First Peoples of the Americas/Explorers

Circle of the Forest

2015-2016, Kindergarten

Kicking off with a native story about courage, perseverance, and wisdom, Kindergarteners immersed themselves in the Seneca culture through the lens of “Circle in the Forest,” a story about a boy who faces fears in order to be able to hunt with his father. Using this story as well as other experts, students learned about the art of storytelling and its importance to the Seneca culture. In addition, Kindergarteners learned about the characters in this story while exploring the jobs they had in the Seneca village and the importance of having gratitude for the Natural World. Exhibition Night showcased their learning through a live performance of “Circle in the Forest,” as well as musical and movement compositions inspired by the characters in the story. Students had the opportunity to be storytellers as they share other native stories from long ago.

If These Walls Could Talk

2017-2018, Third Grade

What is culture? What is my culture? How does my culture compare to those that thrived on this land long ago? 3rd graders examined these questions as they investigated the culture of their classroom and the ancient cultures of native North Americans. They read and recounted the stories that Natives told to describe their world, teach their young and communicate how their land and resources shaped their societies. Students explored the Native American exhibits at the RMSC, built models of Native American dwellings, and learned how to be engaging museum docents. Students created their own artifacts, songs and dances that celebrate the diverse cultures of North America. For exhibition night they served as museum docents in the Native Peoples of the Americas exhibit at the Rochester Museum and Science Center.

Maps Tell a Story

2017-2018, Fourth Grade

Maps are an important part of our human experience. We can use them to show where we have been. Maps can be used to plan out trips to the places we still want to go. The features of a map let us know what to expect from the places we have never been, or how far we will have to travel. Fourth grade students explored how maps can help tell the story of the people who have lived here before and continue to tell the story of the people who live here now. By studying the locations and environments of early Native Americans, European explorers and colonists, students found points where they intersected. Through multiple perspectives students came to understand the conflict that can arise when two different cultures meet.

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