Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Musqueam: People of the River Grass

We have borrowed an education kit from the Richmond Museum that focuses on the Musqueam which is the First Nation that's territory encompassed and continues to be a part of Richmond's history.

This week all the intermediate classes wore the "museum gloves" to carefully handle and observe several artifacts used for fishing by the Musqueam peoples. Some of the artifacts are very old and represent historical and cultural ways of fishing and some of the artifacts are the contemporary versions of the older tools.

The students were asked to make careful observations and record what they noticed about the artifact/s at their tables. They were then asked to make inferences as to what the object might have been used for or why it had changed over time. Finally, the students were asked to consider inquiry questions they had after looking at and discussing the artifacts.

Our discussions focused on the use of natural resources to create tools that were functional and served a specific purpose. The examples we had from the kit showed the students how the many different parts of a cedar tree (outer bark, inner bark, branches, main part of tree) were used to create tools, baskets and canoes. A bone net needle led to discussion on how all parts of an animal were used if it had to be hunted for food. The students had lots of interesting questions and hopefully there will be opportunities over the next few weeks for students to investigate their questions further.

~Ms Novakowski

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