Thursday, December 17, 2015

Grade 3 First Nations Class Project from a HCDSB school

We have the opportunity to visit lots of schools and classrooms all across Ontario and we have been able to talk with Teachers about what they do when it comes time to teach units on First Nations people.  We met Mrs. Long at St. Anthony of Padua in HCDSB who we felt is doing a great job.  She and her students turned their Grade 3 portable into a longhouse.  They let us visit it and I had to share it with you because they did a fantastic job.

This sign was hanging as soon as you entered the portable.  I really liked how the students drew the parallel between addresses in modern times and the clan symbol on a longhouse.  

There were fire pits all down the length of the room.

They even had smoke holes above the fire pits.  the blue represented the sky and the crinkled paper was the smoke rising.  They also had corn strung and dying throughout the longhouse.

They had storage baskets made and cloth to represent animal hides. They did a great job on the baskets.  To this day basket making is a highly prized skill.  I loved that they picked out this detail to add to their display.  

One girl showed me the corn pounder she had made.  What is this called?  A Mortar and Pestle is that right? Corn pounder to me.  lol. Corn is such a staple to our diet, having this included was great.  I believe they had a large trough on display that we would use to cook in but I got distracted and didn't get a picture of that.  

Another girl showed me her model garden with the three sisters (corn, beans and squash).  I love that this is included but I would have liked it if they were growing all together as they would have been.  The corn stalk providing a spine for the beans (which provide nitrogen) to grow on and the squash providing ground cover and protection from animals with its spiny vines.  

A group of students worked on clothing and made these super cute snow shoes.   They also made bags and dresses.  

I was happy to see some lacrosse sticks were made.  I find when we go into schools the questions always seem to be about who our enemies were and about fighting so I was thrilled to see this project focus on daily life.  Including lacrosse is a great way to start a discussion on how disputes were settled.  

The model longhouses were cute.  The students also made models of other types of homes for comparison such as wigwams.  The fact the students were aware that not all native people are the same and that we have vastly different lifestyles as represented by our homes was great.  

Great job Minions!!

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