Saturday, November 16, 2019

Culturally Sensitive Native American Units

I have always been fascinated by Native American culture. There are so many things about the traditions of tribes that I admire. The way they cared about the Earth and did not waste anything. The way they passed down stories from elders generation after generation.

Today, it bothers me to see their culture reduced to crafts with feather headbands and grocery bag vests. There is so much more to teaching about these groups of people.

Some literature I recommend:

One of my new favorites. A story about how traditional foods can help families remember the past and make future memories.

A sweet story about an Inuit newborn and the gifts the Arctic animals bring to welcome him into the world.

Her uncle takes her to a local powwow and she sees the traditional dress, listens to the traditional music of her tribe.

This is an older book, but I think a classic. The girl loved the wild horses and works to set them free.

Scholastic has this book for $1. I bought a copy for each student. We talk a lot about gratitude in my class and this fits right into that theme.

Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his Dad and wishes he had a cooler name. They end up coming up with the coolest name of all for him.

So many Native Americans have made so many contributions to our society. This goes into detail about just a few.

There are many crafts you can do with your kiddos that will help them learn about Native American traditions that don't just help perpetuate stereotypes. We painted with mud like they used to use in their cave paintings. There were activities about all the different kinds of structures they would build-adobe, wigwams, tipis--then the students designed their own homes using materials from nature. You can make rainsticks or decorate patterns using shapes like the indigenous people did. There are many activities we can do that respect the culture of these fascinating people.

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