Aboriginal Perspectives


Positional Language

Jessica Wesaquate

Subject Area:



Shape and Space

Grade Level:



Main Objective:

Students will perform, analyze and create transformations.

General Outcome:

Apply positional language, orally and in writing to communicate motion.

Specific Outcomes:

Communicate and apply positional language in oral, written or numerical form.


A screen, some birch bark biting samples, geoboard, elastics, paper, and pencils

Activity/lesson Ideas:

  1. The first step is to put up a screen between two students. Give one student a birch bark-biting picture. Give the other student a piece of paper and a pencil. The student with the birch bark biting has to give his or her partner the directions necessary to reproduce the design. The objective is to use as few directions as possible. Students can do a comparison to see how they did. Did the students giving directions do a good job?

  2. Have students watch the tipi raising videos from the Glen Anaquod section or Tim Haywahe section. Take a look at the shapes found within the tipi:
    • The base is a circle.
    • The sides are made up of triangles.
    • As the canvas is laid out, it looks like a semicircle.
    • The finished outcome of a tipi is a cone.

    Put up a screen between two students. One student will be given a geoboard and elastics. The other student will get a slip of paper with one of the shapes written on it that comes from the tipi. The student will be in charge of describing the shape and the other student will try to reproduce that shape on the geoboard using those directions.

  3. Watch any one of the tipi raising videos from the Glen Anaquod or Tim Haywahe section. Watch it one or two times. Have students turn to a partner and see how well they can re-explain what was said in the video. Watch the video again. What details did they catch and what details did they miss? Have students choose another partner and do the same thing. Did they do better the second time? Remember to switch roles between the partners.