Sunday, March 6, 2011

Weekly Wrapup- Feb 28- March 4

This week has flown by but at the same time lasted forever! Not sure how that happens but we managed to accomplish both!
Our studies this week had us learning about the Narragansett Native Americans. This is the tribe that is the most local to us so I really wanted to get as close to home as humanly possible. My main sources of information were turning up very little concerning this tribe and most of what I found was very similar to the other tribes in this area. Of course that's not uncommon because these people lived off the land and the seasons, so it makes a lot of sense for there to be similarities. We learned that the Narragansett lived in both Longhouses and Wigwams, and were masterful weavers and story-tellers. Although I found enough facts to cover a few days worth of lessons there was nothing truly outstanding that I could find in my research. I was very excited to find that the local tribe offered a cultural museum for the pursuit of knowledge. So on Thursday we went. It was off the beaten path and such a beautiful drive. You truly felt as though you should just be silent and take in the beauty of the land. While the physical appearance of the Museum resembled more like an older house, the wealth of information and artifacts inside was truly a sight to behold.

Our guide (who opened and closed the museum as we came and left) was a delightful woman and was full of facts and pride as she showed us around. She pointed out officials that were her immediate family, showed us a video of a council ceremony, and dispelled much of my "research" explaining that many things written about the Narragansett were not from factual sources. For instance one website I happened upon claimed the tribal language was extinct, but here I sat listening to her name off items to Jakob in a language I could not comprehend and watched the video of the ceremony in the same tongue. She amazed us by showing us actual stone tools used to fashion small beads out of shells and bones, and spoke passionately about the love of her people and the desire make sure that others understood that they were still there, still surviving, and still very proud of their land and heritage.

As we left she gave us such a wonderful gift, a few writings from tribal leaders for me to read, and a DVD of a traditional Narragansett story animated by the students of the Narragansett tribe. When we sat down to watch it, I saw the excitement in Jakob's eyes as he recognized some of the names of the animals that she had translated for us, and how beautiful the music was. It was the perfect culmination to our lesson this week as this story brought together many of the facts that we had covered. It was truly a blessing and a humbling experience.

Along with our stories and trips, Jakob wove a belt, and we ate succotash (a meal derived of the "Three Sisters"- Corn, beans, and squash) and Jakob helped to make cornmeal cakes. He got a little creative and made a Mickey Mouse shaped one as well.
Belts were generally strung with beads in special designs to commemorate the wearer in some fashion. Jakob's is made of twine and yarn. I got the idea from Family Fun
He's so funny sometimes how he chooses to hold things. I had to remind him that he could in fact put the bowl down.

Wed was Dr. Seuss' Birthday and I had not really planned to do much other than read a few Seuss books, but we all needed an attitude adjustment (we ALL were in a funk) and so I looked up some local Seuss activities and found that a small book store was having a reading and performance. It was loads of fun. And after a nice little lunch out, it was just what the Dr. ordered.
No one would guess from this picture they had been arguing all week.
These girls were from the Barrington Ballet Studio and performed parts of Seussical the Mussical. They also took a special liking to Hazel and helped her with the craft. So sweet.
A local bakery donated cookies for all of the kids. Boy were they yummy! And Beautiful!

Later that night we visited the local Science shop for some Family Science Fun, and got a surprise as Daddy was able to join us! We learned about surface tension, fibers in paper, and how sound resonates in a bell shape. It was great time.
We discovered that Paper has fibers and that when water gets in them they swell and lay straight through this experiment, the Blossoming Paper Bloom.
Daddy flying solo his partner (Hazel) abandoned him. Such a trooper.

Jakob also learned the value of sewing this week. A couple of weeks ago he made his sister a doll and has been trying to decide on his next project ever since. This week he discovered he had a hole in his favorite fuzzy socks. So he decided to sew it back up. He was so proud of himself! Now maybe he can tackle all those holes in the knees of his jeans. *grin*

Because Jakob has completed all of his Scouts requirements for the year he is now looking to see what other achievements he can work towards. He went through the book and picked out the subjects he thought he might like to learn the most about. This week's topic led to photography and he discovered how different lights affect an object. He is still working on his project and was unwilling to show off his first pictures so maybe I can show them when he's done and satisfied with their quality.

It was such a great week full of ups and downs and loads of planned and unplanned learning. I hope to continue the momentum next week as we wrap up our study of Native Americans and focus on the Seminole Nation.

1 comment:

MissMOE said...

Wow! What an awesome week full of hands-on projects--thanks for the inspiring post.

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