Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Kaya American Girl Lesson Plan: Book 1 Part A

As previously mentioned, I'm working on documenting the Kaya American Girl History Club that I ran from home several years back.  This won't be as good as it would have when it was fresh in my mind, but I have all my notes, a few pictures and I'm ready to share the lesson plan from our first meeting.  We spent two lessons on each book.  This is Book 1 part A of the Kaya American Girl series. 

Opening: To help the girls get comfortable we played a few games. I explained how the club was organized, the purpose of our meetings, my expecations for the girls, and we got everyone signed up for a turn to do narrations. I then explained our first activity.

Activities:  Our main task for the first meeting was to get to know each other as a group, and then to put together the portfolios that each girl would be using through out the club. I formed these stacking  several manila file folders, hole punching the folded sides and then tying them loosely together with yarn or strips of leather that I got from the craft store.   The portfolios were used to showcase what we were learning about geography and vocabulary from the stories, as well as a place to store and showcase various projects or crafts we had worked on.  Here's one I made as an example.  I made color copies of all the photos we were going to need  for each girl. 

Making the portfolios took some time. The girls got very creative.  In reflection, this probably wasn't the best way to do it. A 3-ring binder with sheets of card stock inside would probably have worked better.

You can see that on our first day our GEOGRAPHY section covered Wallowa Vally, WA, OR, ID, and
original Nez Perce homeland vs. Today’s reservation (back of book resources)

Discussion Questions: I usually saved the discussion questions for snack time for two reasons: 1) It saved time to serve snacks while discussing the book and 2) it kept snack time from turning into recess.  In my lesson notes I always referred to this time as "Snack and Talk", which is exactly what we did. It worked well.

Questions for this first meeting: 
  •      Pg 6.  Is boasting a good character trait?  Why? What did Kaya boast about?
  •      Why is it an honor to give gifts?  Is it really better to give than receive?
  •      How do our choices affect others?  Do you think it was fair for all the children to be whipped for Kaya’s mistake?

Nez Perce Life:
I also usually designated a portion of the meeting to discuss Nez Perce lifestyles and traditions.  In this meeting we discussed the following-
How do you like to wake up in the morning?   
What is your routine?   
How do the NP wake up? (morning crier)
Morning rituals: cold water bath in river to stay strong and healthy (all ages all seasons).

Salmon were such an integral part of the NP way of life I thought it important to spend some time discussing them.  We did this by reading a book

We also watched a Video about Salmon hatching has a lot of great resources for studying Salmon.  I chose to just use the Life Cycle template.The girls colored, cut, assembled the wheel and added it to their portfolios.

And then we played a fun game outside. Basically it was freeze tag.  I made simple pinnies for the two teams that were actually paper plates of different colors and hung around the neck with a length of yarn that was tied to two holes at the edge of the plates.  One team was the salmon eggs hiding under a small parachute.  The other team was the predators standing in various places through out the back yard.  On "GO" the eggs hatched from the parachute and tried to reach their source of food (or base) without being tagged by a predator.  If tagged, the salmon could be unfrozen by another salmon.  

That was all the time we had for the first meeting, although I had LOTS more planned.  I always saved the stuff I didn't have time to do for the next meeting.  This sometimes caused us to get a big off schedule with the reading, but it all worked out in the end.  

Stay tuned to see what we did for Meeting Two.

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