Thursday, March 18, 2010

Meet the Navajo

I'm teaching a Native American class for our monthly activity day group. Each month I mention it during a Weekly Wrap Up, but I've yet to document the class. I finally thought ahead enough this month to do take the camera (although I failed to take good photos of the FINISHED projects). Each child has picked their own Native American name, and those will be used here.

I'd love to take credit for all this creativity, but I can't. I'm using the Evan-Moor Native American History Pockets as the basis for the class, so all of the credit goes to the folks at Evan-Moor. Below is an example of the cover of the history pocket. This particular one is provided courtesy of "Roaring Bear".

We made faux silver and turquoise necklaces. I colored pasta for the turquoise. To color the pasta place 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol in a ziploc baggie. Mix in food coloring until you reach the desired shade is achieved (we were trying to make turquoise, but didn't turn out as I'd planned). Pour in the pasta and mix well, coating all pieces. Repeat steps as necessary to get the desired amount of pasta. Place pasta on a cookie sheet, wax paper or paper towels to dry for roughly 30 minutes (I did this step prior to the class).

For the medallion, I used thin cardboard, covered in aluminum foil (dull side showing), and lots of tape to secure the back. Then I used a hole punch to place holes for the twine to go through. The kids traced a design onto the foil with a dull pencil, to give the impression of metal engraving. Below is a finished necklace being modeled by our lovely "Lily White Deer". And yeah, I'm a doofus and didn't take a single photo from the front of the necklaces.

We also made cute miniature Navajo rugs. I had the kids color the designs in very bold colors; leaving lots of white along the sides. Then we used watercolor paints to add a color wash, and then finalized by gluing it onto heavy black cardstock and cutting "fringes" on the ends of each rug.

Here is a shot of the entire group. From the left we have "Roaring Bear", "Running Panther", myself, "Lily White Deer", "Girl with No Name" and "Wise Owl'. If you'll notice, on the table by "Wise Owl" is a finished necklace. Notice how rich the color is on the pasta once it dried. Unfortunately, our friend "Swift Hawk" was not in class on the day I finally remembered the camera.

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