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Students Learn About Native American Culture

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By Katelyn Foley, Education Director, SVCA

The Sun Valley Center collaborated with Wood River Middle School teachers on a classroom enrichment project coinciding with the 6th-grade social studies classes’ Canadian unit. The students read Fatty Legs and began to learn about Canadian Native American tribes, prior to the onset of the enrichment program. The enrichment program supported learning by facilitating the opportunity for students to make a personal connection to an aspect the Native American culture, totem poles, and totem animals. Students developed a personal connection by researching spirit animals and totem animals found within Canadian, Native American tribes. Students then choose an animal based on the strengths they identify within themselves. The creation of masks provided the opportunity for them to engage and connect to aspects of specific Native American cultures by prompting them to use color, shape, form, and textures that are guided by Native American techniques. Finally, their masks were displayed as a part of a totem pole to conclude their learning surrounding totem poles and as a visual representation of the celebration of the classes’ individual differences.  

Classroom Enrichment projects are sponsored by Wendy and Alan Pesky.