Saturday, October 20, 2012

Native Americans

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After re-watching all 6 seasons of the TV show "Northern Exposure," which features the Northwestern tribe the Tlingits, I was inspired to write a post devoted to Native American crafts and activities for kids. Some of the crafts below can be incorporated into a Thanksgiving them. Others, which don't relate to the Wampanoag tribe, can simply be used in a history lesson.

Totem Pole Stories - Have students collaborate and create a totem pole that tells a story. You can create wall totem poles outside of your classroom or make totem poles out of paper towel rolls.
Unplug Your Kids - wall stories
My Adventures in Positive Space - paper towel roll example

Native American Paper Bag Vest
1. Lay the bag down flat, with the flap towards you. Cut out a half-circle shape for the neckline, leaving a couple inches on both sides at the shoulder seams.
2. Cut straight down the bag to create an opening. (Don't go through both sides of the bag!)
3. Side with neckline - Cut half circles out of both sides for the arm holes. Please, please don't make your bag look like a cube on the child - stylize it! :)
4. Bottom of the vest - Cut half circles to make it more vest-like. Then, cut fringe (strips) along the bottom.
5. Decorate using natural fruit and plant based paints, made by your students! Find Native American symbols for kids to paint.

Science Activity - Natural Paint
1. Materials: beets (careful they stain!), spinach or kale, red onion skins, berries, black walnuts, coffee grounds, tea, carrot skins, dandelions or marigolds (click here for more ideas)
2. Instructions: Boil until water has turned colored, let cool, and paint!
Below are sites with detailed instructions: 
Boiled - ehow
No boiling required - Weird Science Kids

1. Brown construction paper - Cut strips 1 to 1.5" thick, depending on preference.
2. Staple strips together at one end.
3. Decorate by stamping finger in paint for a beaded look. Then, let it dry.
4. Cut feather shape out of construction paper. Then, draw a line down the center of feather.
5. Cut fringe along the paper feather's edge.
6. Glue feathers along the inside of the top edge of the headband.
7. Fit on child's head, then staple the other two sides together.

Mini Tepee
Click here for instructions!

Miniature Bow and Arrow - Qtips and popsicle sticks
The Brooding Hen

Dream Catcher - Paper plate, lacing craft
Naturally Educational

Story Stones - Draw Native American symbols on stones and tell a unique story!

Traditional Native American Toys and Games
Native Tech - scroll down for traditional toys / games
Games - Native Americans_MrDonn and
Pass the Feather - The one with the feather speaks.

1. You can find lots of Native American stories on-line for kids. 
Example: Coyote Spills the Stars, click here for a fantastic book list.

2. Another great story is The Raven, which was also featured on Northern Exposure, Christmas episode. Click here to watch the video - awesome performance

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