In the US, we have the Thanksgiving Holiday looming on the horizon. I need to make a statement about what it means in my art room.
I try to bring culture and Native American history into the classroom in ways that share the beauty and innovations of Indigenous America. I work in a school with a 100% Native population. Most of the children are a mix of tribes, anglo and latino cultures. Thanksgiving is celebrated in most homes, but not all. For this reason, my focus is not the holiday itself, but on the "harvest" as a celebration.
My lessons include many harvest and hunting ideas. In the northern great lakes area, where I teach, hunting a big part of the culture. Many of my children participate in harvesting and hunting traditions. Or they may have family members who hunt and gather.
In my room we have used corn husks to make dolls and birchbark to make canoe collages to depict wild rice harvesting. We created faux deer hides to record a story and have worked on shadow puppet plays depicting traditinal legends shared by guest speakers.
There are many resources out there to help bring appropriate historical information into your classroom. Rethinking Columbus (2003, Bill Bigelow, Bob Peterson) is one of the best.
Wishing you a great year!
We Are All Related, Kimberly