Turtles, Stories, Science, Music, and Dance
In this lesson students enjoy and examine various musical instruments that have been used by American Indian people for many years, they also learn how they were made and materials used to make them. Students study turtle anatomy and learn their value and symbolic significance in American Indian culture. This lesson teaches that the Turtle’s shell has thirteen scales and in traditional Indian cultures each represent a cycle of the moon. In addition we understand that Indian people so revere this little creature. We understand that many traditional Native people believe the Turtle represent truth, strength, perseverance, durability, determination, fertility, longevity and happiness and reminds us that all creation is a teacher. Along with our study of the Turtle students also learn there are many other ways the Native Peoples use the turtle, including food and embellishment of their clothing and utilitarian items. In addition to learning the symbolic meaning and use of the Turtle students are improving their detail, elaboration and sequencing skills. We use a variety of synthetic and natural materials and make a Turtle Shell rattle of our own and learn a traditional song and dance and make the music with our rattle.
NOTE This lesson can stand alone or be combined with Artifact and History presentation. (Recommended) By combining the presentation the students learn history and gain a better understanding of American Indian culture there-for a greater appreciation of the art form.