History, Culture, And Pride Of Native Americans Essay

History, Culture, And Pride Of Native Americans Essay

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All of the books chosen apply to our unit on Native Americans and thankfulness. Each book focuses on the history, culture, and pride of Native Americans. The main ideas represented in these books is to teach about who Native Americans were, all across America. They aim to show how they lived, interacted, and gave thanks. While some areas in the books focus on how Native Americans lived 400 years ago, there is also some focus on who they are today. The way that Native Americans across America use the land, resources, and create a sense of community has some similarities and some differences between tribes. These books illustrate that, and they use pictures and descriptions to demonstrate where the people are and how they are living. Some settings are in the forests and mountains, others are in the plains. The different lifestyles are illustrated so as to not associate all Native Americans as one people who lived and survived in the same region in the same ways. Another main idea is that of thankfulness. The Native Americans were very close to Mother Earth, and gave thanks for all that she bestowed upon them (whether that be food, shelter, or other resources). Their way of giving thanks that is shown in these books demonstrates how Thanksgiving relates to the unit. Each book supports each other, with some books focusing more on the culture while other books focus more on thankfulness.
We are using these books at the kindergarten level. They are age appropriate books, with vocabulary that is familiar to the students. Any vocabulary that the students struggle to understand can be addressed while reading the book, and the class can discuss the meaning using inferences from the text. The length of the books is appropriate as well, sinc...


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...rstanding of different cultures and how they have contributed to history. The themes of these books place a value on culture and thanksgiving, which can be seen in Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message at the beginning of the book. The author begins the story by explaining that “To be a human being is an honor, and we offer thanksgiving for all the gifts of life”(Swamp, 1995, p.1). The books use illustrations wonderfully, depicting the cultures as they really were, with the proper surroundings, clothing, shelters, and ways of providing for themselves (hunting, gathering, making shelters from trees or skins). These books are appropriate for introducing who the Native Americans were and are to kindergarteners, and will be beneficial in teaching them how to be kind to others no matter their background or way of living as well as what giving thanks means.

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