Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Aboriginal Cultures

Last night our power went out.  We had a CRAZY wind storm.  The airport reported wind gusts up to 136 km/hr.  That's crazy!  The mailbox kept rattling up and down and the trees were shaking constantly.  I'm happy none fell down near my home.  There wasn't much to do in a power outage.  We watched a movie on the iPod.  That was, well, tiny.

After that, I decided to redo some files I've used personally in my class, but haven't shared with others. I cleaned them up, prettied them up, and added all the appropriate credits.  I'd been meaning to do this for a while, just hadn't found the time.  It's been a goal because there is really nothing out there for teaching Aboriginal cultures of Canada.  There's a lot of worksheet type things, but nothing interactive or hands on for students.  So, here's my attempt at making things more interesting for Canadian (specifically B.C. grade 4) teachers and students.

The first file is a smaller one.  I've done this lesson twice before.  It takes about 30 minutes.  Students are shown pictures of 4 different aboriginal tools (one at a time).  They first need to make an inference about its' name and use based on it's shape, what it's made of etc.  Then, the teacher will explain.  Students really like to guess and love it when they are right!  Several of my students are aboriginal, and some actually use these tools to prepare moose hides, so they provide really interesting information too.

The next file is much larger.  It contains several activities, including the one above.  In addition to the Aboriginal tools lesson you will also get:

- Cultures/basic needs brainstorming charts for individual/small group/whole class use
- Black line masters for an aboriginal cultures research and poster presentation project
- Aboriginal Tools presentation/lesson
- Resources for aboriginal story telling and a lesson for students to write their own
- Mapping places in B.C. named after Aboriginal cultures (and explanations of the place names)

My students are currently working on their research/poster projects.  We are on day 4.  They are so thrilled about them, several groups asked if they could go to the library to work on their projects at lunch.   Can you imagine!?  I'm so happy with them right now, they are really doing a great job.

I went to the school and public library, and took out every book I could on 10 - 13 different aboriginal cultures (Haida, Inuit, Blackfoot, Cree, Sioux, Denesuline, Metis and more).   I paired students in groups of 2 or 3 (based on ability levels, confidence levels, neatness levels) and assigned their culture to them.  Step one was to read the books provided and take notes on a black line master about the tools the culture used, what they ate, whether or not they traveled, their beliefs etc.

Once I had approved their research, they were given a poster (also black line master, there's a preview on my TpT site).  It's just enough of a template that it helps them keep it neat and organized.  My students are about half way through this step right now; their work is looking really good!

I hope these files help inspire your Aboriginal Cultures units.  Leave me a comment if you have any questions!

Native Americans Linky

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