As Native American Heritage Month came to a close, GSB Lower Schoolers welcomed their families to Evans Hall to share their projects on the history and culture of indigenous people across North America.
3rd grade students in Ms. Healey and Mrs. Schultz’s classes spent time throughout November studying several Native American communities and Indigenous Peoples, including the Inuit, Navajo, Seminole, Tlingit, Pueblo, and Haudenosaunee. During the unit, students not only learned about indigenous peoples’ traditions and cultures but put together their own project displays to deepen their understanding while building on essential classroom skills.
“This project offers various world perspectives, as students can learn about and investigate different indigenous tribes” commented Ms. Healey and Mrs. Schultz. “We spend a lot of time comparing our lives to the current lives of indigenous people. We work hard to present accurate stories to students and allow them to understand and ask questions about these important cultures within our history.”
- While studying the Inuit, a group primarily living in Greenland, Alaska, and Canada, 3rd graders learned about homes, culture, art, and natural resources, and how the Inuit are known for their elaborate ivory carvings as a form of art and storytelling. After selecting their own Arctic animal, students learned how to write paragraphs describing their animal and create their very own model statue out of soap.
- As students studied the Southwest region of North America, they learned about the history of the Navajo and how they are known for their woven rugs and blankets. 3rd graders had the opportunity to learn how to weave themselves by using a paper cup as a loom and practicing simple over-under patterns.
- When students learned about the Seminole, a tribe residing in Oklahoma and Florida, they learned about the significance of dream catchers and how the Seminole look to their dreams as guidance.
- While studying the Tlingit, an indigenous people living along the Northwest coast of North America and Canada, 3rd graders learned about the importance of totem poles. Totem poles are meaningful for many Native Americans and have provided a way for families to record their family histories to represent ancestors, major events, special animals, and family legends. As part of the unit, each student created their own totem pole while choosing animals to represent themselves.
- Haudenosaunee refers to an alliance between six nationals who are commonly known as the Iroquois, though each nation has its own identity living in the Northeast. Students learned how the Haudenosaunee created a peace treaty to guide community decisions. As a class, 3rd graders created their own “Peace Tree” to reflect on our own community agreements, talk about things that are going well this school year, and discuss ideas that are still growing in the roots.
- While studying the Pueblo people and the American Southwest, students learned about the importance of corn as a natural resource and how the Pueblo nation finds pride in living off the land. Students took time to learn how to compare and contrast and use this skill to compare their own lives to the lives of Pueblo children.
To showcase their amazing work during the Unit, 3rd graders invited their families to campus to see their projects in Evans Hall. As a special treat, 3rd graders used the Kitchen Discovery Lab to prepare an authentic Haudenosaunee recipe of boiled cornbread and dipping sauce using corn, bean, and squash.