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Monday, October 24, 2011

Great Native American Learning Site

Here are some more great free sites for to check out. These are courtesy of Diane Flynn Keith for Click Schooling

With Thanksgiving coming now would be a great time to begin studies gearing about our history and country. Where to begin, how about the natives of this country, after all they were the first to discover America being the resident already here in this country. (something many often forget.)

Native American Learning

Age Range: 7-18 (with parental supervision; young students may enjoy looking at the photographs in this collection)

This website, brought to you by the Smithsonian, "presents an array of breathtaking and culturally significant objects made by Native peoples throughout the Western Hemisphere." The point of this interactive presentation is to increase appreciation for the beauty with which Native peoples have always had a natural desire to surround themselves.

When you enter the site, you will see a menu of ten photographs. Each photo leads to a virtual display case full of objects. The cases available are:

*Nurturing Identity - clothing

*Containing Culture - bags for holding things

*Recreation and Pastimes - objects used for games

*Design as Identity - traditional/indigenous designs and the incorporation of new materials and art forms

*Elegance of Presentation - adornment

*Power of Transformation - masks

*Tools of Existence - knives, arrows, tools, tool cases, bowls, etc.

*Communication Through Sound - musical instruments

*Expressions of Movement - dancewear
 *Honor and Respect - items designating individuals of importance

Once you have chosen a virtual display case, you can opt to navigate the site as a slideshow. Notice that in the upper right corner of the screen you can click on the arrows to move from case to case for a quick overview. You can also click on any object within a case to explore it.

While viewing an individual object you will see some information about it displayed, as well as one or more of the following:

•Map - where the object was created and used

•Related - photos of people actually using the item

•Activity - something to try (it's best to read all about the object first before attempting this)

Once you have finished exploring all of the objects in a case, such as "Design as Identity" for example, try your hand at its main activity, which in this instance would be the identification of individual objects as "Indigenous," "Mixed" (incorporating elements from other cultures), or "New." This is a great way to see how well you have retained what you have learned by viewing this exhibit.

Happy Schooling!

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