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Another Navajo lesson plan, this one involving Weaving Rugs
Art, Language Arts, Social Studies
3, 4, 5
Title – Weaving Navajo Rugs
By – Jennifer Dalke
Subject – Social Studies, Art, Language Arts
Grade Level – 3-5
**Note – This lesson plan uses some handout(s) that are not available, however, much of the lesson plan can be completed without the handout(s).
Lesson 2: Weaving Navajo Rugs
* By rereading the story as a reader’s theater, students will become more familiar with the process of Navajo weaving
* Students will build upon their knowledge of the Navajo Indians by seeing and hearing the story again
* Students will process the story in order to write from a Navajo perspective
* Each student will take part in rereading the story as a reader’s theater (teacher observation).
* Using information that they learned from the story and following teacher’s directions, students will write short letters from a Navajo child’s perspective (see attached rubric).
* Students will ‘weave’ their own small ‘Navajo rugs’ (see attached) (completion of project).
* handouts of reader’s theater, “The Goat in the Rug,” by Charles L. Blood and Martin Link
* notebook paper
* whole pieces of colored construction paper
When students arrive in the classroom, they will see a variety of Navajo rugs that I will have hung around the room. Instructing them to be very careful with the rugs, I will allow them time to roam around the room to look at and to feel the rugs. After about 10 minutes, I will ask the students to sit down because they need to prepare to ‘weave’ their own ‘Navajo rugs’!
1. I will ask the students what they noticed about the rugs as they walked around the room. Are there any similarities? Are there any differences? Do you see any common colors?
2. Next, I will tell the children that they were all woven just like Glenmae wove the rug in the story, “The Goat in the Rug,” that we read yesterday.
3. I will ask the students if they remember the steps that Glenmae followed. I will list the students’ ideas on the board, regardless if they are in order or not.
4. Then, I will pass out the reader’s theater of “The Goat in the Rug,” explaining that we will be rereading the story. I will instruct the students to pay attention to see if we missed any steps.
5. I will assign the students parts to the reader’s theater, making sure that students are given parts that are at an appropriate reading level and that all students have a part.
6. We will read the reader’s theater.
7. Based on what we have read, as a class, we will decide if we need to add any steps to those we have already listed on the board. Next, we will assign numbers to each step in order to put them in the correct sequence.
8. Now, I will ask students to think about what they have read. Does this sound like something that they would enjoy doing? Does it sound like a troublesome task?
9. I will ask students to take out a piece of paper and a pencil. Students should pretend that he/she is Glenmae’s son/daughter, living in the time and place of the story. Each child should pick a friend and write a letter to him or her explaining if they like to help their mother weave rugs (and why) or if they do not like to help their mother weave rugs (and why not). Students need to be sure to pick one position and defend it in at least 5 sentences. They should also pay attention to be sure that their writings are in the correct form of a letter(if necessary, we will go over the form of a letter).
10. Students will be given about 15 minutes to complete this assignment.
11. Finally, students will be able to ‘weave’ their own ‘Navajo rugs.’ I will show students a ‘rug’ that I have already completed, and allow them to pick up to 4 pieces of construction paper from a front table along with a pair of scissors. Glue will be distributed so that every two students have one bottle.
12. I will show them how to cut strips of paper, and then to weave it into another piece to make a ‘rug.’ I will be sure to remind the students about what the story said about woven designs never being duplicated. Students should be creative and unique in their designs. I will allow students about 20 minutes to weave their Navajo rugs.
When students have finished his/her rug, I will have each of them come show me his/her project. As long as they have followed directions, I will give them credit for their work. I will hang all of the rugs around the large list of things we learned that we made yesterday.
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