Thursday, November 10, 2011
Pipe Cleaner Wigwam
We've been reading Charlotte and David Yue's The Wigwam and the Longhouse this week, and it's been spawning quite a bit of creative play - fire pits...
...and Indian camps in the backyard, and that sort of thing.
The Yue's, while leaning pretty heavily in the direction of the "noble savage" in their depiction of the eastern Native American tribes, do a fantastic job presenting the details of their daily life gone by in a way that makes it seem very real, and appealing. We will definitely be looking for some of the authors' other titles, dealing with the history of native cultures from across North America.
The easy to read text flows along almost poetically, accompanied by engaging black and white illustrations of the objects or scenes described, drawing the children in. My girls, in fact, were very excited to learn that wigwams and longhouses were once the property of the women who made them, or more specifically of the matriarch, or oldest woman of the families living in them.
In fact, they were very keen to build a wigwam of their own to use as a fort in the backyard. But, when I refused to give them an ax for cutting down the saplings on the green space, they opted for a smaller, pipe cleaner version, for their Polly Pockets, instead.
Following the Yue's instructions, they traced out the footprint of their wigwam in the dirt (or in their case, on the cardboard).
Then, since they could not push the spiked ends of their "saplings" into the dirt, they secured them in place with bits of air-drying clay...
...overlapping, wrapping and...
...lashing them together with string...
...until they had a wigwamish sort of frame, with an opening left in the front for a door.
They covered the frame with strips of felt - light brown to represent the reed mats women might have once used, and dark brown for mats of tree bark...
...being careful to leave an opening for smoke from the fire pit to escape through, at the top.
They briefly considered sewing the felt to the pipe cleaner frame with a few stitches at the top of each strip, but it sounded like a lot of work, and the afternoon weather outside had turned unseasonably warm, so they secured the mats with an external pipe cleaner frame, to keep everything in place...
...and headed out, I can only assume, to play Pilgrims and Indians.
It's great to be a homeschooler.
Linked with :
The Geography and History Meme at All Things Beautiful
And, the stART (story + ART) link-up hosted by A Mommy's Adventures.