Monday, December 5, 2011

Native American Homes

The Teepee
On our final week of studying the Native Americans of North America we divided the kids into three teams and assigned each team with the task of building a miniature Indian home.  Each team had to make a different type of structure so we put some options in a hat and let them pick.

We gave the kids scraps of fabric, modeling clay, toilet paper rolls and a bucket with scissors and glue sticks and left them alone to build.  They were allowed to go outside to find any other supplies they might need to complete their homes but nothing else from inside could be used.

The Longhouse
This turned out to be a lesson on our current unit of attentiveness and so much more.  I was really pleased to see how resourceful the kids were which reinforced a unit we worked on last year.  Cooperation was the very first unit we ever studied as a co-op more than two years ago and I could still see how much they remembered from that unit.  They worked so well together with absolutely no arguments and their joy was evident in all they did.  Not one child tried to "get away" from the activity and all focused diligently on their projects.

The Adobe
This could have been due to the fact that the moms left the work area and went into the kitchen to do our own lesson planning as soon as the initial instructions were given.  There is just something so beneficial about kids being able to work on an interesting project without having a teacher looking over their shoulder every few minutes to see if they are doing it "right."

There was a mess to be sure.  But the clean up time is SO worth the investment!  And to top it off the kids were very good about cleaning up after themselves.  WOW! This day was a picture for me that showed how much our kids have matured and learned in the last couple years.  It will go down in history as one of my favorite co-op days.