outs that the families decorated in Native dress.  The knotted ropes hang in our classroom as a reminder of the stories that families told to their children last week as homework to emphasize the oral tradition of storytelling, so much a part of the Native tradition.  We have loved the books and videos we have seen about legends and tales - the Creation story of the Sky Woman, the tale of how rabbit got its tail and how rabbit outsmarted bear in a race.  We learned why the Iroquois make their dolls with no faces.  We learned about the whale who landed on the mountain and how that story was turned into a totem pole - another way some tribes told stories.  So many great stories... 

Are we ready for tomorrow?  The children beaded the shakers this morning (out last costume project), we had our last practice with the entire Kindergarten (over 200 little Natives!), the costumes pieces so lovingly prepared by parents and teachers are in Ziploc bags at each child's seat labeled with each child's Native American name, the special decorated brown paper bags were sent home today for bag lunches tomorrow, we know our songs and dances, and this afternoon as I left school, the mighty teepee was ready to go up around the flag pole. 

The tepee came from the imagination of Media Specialist KK Cherney and the creativity of longtime Creek volunteer JB Boyd and Karen Willet and the help of countless others.  When it is erected it will seat an entire class of 36 with their parents and is one of the most endearing parts of our day.  Our live performance of six individual tribes is presented first thing in the morning but the day is filled with exciting centers to give the children experiences to help them understand the Native culture.  For our class, the visit to the tepee and the talking stick of Peaceful Waters (known as Miss KK) will be the perfect end to our day!

I feel so fortunate to work at a school where the entire faculty comes together to make possible such an impressive event for our children.  The Resource teachers will teach Native songs tomorrow, will host a tasting center, will  let the children paint with natural dyes, will tell stories and will have the children make Native medallions from clay.  The kinder teachers will provide their lunch - such a small payment for such a large contribution.  The Principal and Assistant Principal will be dressed as Native Chiefs and will host our live presentation. I mean - Wow!  No wonder I can't sleep!

No comments: