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  • Marisa Ramsey

🏹 Smart Start Week 10

With Thanksgiving just days away, we are thinking about being thankful! Smart Start Week 10 was all about Native Americans. This week we spent time talking about Native American history and culture and celebrating their incredible generosity, wisdom and heritage.

Our letter of the week was Nn for Native Americans. We talked about how the word "name" begins with the letter Nn and that names are very important. Each child chose their own unique Native American name that represents their character and the things they love.

Meet Sparkling Star, Swinging Dog and Crawling Spider!

These are our friends Rainbow Snake, Rainbow Mermaid and Racing Canoe.

Circle Time became our "PowWow". We learned how Native Americans honor one another and treat each other with kindness and respect. We used a talking stick to practice listening to one another as we took turns sharing our stories. Here are some other Circle Time moments from this week...

In Creative Movement, we introduced our students to two Native American dances. We learned that Native Americans dance their greetings in what they call a "Friend Dance". This dance is to a 1 -2 beat and it is very happy and danced with a lot of bounce and energy!

We also learned about the "Grass Dance". When Native Americans would arrive at a new hunting ground, they would dance to flatten the grass before setting up their teepees. This dance is strong. We picked our legs up high and pressed, pushed and stomped the grass.

Once the grass was flat, we were ready to make camp.

By the end of the week, we were ready to try something really fun! We took each child's Native American name and created a movement to go with it. Once everyone's name had a movement, we put it together into a dance representing our whole class. The result was magical!

Native American art is very much connected to nature and to stories. Our art exploration reflected that this week. We worked with natural materials like wood, acorns and nuts to create these pieces featuring each child's first initial. We also created headdresses with our chosen Native American names. Again, these activities were connected to the idea that our names are very important. They are a part of our story.

We also told stories on our teepees. Using simple drawings, we told stories of our family and friends, trips we've taken, things we love, and things that scare us.

Sensory and Fine Motor Fun...

Next week, we will continue our Thanksgiving theme as settlers arrive in the New World. We will see you Monday!

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