Learning with Washi Feathers!

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As I was thinking about U.S. Thanksgiving lesson plans, I thought about how I learned about Thanksgiving when I was in school.  

What I don’t remember learning a lot about was Native American culture throughout that process.  {Keep in mind, this was a great many years ago.}

There is much Native American symbolism attached to feathers. Here is a neat way to make your own feathers to add real world learning to your lessons!

Native American state names hold a significant place in the history and culture of the United States. Each state has a name that is rooted in the Native American heritage of the land.

Learning about these names not only provides insight into the rich history of Native American tribes, but also helps to foster a deeper appreciation for the diverse cultures that have shaped the country.

By exploring the significance of state names, engaging in fun activities, and understanding the origins and meanings behind them, we can gain a greater understanding and respect for Native American culture.

The Significance of State Names in Native American Culture

State names were not randomly assigned; they were chosen by Native American tribes who inhabited the land long before European settlers arrived.

These names often reflect the natural features, geography, or historical events associated with the area.

For example, the name “Oklahoma” comes from the Choctaw words “okla” meaning “people” and “humma” meaning “red,” which refers to the Native American tribes that once inhabited the region.

Similarly, the name “Massachusetts” is derived from the Algonquian word “massachusett,” which means “at or about the great hill.”

Names hold great importance in Native American culture. They are often given with great thought and consideration, reflecting the individual’s personality, characteristics, or significant events in their life.

Similarly, state names hold deep meaning for Native American tribes, as they represent their connection to the land and their ancestral heritage.

By learning about these names, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the cultural significance they hold.

Celebrating Native American State Names through Art and Crafts

Art and crafts can be a creative and hands-on way to celebrate Native American state names. They provide an opportunity to engage with the topic in a visual and tactile manner, while also fostering creativity and cultural appreciation.

One art activity could involve creating a collage or painting inspired by the state name and its Native American origin. Participants can research the meaning behind the state name and use that as inspiration for their artwork.

This activity not only encourages artistic expression, but also deepens understanding and connection to Native American culture.

Another craft activity could involve making a dreamcatcher using materials that represent the state name and its Native American origin.

Participants can choose colors, feathers, and beads that reflect the meaning or symbolism behind the state name. This activity not only teaches about Native American culture and traditions, but also promotes mindfulness and creativity.

Native Americans and Feathers

So, while I was doing a little research, I did find out that Native Americans put a lot of meaning behind feathers – and particularly where the feather came from or whether it is given as a gift.  There is much symbolism attached to feathers.

What a fun lesson to learn even more about this group of people!

You might want to check out:

Seasonal School Celebrations eBook Cover

Need some new ideas for hosting successful classroom celebrations?  This 387 page digital book has you covered! Includes 61 ad-free articles from Organized Classroom, including holidays such as:

  • Groundhog Day
  • Winter
  • Black History
  • Valentines Day
  • St. Patricks Day
  • Earth Day
  • Spring
  • Mothers Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Summer
  • Independence Day
  • Fall
  • Halloween
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas

…and even more, such as a section for student birthday suggestions and indoor recess ideas for when the season turns cold!

Includes 48 additional freebie files!  No need to enter in an email address for each one separately – just click and go!

See it HERE.

I even came up with a neat way to make your own feathers in the classroom to add a real world component to your lessons!  They are inexpensive, fun to make, and easy for all students.

I think what I love the most is that each feather will be unique, much like the students who are creating them for the lessons.

Making DIY Feathers

Here is what you will need:

  • scissors
  • any type of wire
  • washi tape
There is much Native American symbolism attached to feathers. Here is a neat way to make your own feathers to add real world learning to your lessons!

Steps to make them:

1 – Cut a piece of wire and then place one piece of tape on the top.

2 – Flip over and attach a matching piece of tape to the opposite side.

3 – Continue placing more tape on each side and then flipping to cover up the sticky part.  Create 4-5 rows on either side of the wire.

4 – Cut into a feather shape and then cut slits into the sides.   That’s it!

There is much Native American symbolism attached to feathers. Here is a neat way to make your own feathers to add real world learning to your lessons!

Native American Lesson Plan Ideas

You could then hole punch one end and attach twine to be able to hang from hair or maybe do a lesson about dreamcatchers?

The best part?  Tie this hands on activity in to whatever lessons you would normally teach about Native American culture.  No extra planning involved!

There is much Native American symbolism attached to feathers. Here is a neat way to make your own feathers to add real world learning to your lessons!

The study of Native American heritage is an important aspect of inclusive education.

By incorporating free and easy-to-use worksheets, printables, and activities into your lessons, you can engage students and deepen their understanding of Native American history and culture.

Need a free pdf perfect for morning work or to introduce the concept? Grab the word search below – includes an answer key too!

There is much Native American symbolism attached to feathers. Here is a neat way to make your own feathers to add real world learning to your lessons!

What are some ways you feel you could incorporate these easy activities into your curriculum?  We would love to hear in the comments below!

~Charity

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