Friday, December 26, 2008

4 week Native American KONOS Unit Study

Okay, so.... after Posting about my halfway mark evaluation of what we have been doing, and thinking it over and chewing on it for a few days, I have gotten busy developing our next Unit Study on Native Americans using our KONOS book and some of my own resources. We won't start it until the second week of January. But I have already requested a thousand books from the library, the "c" shelf will be overflowing in a few days there, the librarians love me... So here is a rough outline of our plans.... If anyone has any good ideas I would LOVE them!

PS I use the terms Native American and Indian Interchangeably. Usually I try to use the term native American, but alot of the books I have included, or songs, or games, use the term Indian, so it became unavoidable.

Books I will read aloud to the kids...
  • The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich - Okay I have to stop to comment. Louise Erdrich is my all time favorite adult author. Her book Love Medicine changed my life and the way I viewed literature. She is a Native American and writes from that perspective. Her craftsmanship with words and phrases is beautiful, It makes me feel very quiet, as though I am viewing a sacred work of art. So I was SOOOOOOO excited to see that she had written a children's book, and on Native Americans no less!!!! I haven't read the books yet and so it will be as big of a surprise for me. But it will be WONDERFUL to be able to share my favorite author with my kiddos. There are currently three books in the series, and we will try to get to all of them for sure. They have been compared to the Little House series.
  • Hiawatha the traditional version by Longfellow
Easy Reader Books for the kids to read themselves....
  • Oscar otter
  • Paddle to the Sea
  • Red Fox and his Canoe
  • small wolf
  • thunderhead
  • Indian two feet and his eagle feather
  • Indian two feet and his horse
  • Indian two feet and the ABC moose
  • Indian two feet and the grizzly bear
  • Indian two feet and the wolf cubs
  • American Indian games and crafts
  • American Indian festivals
Reference Books for the unit....
  • Indian Picture Writing
  • Indian Sign Language
  • Indian Talk
  • Native American Cookbook
  • American Indian Foods
Unit Activities....
  • Choose an Indian tribe to report on for "Indian Night"
  • Host "Indian Night, or lunch" Where kids can present their report, eat a Native American menu.
  • Teach Fire safety and fire building
  • Have a "campout" talk about camp safety, follow a trail, work on an indian craft or game to play, observe wildlife and plants, set up an archery range and practice, build a fire.
  • Do hoop dancing with hula hoop
  • Choose Native American names
  • Have a classroom Pow Wow
  • Play Corn Cob Darts, Peach pit bowl catapult game, snake stick game
  • Ten Little Indians
  • I am a little Indian
  • A tee pee is my home
  • The brave little Indian finger play
  • Five little Indians
  • make a corn husk doll or place mat
  • make an Indian headdress
  • make and paint a pot
  • make a Navajo rug with weaving
  • Make Wampum out of beads, pasta, feathers, straw
  • make an Indian vest out of a brown paper sack
  • make drums rattles, and dance bells
  • make a teepee (miniature?)
  • make a sandpainting like the Navajo used to cure the sick
  • Using our loom, weave potholders
  • Dream catchers
  • Indian Characters from Wooden pegs
  • Birch Bark Canoe from Construction paper
  • Rainstick
  • Make totem pole from hand and foot tracings
  • Pocahontas cut out
Field Trip...
  • visit the Indian Reservation in Woodville, past Hunstville
  • Pocahontas
  • The Indian in the Cupboard
  • One Little Indian
  • The American Indian: A historical perspective
  • The American Indian: People and Cultures
  • Great Indian Leaders and nations
  • Exploring our past: Comparing native American Cultures
  • Native peoples of the great plains
  • Native peoples of the Nothwest
  • Native peopels of the Southwest
  • Native Peoples of the woodlands
  • A & E Biography: Pocahontas
  • Biography: Sitting Bull
  • Biography: Crazy Horse
  • Sacajewea, her true story

The Unit Study had included talking with kids about the trail of tears. But I am conflicted about that. While I want to, and absolutely plan to discuss with the kids honestly the unfairness of the way the Native Americans were treated at times, I wonder if that would be too intense for a first grader, kindergartner, and preschooler. I believe its an important event of historical, and moral importance, but I wonder if its too much too soon. I don't want to cheat them out of the historical lesson, but I don't want to overwhelm them either? Any Advice?


    this is the texas pow wow competition held at Traders Village every November.

    San Antonio Cultural museum has a lot about indians and had at one time a full size tee pee.

    Ernest Goes to Camp is kindof a funny movie and has quite a bit about indian life style.
    they have a stomp dance every last Saturday night I think.

    I love units!!!!!!!!!!!! Yours sounds awesome!

  2. My favorite indian of all time was an Apache named Geronimo. He's worth taking a look at too I think :)

    In regards to the trail of tears, that goes right through good ol' Missouri so there would be a good field trip :)

    And I think if anybody could, you could, present the trail of tears to them without overwhelming them. Seems like it would be possible to keep the information very rated "G" and still get the basic message across; just to lay the foundation for discussion in later years.

  3. I have to "ditto" my husband's comment, and add that Squanto, Pocahontas, and Sacagawea are other notewothy Indians. :)

  4. Carrie,
    That is AWESOME! Thank you for those ideas. I have been meaning to introduce the kiddos to Ernest anyway,they are so into slapstick comedy. This sounds like a good opportunity.

  5. Rob and Heather,
    Thanks for the advice, I hadn't considered making it G rated. I tend to be a "all or nothing" kind of girl, what a good idea.


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