Aboriginal Perspectives



Jessica Wesaquate


Shape and Space (Measurement)

Grade Level:


Subject Area:



Main Objective:

Students will describe and compare everyday phenomena, using either direct or indirect measurement.

General Outcome:

Demonstrate awareness of measurement.

Specific Outcomes:
  1. Use the words heavier or lighter, to talk about the mass (weight of two objects).

  2. Use the terms long time or short time, to talk about the duration of events.

  3. Use words like hot, hotter; cold, colder; warm, warmer; cool, cooler to talk about temperature.


Still images of Cassandra Opikokew found on our website, any type of shoes, moccasins, math journals or notebooks, containers, water

  1. Show students pictures of Aboriginal journalist Cassandra Opikokew. You can show them on a projector or in print. Explain to students that she works with video cameras as part of her profession. Show them a picture of Cassandra holding the camera and a picture of her holding onto the camera on the stand. Have students tell you which camera they think would be heavier to use and which one would be lighter to us – in her arms or on the stand.

    Bring it into practice in the classroom. Have students compare the weight of a regular shoe and a moccasin. Have them find out which is heavier/lighter.

    You can talk about the concept of heavier and lighter using pictures on this shoe website as well. It has pictures of all sorts of shoes coming from different cultural groups. Click here.

  2. Tell students that journalists have to be quick! When there is a news story they have to report on they need to get there as soon as possible.

    Have students look at the following modes of transportation and tell you which event would take more time:

    -Taking the bus or walking

    -Running or driving in a car

    For Aboriginal content you could look at the following types of transportation and compare their speeds: the red river cart (used by the Métis) and the horse (introduced to Indigenous people by the Europeans)

  3. Talk about types of drinks with varying temperatures. For examples slurpees, coffee, etc. Look at what drinks are healthy and those that are not. Look at modern society versus traditional First Nations societies. First Nations tribes would seek water from lakes and streams nearby where they were situated. Traditional First Nations tribes were much more healthier because they drank water as a primary way to quench their thirsts. When they needed to boil water they would use the sun.

    Set up two container filled with water. Teacher preparation: fill one with cold water and one with just room temperature water. Have students dip their hands in the water and determine which one is colder.

    Teach students about the buffalo hunt that the Métis and First Nations people would go on in the 1800s. Usually the men would hunt the buffalo and the women would stay back and watch the children and get chores like tanning a buffalo hide done. The buffalo hunt took a lot of physical exertion as men would run on horses and shoot the buffalo. Ask the students if they think a man’s forehead would be warmer before the buffalo hunt of after the buffalo hunt.

Communication – Students will be using mathematics language.