Aboriginal Perspectives


Calendars and Thermometers

Jessica Wesaquate

Subject Area:



Shape and Space (Measurement)

Grade Level:



Main Objective:

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

General Outcome:

Estimate, measure and compare, using standard units for length and primarily nonstandard units for other measures.

Specific Outcomes:

  1. Read the date on a calendar.

  2. Use a thermometer to determine rising and falling temperatures.


Activity One:
Calendar (Idea: A Proud Generation Calendar or calendar with culturally relevant pictures

Activity Two:
Kettle, peppermint tea, Rosella Carney – Birch Bark Biting

Activity/lesson Ideas:

  1. Use a calendar from this activity. It would be a good opportunity to use “A Proud Generation Calendar” that profiles Aboriginal role models in the Regina community. You could also use a calendar that features things like Aboriginal regalia, or West Coast art.

    What day of the week does each fall upon?

    • The 21st day of June (National Aboriginal Day)

    • The 11th day of June (National Apology to Residential School survivors)

    What is the date of each?

    • The 2nd Wednesday in July

    • The 3rd Thursday in January

    What seasons do the above dates fall in? Take a look at how traditional First Nations roles differed from season to season. In the winter they told oral stories and in the summer they were busy getting prepared for the cold winter season.

  2. There are many First Nations medicines. Some of these medicines are used in tea. One of the teas that First Nations people would use was a peppermint tea. Slightly boil some water and put a peppermint tea bag inside. Teach students about the way First Nations people would traditionally use Mother Nature’s gifts to cure ailments.

    Use a thermometer to see the change in temperature as a glass of warm tea cools. Have students take estimates on how long they think it will take for the water to reach 30 degrees Celsius.

    Watch Rosella Carney’s video on birch bark biting. She has to go into the bush to get the birch bark for the art she practices. Similar, elders often go into the bush to locate the medicines they are trying to obtain.