Animal Symbols (Gr 3-6)
Aboriginal Teaching Component
Older students read the animal descriptions (k-2) or (Gr3-6) and choose their symbolic animal they identify with the most for its qualities/characteristics. Older students can write an essay or share in class or group reasons for their choice. See below for more ideas.*
For younger students not yet reading, teacher can use projector to display animal images (click here). Students can paint or draw a picture of the animal they identify with demonstrating the action or value of the symbol. ie bravery. Students can also color images of totem animals.
First Nations teaching and discussion. click here for lesson
Bead activity – students make their beaded pendant project. For DIY Kits, Click here for instructions For older students, complexity can be incorporated with color theory (ie students incorporate eg analogous colors, cool/warm, etc.
Homework. Students take their jewelry project home along with animal descriptions and have parents input and discussion with child.
*Alternative Lesson Plans:
- What kind of symbolic animal qualities the student values or possesses or aspires to.
- How these qualities be applied to their life now and in the future.
- How these qualities can be applied to his/her school studies
- or, what can we learn from eg the “hummingbird”?
use a Talking Circle to engage in ‘Storytelling’ where students can create their own ‘stories’ or legends about the symbolic animals. http://firstnationspedagogy.ca/circletalks.html
May also use Talking Circle to communicate a time when student demonstrated quality/value in his/her life.
Music and drama can be combined as well to tell stories and connect with teachings.
Memory game where the characteristics of symbolic animals are to be corresponded with the particular animal
Activity whereby they identify in their peers some of the characteristics/qualities of the animals
The above can also tie in with First Nations Principles of Learning and the values these bring to the success of the classroom