Homeschooling, Katie Grace, third grade

Katie Grace’s Main Lesson: Native American Stories

I must admit, I’m totally unprepared for this lesson. This month has been a very difficult one, and I haven’t had the time to dedicate to researching the lesson that I usually would. We’re definitely flying by the seat of our pants!

On the Homeschooling Waldorf yahoo group— which I highly recommend, there are some great conversations going on there right now– I asked for and received the following recommendations:
The National Museum of the American Indian website
The Keepers of the Earth series by Michael Caduto
Books by Joseph Bruchac (and we actually own 13 Moons on Turtle’s Back, so yay!)
Paintings by George Catlin and Edward Curtis
On the Trail Made of Dawn by M.L. Webster
Niwechihaw I Help by Caitlin Dale Nicholson
Bonnie Shemie’s Native Housebuilding books

Unfortunately, I only allotted October for this unit and I don’t really have time to get these. Those Bonnie Shemie books look awesome though!

So, what we’re doing…

We start out by reading one biography in We Are the Many : A picture book of American Indians. I checked out several books in the Native American Crafts series by Judith Hoffman Corwin, and we’re working slowly through it. While Katie Grace works on the crafts, I tell her stories and legends from the tribe we’re learning about.

So far, we learned about the Pomo tribe while Katie Grace decorated a basket and learned how Coyote made the moon and sun.

Later, she rewrote the story in her own words and also used a Pomo poem for copywork.

We also learned about the Ute people. Katie Grace decorated her own Ute miniature horse, complete with rainbow felt saddle blanket. The Buffalo Hunting Porcupine is a great story. She’s also been working at our Brio loom.
Today, we started learning about Native Americans from the Great Plains. She began a pinch pot from air hardening clay– forgot to take a picture, sorry!– and will paint it tomorrow.

I do feel badly that I wasn’t more mindful when planning this unit. It’s certainly a topic that’s worthy of my attention. Ah well. I’ll be more prepared next time, and maybe we can come back to it later this year. I try to focus on Native Americans in Pennsylvania when we do our state study in fourth grade, so I’ll have a chance next year as well.

2 thoughts on “Katie Grace’s Main Lesson: Native American Stories”

  1. As long as you give the basics and don't perpetuate the stereotypes and myths, you're ahead of many schools.

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