Native American Heritage and Letter M


October is Native American Heritage month and we enjoyed learning about a lot of different tribes in our Sensory and Fine Motor Groups. Our Language Group looked at words starting with the letter M.

Sensory Group—Native American Heritage

IMG_3442We started by reading Cara’s book and used the voice output device for the repetitive line.  Our students really enjoyed all the pictures she found this week and they are getting so good at activating the voice output device.

This activity addresses the language access points of attending to familiar print forms and responding to a technology resource.

…..perfectly illustrated in this awesome picture—don’t you think!







IMG_1313Our Native American unit addresses the American History access point of recognizing characteristics of early native americans.

Different kinds of beans were a part of the diet of

the Apalachee, Cheyenne, and Cherokee tribes.

We used our mixed beans to represent some of

the different beans they ate.

We also put in the letters N and A.

Some of our students spent time examining

the letters—others dived in with both hands 🙂

Tactile discrimination skills are addressed

when sifting through the beans.




IMG_3461We learned that not all native american tribes wore feathers but the Sioux, Omaha, Comanchee, and Arapaho tribes are known for wearing them.

This box of colorful feathers was great fun to sift through. Our students also enjoyed picking them up and watching them drift down. Some also loved the feel of them stroking their face.

We had so much fun with this box….how can you go wrong with a box full of feathers after all! We have to admit they were a little messy and we did manage to leave a bunch of little pieces behind in each class  🙂

This box addresses the science access point of tracking a falling object. It also addresses the science access point of recognizing and responding to sensory stimuli.






IMG_3338Animals were very important for many native

americans. The Comanchee tribe hunted

buffalo. The Navaho raised sheep.

The Arapaho wore buckskin clothing.

We used our pieces of fake fur, sheepskin

and deerskin to represent these animals.

This addresses American History access

point of identifying practices of Native

Americans. It also addresses the

science access point of using senses

(touch) to recognize objects.





IMG_1305Lots of different tribes were represented in our next box. We put in some corn and play food squash which the Apalachee and Ponca ate. A piece of turquoise like Zuni jewelry was also included.

Some raffia became our “swamp grass” like baskets made by the Chinook. We put in some picture cards of sheep that the Navaho raised and horses that the Comanche rode.

There was a toy buffalo–they were hunted by the Blackfoot and Cheyenne tribes. We found a little tipi like the ones the Sioux and Arapaho used (and we learned that not all native americans lived in tipis). The Seminoles are known for their beautiful patchwork so we had to include a piece of patchwork fabric that resembled their work.







IMG_1336We loved watching our students reactions and

preferences to the different items. We were

really excited when the student in the above

picture correctly oriented the word “family”

demonstrating his awareness of the concept

of print and how it is organized.

Other students, such as the one on the right

loved the native american music we

recorded on a voice output device placed in

the box.




IMG_1340Our red playdough (made using cherry koolaid) looked just like the adobe that the Pueblo made into houses. There were some cookie cutters available but a lot of our students just loved to feel the playdough squish between their fingers 🙂

Playing with the playdough is great for strengthening hand intrinsics.

As we discuss the adobe houses of the Pueblo we are addressing the american history access point of recognizing that people live together in the same location (settlement).








IMG_3477The discovery bottles were filled with acorn


(eaten by the Yokuts) and beads (used by

the Wampanoag, Cherokee, and Kiowa


Of course these were fun to shake and

roll around!

By comparing the different sounds the

bottles made when shaken we

addressed the science access point of

recognizing and responding to

common sounds.





IMG_3469Native americans have rich oral tradition and many of their tales are still told around campfires. By adding red and yellow food coloring to our shaving cream we made colors that looked like the flames in a campfire.

So much fun to squish around!

Looking at how the shaving cream changed as the colors are mixed addresses the science access point of recognizing that the appearance of an object or material has changed.







IMG_3332Nature is so important to Native American culture

that we thought the Juniper Breeze scent from

Bath and Body Works was the appropriate

scent in which to rinse our hands.

As students wash the shaving cream from

their hands and apply the lotion, they are building body

awareness and improving bilateral functions.





Fine Motor Group—Native American Heritage

IMG_3355On Tuesday, after reading Cara’s book and learning about Native American heritage, we discussed how drums are often used in native american music. So today, for our art project, we are going to make our own drums.

First we counted out 6 tan rectangles. We ran fingers down and counted each side to help reinforce the concept of the 4 sides of the rectangle.

This addresses the math access point of recognizing the sides of a rectangle.

Then we stamped a variety of animals and plants onto our rectangles, addressing eye hand coordination.





IMG_3364The paper was then taped, with help, around an

oatmeal container.

Hand intrinsic functions are addressed when

applying tape to the paper.








IMG_3378When the project was finished, Cara placed a short video of a native american drum circle—the students LOVED it!!! They couldn’t wait to start drumming their own drums!

So cute!

This was a GREAT activity!

On Thursday, after reading Cara’s book again we made totem poles, like the Tlinglit tribe.







IMG_1370We had a selection of prewrapped empty cereal boxes and

students made their choice from a selection 3 colors.

Our picture cards are so helpful for reinforcing color

concepts and also for building communication

of preferences.








IMG_1394After the boxes were passed around (and counted, of course, to address math access points) we decorated them with a variety of markers.

This is great for practicing manipulating writing utensils by scribbling or drawing (depending on skill level) with markers.

Then we began attaching premade eyes, noses, mouths and wings. We emphasized the placement of the different parts ex. the eyes go on top, the mouth at the bottom.

We helped our students squeeze the glue and encouraged them to place their pieces on the glue. This activity addresses eye hand coordination and spatial relations.

It also addresses the math access point of matching objects to a designated space to show one to one correspondence.





IMG_1396Ta Da!! Our students were so proud of their


We think they look awesome 🙂










IMG_1420And here is our totem all put together—doesn’t it just look amazing!!!

We had so much fun counting the boxes as we stacked them (using double stick tape). Everyone got excited as it got higher and


It really looks great outside of Jeannie’s classroom.









Language Group—Letter M

IMG_3379We started by playing with this cute little Monkey. He laughed and rolled around when our students made noise so it was perfect for everyone including our students with physical or visual impairments.

We loved seeing our students reactions, everyone ended up with a smile on their face 🙂

This activity addresses the science access point of recognizing and responding to sensory stimuli.








IMG_3402Then we put some Money in our piggy bank.

Eye hand coordination is addressed as

the students place the coins in the slot.

Math concepts are addressed as the

coins are counted.







IMG_3429Next we played Cara’s sound game.

Lots of cool sounds starting with the letter M!






IMG_3436We finished by having a party to say goodbye to

Ms. Thea who has finished her internship

in Robins room.

Of course we Munched on some yummy food,

including these crackers that have letters

of the alphabet—-so cool!








IMG_3433Goodbye Ms. Thea!

We will really Miss you 😦

We had so Much fun today!

Join us again next time,

for lots more fun

Group by Group 🙂

One response »

  1. Great work! The pictures show how much progress Drew’s made since last year! Thanks for your hard work. -Drew’s mom

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