Tuesday, 1 April 2014

What have we been learning at school?

A glimpse of what the older kids have been working on during the last term.  We study the basics each morning and then add a unit study to bring our learning to life and make it a bit more interesting.  For our unit study we have been reading the "Sign of the Beaver" and studying various topics brought up in the story around aboriginal people and their culture.  We are also using Northwood Presses - Native curriculum here  We also included some aboriginal hobbies/art for our art class and some cooking.

The "Sign of the beaver" tells a story of a 12 year old boy Matt James Hallowell, and his father, who, as early settlers, together build a log cabin in the wilderness of the 18th century North America.  Matt is left alone to guard the cabin while his father heads back east to collect his mother and sister.  Alone, Matt has to work together with native Americans.

In the story the characters hunted and gathered their own foods so we researched ways of hunting, snaring and fishing to gather food.  We all tried making snares for catching small game.  We also researched edible plants and went into the forest and identified them.

For cooking we made some "Johnny Cake" which is a type of cornbread.  Most of us found it to be very dry and bland.

We read about a bee attack in the novel and researched remedies that the aboriginal people used for a variety of alignments including healing bee stings.

We studied kayaks and learned that the Inuits were the first to invent them, when they invented them, what they were made of, etc.  We also learned that the Europeans kidnapped the Inuit and had them make kayaks for them based on the Inuit sketches.

For the art aspect of our studying we did some soap carving with guidance from the book  Soap Carving for Children This book teaches how to make carving tools out of popsicle sticks and then teaches how to carve using bars of soap.  We also made moccasins from kits that we purchased from here

We studied the homes of aboriginal people and made models of plank houses and demonstrated the different parts of the house.

For our final project/report each child chose an aboriginal band to study, report on and present to our family and friends.  Each child was given free rein on how they wanted to present their research one did a power point presentation and 2 did poster board presentations along with an oral presentation.

A field trip to the Provincial Museum finished up this terms studies in the First Peoples Gallery.  The museum has a handout with questions that can be answered from information presented in the displays which was a great encouragement for the children to read and learn from the displays.

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1 comment:

  1. I'm stopping by from Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. We read Sign of the Beaver a few years ago. I love your ideas to go along with it!