After finishing our Ancient Greece unit, and taking our ‘fall break’ (while my parents were visiting), we continued our studies about Native Americans. We’ve studied the tribes from the Arctic, The Pacific Northwest, California, The Plateau and Great Basin, The Plains and now we were heading East in our studies. We have done so many fun projects, gone on “field trips” studying all these different cultures, we are all enjoying learning as we go.
I felt it was perfect timing, since Thanksgiving is coming up, and even though we always read about the First Thanksgiving and a little history about it, I think it would be good to study a little more in depth about how it came to be and that time in history. Especially, since this is a relatively new holiday to me, well, since I moved to the US. But in all these years, I have no excuse to not know more history, so now is a good time, of course. And I’d love to learn it with my kids.
So we headed East, to the Woodlands. Though I visited New York City and Washington DC when I was a teenager, I don’t remember much. It was a trip I took with 40+ other teenage exchange students from all over the world, and we were mostly happy to be hanging out together. We were there to get to know each other, listen each other’s stories and experiences speak our own language with those who did…. Not sure I paid much attention to what we were there to see. I did meet lots of other friends from other countries though!
But in that trip, I know, we didn’t see the Woodlands anyways. I imagine it being like the pictures of Maine, or Vermont you can find. Maybe it’s more like the Pacific Northwest, but with different trees, and maybe more flat.
I think all this is a good reason to plan a “Field Trip” to the East coast. Well? Not too bad of an idea I guess, since we headed north, to Vancouver, BC to see the amazing Museum at the University of Vancouver last spring break while studying the Pacific Northwest Native Tribes. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Go to a museum in New York or in Massachusetts and see replicas and learn more hands on than what we can do from over here? Now, that would be cool! Real life history of the Eastern Woodland Tribes. I’ll see if it’s even a possibility!
We looked at the website from the New York State Museum to see Iroquois Village photos and artifacts. It would be amazing to see in person. OK… I better let go of this idea of this “field trip”. But I guess if I keep calling it that (“field trip”) it sounds more educational and maybe a great (educational) reason to spend money on, than let’s say if I call it a “vacation”… right? We have friends living back East we haven’t seen in years, and my aunt… besides Lucas and Siena have never been there… not a bad “field trip” I’d say!
For now, we are excited to be reading stories, watching videos, learning, making, and playing from our home. We are using this book a lot. We’ve made a couple of dioramas.
I wrote about the dreamcatchers we made a little while back. That was a fun project! We also drew and talked about design, and how they used wampums to remember important dates and celebrations.
We also made bear claw necklaces. We read about the meaning of it, and looked at the different designs. I bought bear claw replicas (on ebay) made of resin, that look very real.
We drilled a hole with a hand drill and then put a leather piece. It was fun to think of the designs and how they each wanted to make them.
And each of them made them very differently.
We’ve done few more projects and we are still working on this unit, but for now I’ll go ahead and post this here. I’ll keep posting as we go and keep learning.
For now, here’s the list of books, videos, and CDs we’ve used for this unit, so far. While we continue to study I’ll add more to the bottom of the list. In no specific order:
We also started reading a chapter book to go along. The Birchbark House from Louis Erdrich.
I will continue to add the books we use, at the end of this list above, so we can have them available for another opportunity, but also for anybody who would like to use it.
If you know of more resources, or have done a study on the Eastern Woodland Native Americans maybe you can add them in the comments, so it can be available for everyone to use. Thanks and Happy Learning!