Chelsi's Educational Musings

Assignment #5 – Online Curriculum

We were asked to locate a goal and indicator from the Saskatchewan Online Curriculum and then compile ten online resources that support our goal.  The following is my compilation.

Grade Six Social Studies Goal: To examine the local, indigenous, and global interactions and interdependence of individuals, societies, cultures, and nations. (IN)

I will be focusing on a specific indicator for this goal:

Give examples of the artistic expression of culture in Canada,

including First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples, and in a

selection of countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean, and draw

conclusions about the beliefs and values of the inhabitants in

those regions.

I would tie this indicator into Visual Arts units and Arts indicators such as:

Use the Internet and other sources (e.g., local artists) to gain

information about the use of symbolic imagery and apply to

own work.

The following resources support the indicators:

Art Sask – “Homelands” Section

Art Sask is an excellent resource that supports my indicator, presents thorough information, and most importantly, provides teachers with relevant lesson plans that relate specifically to the Saskatchewan Curriculum.  As the site states, “The concept of “native land” or place of birth and how that attachment to place, lifestyle and ancestors can be important to each individual’s development and sense of self” is addressed through the lessons provided.  The site provides the works of eight artists, information on each artist, lessons to accompany the works of art being viewed, and most importantly, it provides links back to the Saskatchewan Curriculum guide to show how each lessons supports our curriculum.  I have used this site before and I feel that it is the foremost site for teaching about Saskatchewan First Nations Art.

Exploring Aboriginal Art in Canada

This site is an absolute wealth of information for teachers about Aboriginal civilizations, cultural, images, daily life, and artwork provided by several links.  The link section is followed by a series of lesson plans about Aboriginal culture, animals, and artwork.  I will definitely be making use of this site in the future!

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada – “Kids’ Stop” Page

This is an excellent site provided by the Indian and Inuit Art Centres and is created by Northern Affairs Canada.  The information and links for teachers and PDF files about artists and exhibitions are particularly useful, as is the list of FAQs that debunk Aboriginal stereotypes.

The Virtual Museum of Canada

I can’t believe that I have never seen this site!  This site allows the user to search virtual Canadian museum exhibits by name or theme.  Searching “Aboriginal Art” provided me with exhibits to browse.  Some museums had better exhibits and web pages than others, but it is still a neat teaching tool that could be used on a data projector to show to the class, or to have the students examine on their computer.  There is also a teacher section allowing teachers to register and share lesson plans.

Through Mala’s Eyes – A comprehensive unit plan published under the authority of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
This series of lesson plans is, as the site says, is “built around the first-person narrative of a 12-year-old Inuk boy, [and] will help you and your students appreciate life in the Inuit community of Salluit, in the northern part of Nunavik, Northern Quebec.”  This unit would support my Grade 6 Social Studies goal of learning about and understanding First Nations’ cultures, as it is presented through the eyes of a child who is of grade 6 age.  Furthermore, the Virtual Museum Tour in Lesson Eight would support my indicator very well.  The lessons are well developed and downloadable in a PDF form.

Creating a “Cruncher”
The students in my class love making these “Crunchers,” or “Fortune Tellers” as they call them.  This pattern could supplement a lesson about Aboriginal culture, as I feel that only providing the students with this activity to read and colour would not be enough of an authentic learning experience.  However, it does contain many facts about Aboriginal people and the graphics to colour are Aboriginal art patterns.  The pattern is downloadable as a PDF.

The Inuit Art Foundation
This site contains information that a teacher could use when teaching his/her class about Inuit art.  The teacher could then use the “IAS” section to show the students examples sculptures, paintings and drawings, tapestry, baskets, and dolls that are in the online shop.   These could serve as inspiration for the students’ own artwork.

The Mackenzie Art Gallery

I have found that the Mackenzie Art Gallery features some excellent exhibits of Aboriginal artwork.  Furthermore, their information, biographies about the artists, and commentary about their work support my indicator by teaching students and educators about Aboriginal culture and the feeling and commentary behind the artists’ works.

The Free Spirit Gallery Website

The website of this art gallery, located outside of Toronto, features an extensive assortment of Canadian Aboriginal and Inuit art to purchase.  It would be a great site for students to browse for art ideas and to see how members of the Aboriginal and Inuit community are making their living through their artwork.  There is also a section of information on the genres of art showcased.

Ted Harrison

Ted Harrison is one of Canada’s most prominent artists, and many children are already familiar with his work.  I found a few lesson plans that could be used or adapted for grade six students that support my indicator.  This lesson is for grade one, but the information provided is useful.  I think that rather than creating a Ted Harrison-style alphabet book about any topic in particular, students could use letters of the alphabet supporting Aboriginal and Inuit culture.  Crayola’s web site also contains a great Ted Harrison lesson plan.  Google images also provides many of Ted Harrison’s works of art to view as inspiration.


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