Tuesday’s class continued on with our native American unit. We read the book HIAWATHA, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Through the poetic tale, we stopped and focused on the illustrations which depicted the spirituality with which the native Americans viewed both animals and Mother Earth as a whole. As we read, we stopped and gave the children time to describe their interpretations of the drawings…..somewhat “ghostly,” and yet comforting at the same time. We reflected on the words used to describe sounds of nature: “mime-wawa says the pine trees, mudway-aushka says the water. ” As the children sat silently and looked at the pictures, we could almost hear the sounds that Hiawatha heard!
Following the story, the children created dream catchers. They felt an actual dream catcher and realized that the “web” was made from deer sinew, an expansion from the previous day’s lesson. They then sewed their own patterns, sewing across their plates, adding beads and feathers to their liking. Additionally, the children colored and cut small native American finger puppets that they used to help retell the story. Because the children spent the morning using Colorado animals, building log homes, using pelts and role playing in the teepee as well as using a matate to grind corn, the understanding of history native American life was becoming more clear to them. Hands on learning…..the best way for children to grasp more abstract concepts.