Sunday, November 13, 2011

Trading Day

I love, love, love trying new things and for November my kinder team is trying out "Trading Day". I am especially excited because the firsties in my K/1 combo have never done this before so it will be new, new, new for all of my students! (I really try to not repeat things that my kinders may have done last year - not completely humanly possible, but I try!)

I have to credit a WONDERFUL kindergarten teacher named Kim for many most ALL of the ideas I am about to share. KIM, YOU ARE AMAZING!

So what is Trading Day?
Trading Day is based on the bartering system that the Native Americans used. Students bring in items to trade with one another. The items they bring in must be natural items and not manmade. Examples include: acorns, rocks, raisins. Students have to barter with one another over their trades. (Example: How many rocks does a child trade for one acorn?) We sent home a letter explaining Trading Day to parents. Here is the letter.

The students are going to be making several projects next week to prepare for Trading Day. Since this is my first time to do these things, I don't have photos yet. The activities include:

Choosing a Native American name
Wonderful Kim gave us a list of Native American names. One of my teammates had students pick a name from a bag. Smart!
But being me, I had to make it more complex. I wanted to reinforce the parts of speech with my firsties so we brainstormed a list of animals (nouns) and then a list of adjectives to describe the animals. Sounds great, right? Hmmm... in doing this we got away from true Native American names. Hopping Kangaroo? Jumping Jaguar? Whoops! I did explain that those animals were not native to the United States, but by then my students had their hearts set on certain names so I let them keep those names.

Trading Mats
We will make these from 12X18 pieces of light brown paper. Students will draw Native American symbols on these and then fringe two of the edges. On Friday the students will place all of the items they want to trade on these mats.

Many,many ways to go with these! My class is going to use a Sharpie to make Native American designs on a brown foam circle. (I have precut the circles, punched two holes in each and strung a piece of yarn through the two holes.) A teammate bought some stick-on jewels from Lakeshore, so I am going to have the students make a pattern around the perimeter of the circle using the jewels. (Another way to sneak in academic vocabulary: perimeter.)

I cut these out of sentence strips. Then I wrote the chosen Native American names on each strip. Next week the students will use construction paper squares to create patterns. (My plan is to give them 2"X2" squares of many colors. Students may use the squares or create circles or triangles from them.) Then, of course, I will staple the ends together and -voila- a headband! I am thinking of giving the students one feather at each station on Friday, but somehow that doesn't feel authentic. (I really want to be respectful of the Native American cultures and sometimes I cross the line in order to be "cute", but I am really trying not to!)

Kim (have I already told you she is BRILLIANT?!?) showed me a much easier way to make vests. (Years I made them out of grocery sacks and that was a lot of work.) Instead they will be made out of brown packing paper. Just fold a large piece in half and cut out a hole for the head. Then the students will make designs on the paper. (Sure wish I had a photo!!! They will come, I promise!)

Whew! Lots to do next week! My students are sooo excited and I am sooo, sooo, sooo excited!
Love to all, Camille

1 comment:

  1. Just me checking to see if my blog makes commenters type in crazy fake words.