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10/11/01 Question 18

Dear Visitors,
      I am looking for way's to introduce Native American Heritage Month in November to my daycare children. I will have children between the ages of 2-4 and would like to do some craft's (maybe one a week) and other fun things to teach them the different Heritage. I've tried finding some information online, but so far have had no luck. Any and all suggestions and idea's are welcomed.
Thanks in advance!
Looking 4 Culture

Dear Looking 4 Culture,
I am a member of the Cherokee nation and am a substitute teacher.  I am planning on explaining the culture to the children.  We are going to make paper baskets similar to those used by the Indians to welcome friends, neighbors.  The "giving baskets" will then be decorated a little each day until we have completed them. 
     You might also research the Cherokee nation and see what ideas you may find. 

Dear Looking 4 Culture,
I have always invited speakers from our local museums to come with visual aides and they speak on the was Native American s used Natural Resources.  Use the concept, How you Live Depends On Where you live. All age children know what resources they can find in their own yards, neighborhoods, towns, etc. The fees are usually very low and the children love to touch these things, furry, smooth, scratchy, etc. Just remember to keep the topic narrow enough for the ages of the children.
Betsy, PeeWee Playcare

Dear Looking 4 Culture,
Native American Heritage is a wonderful thing to explore with preschoolers!  Contacting a museum is a good idea. I would also encourage you to talk about and explore the Native American culture of today.  Contact a local tribal association.  I'm sure they'll be happy to give you more ideas and answer your questions.
More than a history lesson

Dear Looking 4 Culture,
I am the mother of a Native American 3 year old, and I have a degree in Ethnic Studies with an emphasis on American Indian Studies.  I would suggest introducing stories of different tribes, and letting children know that American Indians are not the typical stereotype you see on Western Movies.  Maybe somehow incorporate that into the lesson.  For example, at my daughters preschool they brought shares from home, and she brought a picture of herself in her Northern Traditional Gown.  She told the class she is Indian in her regalia, as well as her Old Navy or target clothes.
   There are lots of books out there that may help for art projects and possibly coincide with a story from that particular tribe.

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