Native American Dreamcatchers // 3rd grade
"The Plain Indians say:
You hang them by the window or at the head of your bed. The bad dreams get caught in the web. The good dreams work their way through the hole in the center, rest on the feather like a dew drop, and evaporate to the Great Spirit in the morning sun. The prayer beads on the Dream Catcher trap all the bad dreams that left on the web. The prayer beads then burn them up."
Dreamcatchers, or sacred hoops are they are sometimes known, originated with the Objiwe tribe of Native Americans. Legend has it there was a time when the people were plagued by nightmares. After much deliberation by the tribal elders and shaman, a hoop with a web of sinew and feathers on the end was fashioned to hang over sleepers' beds. The elders said that good dreams and dreams of import would slide down the feathers onto the dreamer’s head. The web would catch bad dreams with no meaning to the dreamer, to be vanquished by the light of day.
When teachers integrate traditional curricula with learning tools from other subjects, it is fusion. Fusion promotes students to apply knowledge and skills from one subject, such as math, to understand and perform tasks for another subject, such as science. Currently, students are examining Native American tribes in History class. Students are to create a dreamcatcher, examine its deep rooted meanings, and choose colors based on their meanings.
Using coiling cord, students wrapped yarn around the coiling cord super tight. Students practiced tying knots, a struggle for some at first. 3rd graders mastered tying knots by the end. Students added feathers and beads for further decoration.
We continue to learn from the Native American people as we gather to learn from their traditions. The world is deeply connected and it is our responsibility to create global awareness within our students.
"Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as people.
Now our minds are one."