First Nations People - "The Land"
"Always go back and visit the land, this creates
a bridge between cultures."
"Immersion in landscape and territory is key to understanding
who they were."
After the initial background learning and planning with the teachers
and the mentor teacher was completed, the 3 month project began with a
visit to the land. The teachers wanted the students to build a connection
to the land before the students began exploring the Blackfoot, Stoney
or T'Suu Tina.
Students from each of the schools went many times, during different seasons,
to spend time experiencing the land through their senses and feelings.
While visiting the land they spent time journaling and sketching bringing
back images to the classroom. They also took digital pictures of the land
that were to be used back in the classroom for reflective discussions
that were planned. The next day back in the classroom, with the help of
the mentor teacher, they shared their thoughts and feelings as a large
group. From this discussion, they wrote their own personal thoughts and
connections with the land and later they posted them to the website. (the
Land of the Blackfoot,
the Land of the Stoney,
the Land of the T'Suu Tina). It is important to realize that the students
experienced their own land and territory not knowing there were other
schools involved and making no connection to native people. Then with
the help of the mentor teacher and classroom teachers, they predicted
what they were about to read. They were surprised that their predictions
were not accurate and in some cases turned out to be the exact opposite.
Viewing and discussing each other's entries on the website, they starting
to look for similarities and differences in the discoveries that the students
had made from each of the schools. They
recorded and posted their thoughts. They were left with the thought
of why could three schools with different kids and different landscapes
feel so much the same. They began to wonder if it hand something to do
with the feeling of being connected to the land and that the land belonged
to them. They would investigate this further.
Copyright for student work remains with the authors.
All else copyright © 2002 Pam Irving, Lorraine Flavelle and Galileo
Educational Network Association