Duration: 45 minutes
Instruction Methodology: Examining objects as indicators of culture -artifacts- Moccassin and Wampum
Native American Motif sheet Clay and construction paper
this is a soft skin shoe. The name is derived from the Eastern Algonquin dialect "Mockasin" or Mawhcasun." The soft-soled moccasin belonged to the woodland tribes, being adaptable to woodland travel and canoe use. The sole and the upper part were made from one piece of soft leather, with the seam being at the instep and heel. The pioneers found that the soft moccasin was ideal since their boots were not suitable for crawling over slippery rocks and fallen trees and walking along ledges. Each tribe made and decorated their moccasins in a little different way with beads and embroidery.
Beads were used for decoration and were made from shells, bones, claws, stones and minerals. The Algonquin and Iroquois tribes of the eastern coast made beads from clam, conch, periwinkle, and other seashells. Beads were used as a medium of exchange and called "Wampum." Wampum shells were ground and polished into small, cylindrical shapes, drilled with a stone and strung on animal tendons. Wampum was used as personal adornment and signified a person's rank in society. People of higher ranks wore more. The purple beads had twice the value of the white ones. The wampum was also used for different purposes like establishing friendship. Wealthier people were buried with more wampum than poor people. It was also used sometimes to pay tribute to a more powerful tribe. The Mohegans paid an annual tribute in wampum to the English after the Pequot War of 1637. Tribal members also gave their sachems wampums as an expression of gratitude for their services.
Wampum was used to pass down a tribe's story from generation to generation. Designs were woven into belts as a way of recalling important historical events. Treaties were recorded ; one of them was the treaty which founded the Iroquois League. White symbolized peace and black meant war or mourning. Wampum belts were sometimes used to communicate with other tribes.
Wampum was used to ransom captured prisoners, as prizes for games or sports, as payments to healers for curing the sick and as tokens of a young man's love for a young woman. Warriors wore necklaces from wampum to remind them that they were fighting for their wives and children and material goods.
Students will use higher-order thinking skills to fill an exit slip answering thought questions about the transformation of their view point regarding Native American Women and the realization of diversity enriching one's life. They will record information using the fourth column (Uses/Application) of the KWLU chart. They will celebrate their success by inviting other 5th graders and their parents to view and discuss their work on Native Americans. There will be a display of student work - American Indian motifs, arts and crafts, book reports, writing journals, maps and graphic organizers. The students will create a bulletin board on the theme of diversity. Two of the artifacts they will display are models of the moccasin and wampum, made out of construction paper and clay.
At the end of the unit, the teacher and student have acquired a world of information about the different cultural areas of the Native Americans by reading and research.