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Workshops

WORKSHOPS ARE IDEAL FOR GRADES THREE AND FOUR
MAY BE ADAPTED FOR OTHER GRADES.

TELL A STORY USING NATIVE AMERICAN PICTOGRAPHS
Students draw ancient symbols to tell a story.
Students use butcher paper to make “deerskin” like surface.
They work in pairs so they learn how to cooperate.
They choose symbols from a page. These are symbols that have been
used in wintercount deerskin drawings. They have been copied from real
events. Students use these symbols to create their own story.
Students sit in a circle and share their Wintercount Tale.
1-2 hr sesssions

LEARN ABOUT ANIMAL SPIRIT SYMBOLS
See traditional art symbols on Native American baskets, blankets, and pottery, and learn about Native American designs .
Students examine traditional designs on a Navajo blanket, a Hopi dance gourd, a dance drum. They listen to what the design stands for and how native cultures
use these patterns in their daily lives. Students use designs to create a border inspired by the designs and then develop a
turtle SPIRIT SYMBOL.
1-2 hr sessions

LEARN TO LISTEN AND ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT GERI’S STORY BASKET
Listen to Geri as she tells the story of her culture using personal, tribal, and clan symbols.
Students can ask questions during this session. These a small objects that each have a story.
Students are taught the significance of how objects play a role in the stories told about our lives.
These may be photographs, jewelry, heirlooms, art objects.
Geri brings a small carved bear that represents her tribal clan, pictures of her grandmother,
turquoise and silver jewelry passed on to her by her family.
This session is for classroom sized audiences. Small and intimate.
Students are encourages to ask questions.
1hr session

LEARN TO WEAVE PERSONAL SYMBOLS INTO A BASKET
Learn to weave a personal basket and do the Navajo basket dance that honors and celebrates life.
Students learn about the history of Native American basketmaking. They learn the meaning of symbols used on baskets and the use of baskets in
day-to-day native culture. Students use bamboo reed to create a 8-10″ basket using personal symbols they
gather; such as stones, wood, fabric, photographs. They weave these personal symbols into the basket.
Next, they learn an adapted version of a Navajo basket dance and song. The basket dance and song help celebrate
the symbols in our lives.
5-6 hr sessions

LISTEN AND RE-TELL A NATIVE AMERICAN LEGEND
Listen to a Native American legend and re-tell the story using gestures, voices, and animation.
Students listen to a story. They describe the elements of the story and discuss the problem and
how characters solve the problem in the story. Students draw their favorite scene in the story.
The sketched pictures are placed on a wall. Students place the pictures in a sequenced manner, from
beginning to end. They volunteer to fill in the missing pieces of the story.
They examine the completed storyboard. They form story groups and each group re-tells one portion of the story
using voice, body, language.
1-2 hr session

SANDPAINTING
Students look at pictures and a video of traditional Navajo sandpainters. They learn how sandpaintings are used
for traditional healing and how sandpaintings have become permanent works of art.
They learn about how sand is used in painting symbols using glue and water. They experiment using the sand to draw
straight lines, squares and other shapes.
They use different colored sand to make a thunderbird symbol. The final art sandpainting of each student is placed on the floor
so they can see their sandpainting art collection.
2-3 hr session

GERI’S TALK
Topics vary depending on the sponsoring organizations. Geri speaks of her role as a teacher, performer, and filmmaker.
Question and Answer follows.
1hr – 1.5hr

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