Aboriginal Perspectives


Number Concepts

Jessica Wesaquate


Number (Number concepts)

Grade Level:


Related Video:

Rosella Carney Video 1: Birch Bark Biting (activity 3)


Main Objectives:

Students will use numbers to describe quantities and represent numbers in multiple ways.

General Outcome:

Describe, orally and compare quantities from 0 to 10, using number words in daily experiences.

Specific Outcomes:

Explore the representation of single-digit numerals, using a calculator or a computer to represent numerals on a screen.


Calculator set for the class

  1. Talk about the significance of the number four to First Nations culture. The number four is unique to the First Nations culture because First Nations people see everything in the cycle of four. For example we have four seasons, ask students what these four seasons are. We have four stages of life – infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. There are four directions of life – north, south, west and east. We have four types of life on earth – the four-leggeds, two-leggeds, winged ones and water life. Have students discuss what else in life comes in four. Once you have taken some time to discuss the significance of number four have them grab a calculator. Ask them to show you the number that matches the number that is important to First Nations peoples.

  2. One of the numbers that is sacred to the Cherokee Indians is the number seven. They have seven ancient ceremonies. These ceremonies are what created the Cherokee yearly religious cycle. If you take a look at the flag of the Cherokee Nation they have seven yellow stars on it. Click here to link to a picture of the flag. It might be a good idea to print off some copies. Have students count the yellow stars and show you on their calculator the number that matches the number of yellow starts on the Cherokee flag.

  3. Print off birch bark biting sample on our website of the eight girls dancing (to see how Rosella Carney made this biting, watch video 1). Have students count how many girls are on the birch bark biting. Tell them to show you on their calculator the number that matches the number of girls on the birch bark biting.


Asessment Option:

You can have students type the answer to the questions you ask them onto a blank document page along with their name.