For the past month, the preschoolers have been learning about Indigenous Peoples or Native Americans in the classroom. It is very important that we teach this unit accurately and with respect to the culture of Native Peoples. The teachers started with their own research and found that the book Lessons from Turtle Island by Guy W. Jones and Sally Moomaw was an extremely valuable resource. This book is an Own Voices book and shared some important concepts to keep in mind. Namely, that the Native American culture should be taught within the context of other cultures and ideas and not totally in isolation; that students should learn about the current culture of Native Americans and not just the past; and that we should focus more on similarities than differences. With this in mind, take a look at some of the activities that the preschoolers did throughout this school wide unit.
We had a camping dramatic play area which was one of the ideas suggested in the Lessons from Turtle Island. Some other fun ideas were to have a shoe store or a pet clinic.
We watched videos of current day Native Americans showing dancing, drums, and other current day events. Then we got to play the drums in Music.
We read a lot of books that showed current day Native Americans both celebrating their culture and doing everyday things.
At the same time we also got to learn about Lunar New Year!
We finished our thematic unit by writing about what we had learned about Indigenous Peoples. It was a great chance to see what information our preschoolers had absorbed and the connections that they had made.
We hope that you enjoyed this look into how the preschoolers learned about this school wide theme. It is our hope to keep learning and putting into place best practices to teach about cultures in a thoughtful and respectful way.