For world book day 2018, Athena School welcomed a Native American experience into school. A traditional Native American family, Alan and his wife and daughter, joined us and demonstrated to the children lots of traditional Native American clothing, stories and dancing. Native America has been an interesting topic for the children due to the importance of storytelling in the Native American culture.
Each class had a slightly different experience; some were able to wear the traditional clothes and hear the stories behind it – A real, preserved wolf skin was worn and used as a game for Native American children to play, as well as us all being able to see how feathers were used in headdresses and clothing, and how all parts of animals are used when creating Native attire. We learned that women who wear their hair in two plaits are traditionally unmarried, and only allowed to wear their feathers either side of their head, whilst a married woman would wear her hair in a single plait and only able to wear their feather at the back.
Alan was full of exciting and interesting stories, which allowed the children to understand and appreciate the cultural differences that are involved in being a Native American. The year ten class heard a story about how an eagle feather is traditionally caught by climbing a mountain and plucking the feather from it by hand!
The children were able to watch and join in with traditional Native American dancing and singing, using hand-made instruments which they thoroughly enjoyed. We learned that in a traditional dance each person would be encouraged to add their own dance move to make it personal to them.
After a week of learning about the Native Americans through story-telling and writing, as well as a number of crafts, involving making mini tipis and our own feather and bead headdresses, the children were thoroughly enjoying the topic and truly engaged with Alan and his family, making the day truly delightful for all students and staff involved.