Aboriginal Perspectives

 

Mother Earth

Jessica Wesaquate

Grade 1:

Math

Related Video:

Any of the tipi raising clips with Glen Anaquo

Concepts:

Identity, self, groups, similarities, differences, cooperation

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to say the numbers 2 to 20, starting at zero.
  • Students will be able to pictorially represent numerals using manipulatives.
  • Students will be able to discover mathematics in their natural environment.
  • Students will be able to classify the items they find in their environment.

Materials:

Jen and the Great One (or other piece of literature that shares importance of earth), recyclable items, litter, plastic gloves, plastic/environmental bags, camera.

Set(introductory) activity:

Read students the book ‘Jen and the Great One.’ You can do a prediction activity before reading the book to see what students think the book might be about. Have them make predictions based on the title and the picture. Check your predictions at the end of the book. Discuss the topic of the book. You can share with the students that after today’s math activity they will be practicing what they learned from the book.

Activity:

  1. Explain to students that as a class you will be going on an adventure on the playground (option: around the community if you have extra adults). The objective of the adventure is to collect items that have been littered. Share with the students that they are to put these items into a plastic bag/environmental bag. To reduce amount of bags, have students work in partners/trios/small groups. Each student should get a pair of gloves to wear to avoid germs.

    Note: Talk to students about appropriate items to pick up. Remind them that it is not safe to pick up needles, cigarette butts, or anything that looks dangerous. Brainstorm safe items to pick up: food wrappers, bottles, paper, etc.

  2. Find an open place/field for the next part of the activity. Have students sit in their partner groups or small groups. Give each group a number – anywhere from 1 to 10. Have them use the items they found to pictorially represent the numeral you have given them. Once they have done this you can have groups join other groups to make 2-digit numbers out of their original numerals. Once students have done this, let them walk around and explore how other groups represented numerals with their objects.

  3. Take photographs of these different creations. These pictures can later be printed larger and used for posters in the classroom versus the typical number posters.

  4. In a row, have the class work together to make numbers 2, 4, 6, 8, 10…all the way to twenty using these littered items they have found. Once this step is completed line up horizontally with a student starting at 2. Have them hop to each number skip counting in their head as they go.

  5. With the items all laid on the ground, distribute them evenly among the students. Have them work in partners or small groups again. Have them classify the items by characteristics. Limit the classification groups to 2 or 3. Walk around to each group and take anecdotal notes on the types conversations that the children are having, as well as to record how they chose to classify the items and the rationale behind them. Let each group share their thoughts with the rest of the class and compare and contrast their classifications.

  6. Put all the items the class has found into a big pile. Designate a few of the students’ bags to hold items that can be recycled and a few for items that need to go to the trash. Recycle what needs to be and dispose of those items that cannot be.

  7. Take time to debrief the activity through a talking circle outside.

  8. Show students one of the tipi raising videos with Glen Anaquod. The students in the video are learning how to put up a tipi outside. Have students compare and contrast this activity with the tipi raising (ways of learning, environment, etc.)
    Aboriginal Content: Traditional ways of learning include working in an outdoor environment and using what is available in our environments. Just by taking your students outside to participate in this activity is putting into practice an Aboriginal way of teaching and learning.
Aboriginal Content:

Traditional ways of learning include working in an outdoor environment and using what is available in our environments. Just by taking your students outside to participate in this activity is putting into practice an Aboriginal way of teaching and learning.

Additional Resources:
  • Take time to discuss special days or events where groups celebrate their culture (National Aboriginal Day, Louis Riel Day, etc.)

  • Compare your class to an Aboriginal class in Northern Saskatchewan (language programs, cultural activities, etc.)

  • Read Aboriginal literature to your students that demonstrates cooperative behaviors.