Homeschool Native American Earth Lessons, Crafts and Vegan Recipes!

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Homeschool Native American Earth Lessons, Crafts and Vegan Recipes!

The Native Americans life philosophy can help people live more in harmony with the earth.. We can use these ideas to enrich our homeschool earth lessons, create satisfying crafts and cook delicious vegan recipes.
If our society took on board even a few of the Native American beliefs we could have a positive lasting impact on the earth. Governments around the world are reluctantly declaring that the earth is currently in a climate emergency. We can use some of the Native American beliefs to live in harmony with the environment. As a result our lives and communities will be enriched!
The Native Americans believed children were the seeds of the future. And that older people held the wisdom of the earth.
In modern times, our children shouldn’t have so much pressure on their young shoulders to save the earth! But the reality is that we all do. However we as parents can do alot to make learning about and caring for the earth an exciting experience.
That’s why I created Earth Cadets Education. So our children can learn about how to have a positive impact on the Earth, but in a way that provides lots of meaningful, creative, and brilliant fun activities! Activities and ideas that kids can put to immediate use in their everyday lives and develop earth sustaining habits.
I believe that by fostering our children’s imaginations it will result in our children naturally having the ability and innovation to tackle whatever climate problems face them today and in the future.

Buffalo


5 Native American Earth Lessons, 7 Crafts and 3 Recipes:

Totem Pole

Totem Pole

Left Hand Bear

Left Hand Bear

5 Native American Earth Lessons:

  1. The Native Americans deeply respected the earth and lived in harmony with the Earth’s natural rhythms. The Native Americans believed that people and the Earth were completely bound together in a giant web. There was no difference between the Earth and the people. In our culture we talk about ‘getting back to Nature’ but for the Native Americans this wasn’t necessary as they naturally lived in tune with the environment. For a Native American it would make no sense to damage the Earth with pollution, destruction of forests and hunting for sports as by doing so they would just be damaging themselves. Every action was interconnected. 

2. The Native Americans believed in Animism. This means that absolutely everything on the Earth has a soul or a spirit. Including rocks, hills, water, fields, plants, trees, animals, rain, clouds, moon and the sun. The Native American saw no difference between a stone or a plant; they both had a purpose and a spirit that  needed to be respected. Different Native American tribes each had a different totem animal that acted as their tribes spirit guide and teacher through life. Often their totem animals were mythical creatures and acted as ‘fairy godmothers’ providing protection from harm. The Native Americans believed that the various spirits communicated with them. For instance they believed that lightning was associated with ‘truth’ and if they told a lie then a bolt would strike them down! The Anasazi Foundation say that instead of overusing the Earth’s natural resources for our own gain, we should be listening to the wisdom of the Earth.

Ceremonial Land Healing

3. Children are the future and the elderly are leaders. This is a great attitude! In modern Native American tribes this belief still holds true. Native Americans believe that their elders are the most knowledgeable about the Earth, their traditions and ways of life. As a result the elders deserve a special place within the tribe and are treated with great respect. When important decisions have to be made, elders are sought out for their sage advice. The elders are the children’s teachers and frequently their caregivers. Children are respected community members and are included in political get togethers. Maybe our modern politicians should take note!
Navajo Elder and Child

Navajo Elder and Child

4. The Native Americans had a holistic view of  wellbeing. Wellbeing was made up of the mind, body and spirit. Their communities and the Earth’s wellbeing was interwoven with their own. Living in harmony with the environment led to wellbeing. Native Americans respected the  Earth’s natural cycles and seasons and had many traditional rituals and festivals to welcome each season. These community based activities were believed to foster good health. Native Americans used songs, dance and herbal medicines to heal tribal members. Prayers were also said to the ‘Great Spirit’. Sometimes these ceremonies went on for weeks!
5. Herbal remedies have been used for thousands of years. The Native Americans believed that nature provided cures for all ills. A medicine man or woman, usually an Elder, possessed the healing knowledge needed to cure ills. Native Americans learned which plants were good medicine by observing sick animals eat certain herbs. Herbs were used to balance the spirit and mind as well as treating sickness. Tobacco was the most popular herb but it was much more healthier than it is today. The Native Americans tobacco was natural with no chemicals added. The Native Americans didn’t have books so their herbal lore was passed down orally through each generation.

 

Native American Crafts

Native American Crafts

 


Homeschool Native American Earth Lessons Crafts and Vegan Recipes

Seven Native American crafts

  • Make a Native American Talking Stick:
A talking stick was used at meetings to maintain order. Whoever held the stick could talk and the others listened. This would be a great tool to teach kids listening and speaking skills. Find out how to make one here: https://www.ehow.com/how_7338194_make-talking-stick.html
  • Make a Native American Dream Catcher:
The Obji Native Americans created the dream catcher to look like a spider’s web because it symbolized the ‘Spider Woman’ spirit. The Spider woman protected the tribe from harm especially the babies and children. The Spider Woman couldn’t be in all places at once so the dream catcher was created. Find out here how to make one: https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Dreamcatcher
Dream Catcher

Dream Catcher

  • Make a Corn Husk Doll:

Corn husk

Labradoodle with a Corn Husk!

Corn husk dolls have been around for at least 1000 years! They were dolls for children to play with and symbols of the corn spirit. Traditionally the dolls don’t have faces. The legend goes that the spirit of the corn made a corn husk doll from her own husks for the children of the tribe. This doll had  a face. However the doll was so taken by her own good looks that it ignored the children she was supposed to entertain. So the corn spirit removed the face as punishment for the dolls vanity!  Follow this YouTube tutorial to make a family of corn husk dolls: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TF4ba29oyxI The perfect summer play toy!

Native American Calendar

  • Make a Medicine Shield:

Most Native Americans had a medicine shield and often tied it to their horses. It wasn’t used as a battle shield but for spiritual protection. Medicine shields were personal to each warrior and usually were fashioned after they went through their vision quest. A vision quest is a right of passage for all young warriors. At the end of the vision quest the young warrior would know which spirit animal would guide and protect him through life. The medicine shield looked much the same as the war shield so if your child would like to make that instead the following instructions does both: http://www.lbrummer68739.net/3rd-grade-projects-gallery-2/native-american-war-or-medicine-shield/

Native American Beads

  • Make a Medicine Pouch or bag:

A medicine pouch was carried by North American Indians especially the medicine man of the tribe. It was filled with herbs, stones, grass, roots, fur, bones  and anything else considered sacred. Young members of the tribe would carry a medicine pouch and would add personal meaningful things to it as they grew up. As it would get filled up as the years went by, the pouch would upgrade to a medicine bag.The medicine pouch kept the owner balanced spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally. Find out here how to create a little pouch, perfect for storing your child’s small nature finds: http://childrenatplay2.blogspot.com/2013/08/native-american-medicine-bag.html

Native American Hawaii

  • Make a Rainstick:

The Rainstick was used by Native Americans to let the Great Spirit know that they needed rain to provide hydration. The rainstick’s rattling noise was to imitate the sound rain makes as it bounces off objects. Dried out, hollow cactus stems were filled with cactus needles  and small stones. Find out how to create your own, perfect for a long dry summer: https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Rain-Stick
American Eagle

American Eagle

  • Make a Native American Headdress:

No Native American craft session would be complete without some form of head gear! Originally called ‘war bonnets’ respected experienced warriors wore feathers in their headband while going into battle. Being presented with an eagles feather for your headgear was seen as the highest honor achievable for a warrier. Here’s a link that includes several different headgear to make:https://www.wikihow.com/Make-an-Indian-Headdress

 

 

First Nation Head dress

First Nation Headdress


Homeschool Native American Earth Lessons, Crafts and Vegan Recipes

Three Native American recipes

Three Sisters Soup

Serves 4

This soup is native to the Iroquois tribe. Squash, beans and corn represent the three sisters. The three crops were planted close together as they naturally benefited each others growth. The thyme in this soup is delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 Butternut Squash, cubed
  • I white onion, chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, chopped and crushed
  • I cup of sweet corn kernels, either tinned or frozen
  • 1 cups/1 tins of white beans either haricot,butter beans or cannellini
  • 1 celery stick, fine chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp of dried thyme or a few sprigs of fresh
  • 1 1/2 litres of vegetable stock/made with 2 veggie stock cubes
  • 2 bay leaf
  • Vegetable or sunflower oil

Method

  1. Saute the onion and celery, on medium heat, in oil till soft. About 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. Stir frequently and don’t let the garlic get too brown.
  2. Add the squash, vegetable stock, thyme and bay leaves.
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the squash soft.
  4. Add the sweetcorn and white beans. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
  5. Season
  6. Serve with crusty bread or scones

Delicious Soup

Pumpkin and Butternut Squash

Indian Spiced Cake
This makes a lovely soft, moist cake. Perfect served with some custard.

Ingredients

  • 160 ml soya Milk or alternative
  • 225g Self raising flour
  • 225g soft brown sugar or caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup of apple sauce/from a jar or fresh made. Alternatively use 2 beaten eggs.
  • 450g dried fruit mix/or any combination of any fried fruit is fine
  • 100g vitalite margarine or alternative
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves

Method

  1. Place the sugar, fruit, margarine and milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 15 minutes. Stir frequently.
  2. Leave to cool for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 150 Fan/ 170 Celsius/ 300 F/Gas mark 3
  3. Prepare a large loaf pan. Grease and line with baking parchment.
  4. Mix in the apple sauce.
  5. Measure the flour and spices in a bowl.
  6. Tip in the fruit mix and stir.
  7. Tip into the loaf pan. Level the top. Place on your bottom shelf in oven. As fruit can burn if too high in oven.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes. Check how its going. If a skewer or toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean then its ready. If not leave it for another 10 minutes or until done. It all depends on your oven. My oven is a fan and took 50 minutes to bake.
  9. You can make a glaze for this cake with a tbsp of apple sauce/apricot jam or other jam. Water the jam down with a tsp or 2 of water. Then brush on cake. The glaze will dry out and look all shiny.

 

Spiced fruit cake

Choctaw Hunter’s Stew

Serves 4

This is a good one for the slow cooker. Just tip everything in and leave it stewing for the day. This stew was eaten during the summer as the vegetables were in season. Traditionally this stew would have had been prepared with meat. I’ve just adjusted it so that its plant-based. You could always replace the veggie ‘meat’ chunks with some stewing meat. Another change I’ve made is to saute the onions and celery as I find it adds to the flavour.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of vegetarian meat chunks either chicken/steak variety
  • 1 stick of celery, fine chopped
  • 3 potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 2 white onions, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped into chunks
  • 1/2  swede, chopped into chunks
  • 1 tin of butter beans
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Vegetable stock cube
  • Vegetable gravy powder/optional
  • Choice of fresh/dried herbs: tsp sage/thyme/rosemary or a few fresh sprigs

Method

  1. Saute the onions and celery in the oil at medium heat till soft.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and enough water to cover. Bring to the boil.
  3. Simmer for around 30-60 minutes/ If using meat stew for 3-4 hours.
  4. If you like your stews thicker then you could add a few tbsps of vegetable gravy powder
  5. Season to taste
  6. Serve with crusty bread

 

Delicious Stew


Homeschool Native American Earth Lessons, Crafts and Vegan Recipes


Take your learning further with these websites:

https://www.warpaths2peacepipes.com/native-american-symbols/

https://www.ducksters.com/history/native_americans/mythology_legends.php

https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/NativeAmericanHeritage/

Native American stories:

http://www.apples4theteacher.com/native-american/short-stories/

http://the-office.com/bedtime-story/indians.htm

Native American colouring pictures:

http://www.apples4theteacher.com/coloring-pages/native-americans/

Native American word jumbles/word searches:

http://www.apples4theteacher.com/native-american/printables/

 


The following are Amazon Affiliate links. if you click through and make a purchase then I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend relevant resources that I have used previously or would really like to! Thanks!

These books are brilliant classics about a boy and his little Indian figure coming to life. At bedtime turn off your child’s light, give your child a torch, this book and they will have an awesome adventure learning how much fun reading actually is from under the duvet! These books are recommended for ages 9 -12 but I would think older and younger readers will enjoy also. As I love reading stories I would read them aloud first, then give my child the torch to re-read!

Jacq

I'm a homeschooling mum living in the Scottish Highlands. I'm currently completing a masters in Psychology. I've also studied counselling, CBT, sociology and health courses. I also have my cookery diploma. I love vegan baking and cooking. And lots of books!

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2 Responses

  1. This is such a great post with fantastic home ed ideas. I will be giving some of these recipes a go with my children during the school holidays- Thanks 🙂

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