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April Cultural Calendar Ideas

Cultural Calendar Ideas for April: 


In Indigenous culture, April is the time for growth, regeneration, re-birth, and renewal. 

In Nehiyawewin (Cree) April is referred to as Ayiki Pisim and in Blackfoot 



Matsiyikkapisaiki’somm, Stoney-Nakoda call it Taberan Tawe. which all translate to the Frog Moon. It is the time of the frogs returning to the ponds in their areas.

In Hul’q’umi’num, this time is called Liimus which translates to the time when the wild geese fly in a V formation, returning from their winter travels.

Together with warmer weather, April is the perfect time to explore teachings that involve going out on the land so that children can experience the seasonal changes and witness new life. 

On April 22nd we celebrate Earth Day! One way we can respect Mother Earth is by recycling at AHS centers across the province. 

Tansi AHS in Chetwynd BC recycling!


Science Ideas: Introduce the life cycles of different animals through pictures, stories, and hands-on displays. (i.e. the lifecycle of a frog, butterfly, hatching chicks) 

April is the perfect time for children to start planting seedlings in- doors that can be later transplanted.


Conayt AHS learnt about the lifecycle of Butterflies! 

Children at Island Metis AHS in Victoria B.C made worm habitats! 


Innovative Science Ideas for the Spring:

At your science center and or outdoors have the words for different insects posted in Indigenous language. 




Art/Sensory Ideas:  

  • Gather and make traditional dyes out of plants. 

  • Make rain sticks with the children to copy the sounds of the springtime water running in local streams, rivers, and oceans. 

  • Have a sensory table reflecting pond life and items found in a pond. 

  • Create a sensory table that reflects farm life, and items found on a farm, such as straw and dirt.

  • Have children create art out of things gathered outside, such as birch bark, cedar, etc. This will familiarize children with these materials, encouraging future carvers, and crafters.  

Dramatic Play: 

Add a variety of baskets, traditional and otherwise, to your dramatic play area. Also add spring-themed items, such as flowers, rocks, wooden eggs, (etc.), baby animal plushies or photos. 


Elders: 

Take the children on a field trip for on-the-land teachings, inviting Elders to share their knowledge and teachings. Children can make invitations, gifts, and treats to invite the Elders to do this with them. 

This gives children hands-on experience in looking after our Elders, modelling the importance of taking care of our community– and encouraging connections between Elders and Children. 


Parent Involvement Ideas: 

  • Post a map of places that are great for fishing. 

  • Ask families to send in pictures of Spring cultural activities such as fishing, bird hunting, harvesting Oolichans. 

  • Post words for things in the daytime sky (sun, clouds, rain) in your Indigenous language. 

  • Encourage parents to take children out for family activities that will take place outdoors and under Father Sky. Have families send in pictures or post on your site's private Facebook page. 

  • Send home a package of items that encourage outdoor activities:

  • Kites, and the book “Dragon Fly Kites,” by Tomson Highway. 

  • Fishing Poles and the story “Fishing for Reconciliation.” 

  • Recipe and ingredients to make things such as trail mix bars, cookies, homemade granola bars, etc. (Things that are versatile for outdoor time.) 

  • Thermos with hot chocolate, apple cider, traditional tea, etc. 

  • A scavenger hunt with pictures and words in traditional language 

  • Have lunch on the land, by a campfire and make items such as Bannock on a stick, fish fry. Events like these are the perfect time for Elders and parents to bring traditional food items for the children to try. Bannock-on-a-Stick Recipe: [insert link] https://wildchildedmonton.wordpress.com/2020/12/11/bannock-on-a-stick-a-guarded-recipe/

  • Host a parent's night out – invite parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles to make traditional items such as pine needle baskets, cedar woven baskets, birch bark baskets, and willow baskets. Traditionally baskets were made in the Spring in preparation to hold items that would be harvested or foraged. 


Lofty Ideas: 

This is a great time to use your classroom loft to promote looking at the sky. 

You can do this in two ways: 

  1. Nighttime Sky – Hang constellations, planets, and stars from the ceiling or walls. You can have posters of traditional constellations and cushions so children can lie on their backs and look at these items. Provide telescopes for children and create a dark environment under the loft so children can look and experience glow-in-the-dark stars. 

  2. Daytime Sky – Hang kites, clouds, sun, and rainbows, from the walls and ceiling. A pretend fire can be made under the loft with pretend logs, and other items to encourage children to “tell stories” around the fire. You can pretend to cook over the fire. 

Book of The Month

Lessons From Mother Earth”Author: Elaine Mcleod Illustrator: Colleen Wood

This story demonstrates the First Nations tradition of taking care of Mother Earth and traditional land values. It encourages the relationship between grandparents and children. This book shows how grandparents and Elders are some of the most important teachers our children will experience.

 

Recommended:

  • A spring adventure series by Terri Mack

  • Plants on the move by Emilie Vast 

  • Spring in Saik’uz  by Cecilia John

  • Gift horse: A Lakota Story by S.D. Nelson

  • Wild Babies by Margriet Ruurs

  • Ojibway Animals by Jason Adair 

  • Mamaqtuq by Eric Kim

  • Oolichan Moon by Samantha Beynon

Other Resources: 


RECIPE OF THE MONTH :


Health Resource Link of the Month:  







  




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