Friday, March 13, 2009

Arctic and Subarctic

This section of ancient Native American study came just a few weeks late. It would have been a bit more fun and interesting to learn about living in the far north when it was cold and snowy (not that I'm complaining about the 70 degree weather!) We started off by watching Nanook of the North. This silent movie, filmed in 1922, is about an Inuit hunter and his family. Much of the life that was shown in the movie could easily have been the same thousands of years ago. We read some library books, such as Nessa's Fish, The Polar Bear Son, and others.
One book we all especially liked was The Secret Language of Snow. Unfortunately, there was some subtle and not-so-subtle evolution thrown in. Since I was reading to the kids, it was easy just to skip over those parts. It is, however, a good nature study book about the different kinds of snow and the various Inuit words for snow. This book was the reason it would have been nice to have some snow outside to study. Each chapter was about a different kind of snow - falling snow, snow on the ground, wind-beaten snow, etc. The lives of the people and animals who live in the snow were intertwined throughout, and there was a special project at the end of each chapter - building a snow shelter, observing tracks in the snow, catching snowflakes on black paper.
A poem starts each chapter. Here is the one about falling snow:

Feathers are flying everywhere.
Someone has broken the cloud pillows open.
Snow is falling and
Earth's face is changing.
Flakes upon flakes fall
on the wrinkled landscape.
Autumn's colors are quieted -
red-yellow to brown, now white.
Listen -
silence is settling in.

Sounds lovely, doesn't it?
I wanted to let the kids make an igloo out of sugar cubes, but we didn't have any left. So they attempted to use marshmallows and toothpicks. Miah's ended up being a fur blanket, she said. Larkin's did actually stand up and resemble some sort of structure, but marshmallows and toothpicks weren't really the best idea I've ever had.
Miah was delighted when I dug out a little eskimo doll I had when I was little.
And the kids made some simple masks out of paper plates and feathers. Easy and fun.

1 comment:

  1. Your family is so cool! I love all that you do on your property (I'm assuming it's your property). You are totally a free spirit - I can tell! I love all of that type of stuff too. It was great fun visiting! I love the pictures.