This is a photo record of the fun we had doing our favorite Konos unit for the year (2001-2002) when the kids were 3 and 5 – when we co-oped with Kelly’s family. You can see that we had a blast. This is when we really started digging in and doing the full Konos schedule (towards the end of the school year) the way it should be done. Kelly was a big help in getting me to give up the shallow end of planning, and teaching me to dive in and really get to the meat of learning – more hands on stuff! This was one of our favorite all-time units. We spent four weeks on it, and culminated in a fabulous Indian Feast where we ate buffalo burgers, and other Indian-type foods. Our relatives were impressed with the kids’ oral reports, the artifact museum we set up displaying their crafts, the foods we made, and how much the kids had learned. The kids hardly knew they were having school – they were just enjoying having a good time!
Hi Sprittibee…just wanted to stop in and say…WOW! Your school sounds like a lot of fun! This is similar to how we school, and we love it!
Congrats on your house, too! You are going to be busy!
Just wanted to thank you for posting this! we wil be starting our indian unit with Konos in a couple of months and this has gotten me so excitd about all the fun we will have!
BTW I really enjoy your blog:)
Thanks Holly and Jen. Enjoy your schooling!!!
Terry in Alberta says
Great pictures – You have quite inspired me to do more hands on this year….
Pass the Torch says
This is SO COOL!! Oh my gosh!
I came across your page. I am Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) and was unhappy to see replicas of sacred False Face masks. Our Grand Council has issued a public statement as to the public display of these items. I teach in an Indian Education program in a local school district. I try to teach our children to be respectfull. There are certainly many other projects that would help your children learn about Native people and still show respect. Nyaweh for reading this comment.
Marky – I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but we are from a totally different viewpoint on this. Sadly, I’m not sure we can see eye to eye. I taught my children about the Iroquois beliefs, way of life, and religion. To do so, we had to cover the false face masks. It is part of your culture. We try and learn everything we can about others so we can understand them and not look down on them or fear them. The art we do is the same as what they would do if they drew a butterfly or worm they found in nature. We draw and paint and craft things to interact with it and understand it better. The hands-on activities help us grasp the concepts and remember them. They are not meant to be disrespectful towards anyone.
Hello. I am an Onondaga (one of the six nations of the Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois Confederacy) and I, too was at first upset upon seeing a crafted version of our sacred ceremonial masks. I understand that no offense was intended, and appreciate the value in teaching your children about other cultures and ways of life. However, this facsimile is, to my people, somewhat akin to someone who knows nothing of Christianity using a crucifix as a frisbee or plaything. Even if it is done innocently and with no harmful intention, it still may cause hurt to people who love Christ and His teachings. My intent in posting this comment is not to attack you, but simply to lend a hand in furthering a deeper understanding of the Iroquois and hoping to enrich a sense of mutual empathy. Best wishes to you and your family. Nyaweh (Thank you)
Debbie Reese says
Seeing all that you do, Sprittbee, makes me dizzy. Like two of the others who commented, I am Native. I’m enrolled at Nambe, one of the pueblos in northern New Mexico.
I’m also a former elementary school teacher, currently teaching as a professor in American Indian Studies.
I’m very troubled by what you’ve done. I know you mean well, and I know you have good intentions, but I urge you to revisit what you’re doing.
I know you mean well!
But please listen to the Iroquois people who are talking to you with great diplomacy, asking you not to do this.
You’re Christian. Maybe an analogy will help? I’d never have an arts activity by which the children would make a chalice using glitter and styrofoam. That’s sacrilegious and disrespectful.
I teach at a university. My students typically express dismay at the ways they were taught to do things like this in school and extracurricular activities. Some are angry. Some don’t know what to do with their anger. It was, after all, people who loved them that taught them…
Debbie – A chalice is a cup. I do not believe that a cup or cross created in Styrofoam and decorated with glitter to enforce a symbol or lesson is a bad thing – even if it is created by someone who does not worship the same God or the same way that I do. Hands-on learning is to forge pathways in the brain using the senses. It is to help create memories that last – that link to data which would otherwise be lost. It is never meant to be disrespectful as that is something we teach AGAINST since our curriculum is moral/virtue based. We respect and honor and pray for Iroquois and all people – no matter how different they are. I would think it would honor an Iroquois that a Christian mom would take the time out of her busy scope and sequence to linger on their culture long enough to do an arts and crafts project.
Amanda Mercurio says
I would love to know how you made your False Face mask. I need to make two for a short film I am doing the production design for, and trying to avoid papier mache since the masks need to be identical.
Thanks in advance for your reply!
I do believe it was papier mache. Sorry!