Frustration with Stereotyped Themes

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by brightsky351, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. brightsky351

    brightsky351 Rookie

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    Oct 27, 2010

    Does anyone out there teaching Preschool or kindergarten get tired of teaching out dated, theme based curriculum heavily focused on lessons with Pilgrims and Indians?

    I keep running into this issue every year. I want to implement culturally appropriate and truthful information and not stereo types.
     
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  3. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Oct 27, 2010

    Fortunately, I have the flexibility to choose my own themes based on what my kids are interested in, what's going on around us, or what I think will be fun. I don't do that aspect of Thanksgiving, mostly because it's hard to find apropriate activities that don't fit into the stereotypes...

    My November curriculum will focus around foods/harvest (scarecrows, corn, carrots, etc), and then turkeys. They'll have plenty of time to learn about the real story behind the First Thanksgiving, etc. later, but I'm also not teaching misinterpretations :)
     
  4. teacherR

    teacherR Companion

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    Oct 27, 2010

    I was just saying that to my fellow teachers the other day. We are doing a Native American theme for November but I did not want to feed into the stereotypes either. I chose to do Native Americans because I wanted the kids to really understand some of the culture and traditions. Washington state is greatly influenced by the Native American tribes that live here and I want the children to understand why. It is actually turning out to be a wonderful unit that is full of hands on activities. It also is a great way to tie in taking care of Nature and appreciating different crops. We dont plan on talking about the pilgrim and Indian legend much if at all. I found some great authentic activites at Universalpreschool.com. What I love is that a lot of it comes from nature like crushing dark berries and mixing the juice with vinegar to make paint or making button blankets with felt and buttons. Super easy and super fun.
     
  5. brightsky351

    brightsky351 Rookie

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    Oct 27, 2010

    Thank you both for sharing what you've been able to do with in your schools. I have always enjoyed creating curriculum based on the interests of the children, yet the "powers that be" don't always understand why I don't feel comfortable teaching old stereo types.
    Thanks again! :)
     
  6. HappyLearning

    HappyLearning Rookie

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    Nov 4, 2010

    Just thought that I would throw this is... I teach at a Head Start that is ON an Indian Reservation. Thanksgiving can be a bit of a "sore spot" as the traditional tale of Pilgrims & Indians is fairy tale at best... and at worst, a truw story of rejected friendship and kindness taked advantage of.

    For Thanksgiving we do tuekys and such, but it is mostly about being TAHNKFUL, thinking about the good things in our lives and figuring out how to be a "good thing" in other people's lives.

    And just recently, Obama declared the month of November "National Native American/Alaska Native Month" with November 26 being National Native American Day. So thoes of you who are focusing your units on Nativ cultures-- you are right on spot!
     
  7. teacherR

    teacherR Companion

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    Nov 5, 2010

    Thanks for your post HappyLearning. At first my fellow teachers were a bit nervous about doing a unit on Native American culture but I really wanted to fight against the legend of the first Thanksgiving. As a side note, the kids are loving learning about this. They love the art work and watching the fancy dancers. They are having a ton of fun learning about totem poles and they made button blankets. We as teachers are learning a lot too which is great! I will definitley do this again next year.
     
  8. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Nov 5, 2010

    I have never taught my kids about the "First Thanksgiving" fairy tale. I lightly touch on some Native American art and stay away from Pilgrims completely. I hope that someday the kids will be taught the truth of what really happened.
     

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