We began our project with a great ‘Tree of Life’ kit from Surrey Schools Aboriginal Dept. The kit includes CDs and DVDs as well as books and information on Cedar, Totem Poles and Northwest Native Art. An excellent resource, delivered right to your Surrey school. We also discussed A Journey into Time Immemorial: The Importance of Cedar.
Students added some of the many uses of cedar to a circular tree and coloured a totem for the top.
The cigar boxes came from a Vancouver tobacconist, I paid $20 CAD (cash deal) for 30. Some of the boxes had lots of glossy labels that had to be scraped off before painting. We added Mod Podge to the top surface to seal the picture and add a slight gloss. Students are proud to display their work and excited to take them home. Each time they open the box there will be a little reminder of the importance of the cedar tree to the First Nations peoples.
In her book Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox, author Danielle Daniel explains the importance of totem animals in Anishinaabe culture and how they can act as animal guides for children seeking to understand themselves and others.
This little book is great resource for exploring SEL. We made connections using Coast Salish designs for our follow-up activity and students made the link between the animals, the text and identifying their own varying emotions, strengths and feelings.
Gr. 3 discussions and art took two 40 minute periods inc. book exchanges.
After exploring Coast Salish mask art, students used their own creativity to complete the activity. We also took the opportunity to use ‘fancy frames’ to offer students a little recognition. Remaining masks were displayed in the hall.
Figuring out a building plan
Vanier students are Makers. After creating designs last week, students came up with a construction plan and worked cooperatively to build their own interpretations of the Eiffel Tower. They figured out that communication is the most important thing when working together.
We had fun in the Learning Commons playing Musical Cushions. Students circled the books until the music stopped and then read the picture book. We practised looking at the details in the illustrations and worked on remembering how to turn the pages carefully so that the book does not get damaged.
Grade 4 classes used Doodle Buddy App to begin our design plans for our giant Eiffel Towers, the 5/6 classes continued with their Mighty Girl projects and the 4/5 class began looking at all of the fantastic ways that First Nations Peoples used Cedar: The Tree of Life. Continue reading
At Georges Vanier we are very proud of our growing collection of resources that feature First Nations stories, themes and topics.
Check out a few of our popular titles here.
The Learning Commons has recently hosted three workshops on Aboriginal culture. Students learned about Aboriginal Art, Trading and Storytelling. Students blogged their responses to the workshops and shared their learning on-line.
Students enjoying Aboriginal stories
Students learned some of the difficulties in trading beads without a common language.