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This Culture-Based Arts Integrated Curriculum website is the ongoing product of the work of many K-8 public school teachers in northern Minnesota.
The lessons and activities provided here were developed as part of two projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement, Arts in Education Model Demonstration and Dissemination Programs beginning in 2006. These projects address specific gaps and weaknesses in educational service, infrastructure, and opportunities for American Indian and non-Indian students.
The first project, Project Intersect (2006-2010), and the current project, CBAI, are comprehensive and collaborative models designed and facilitated by the University of Minnesota's Institute on Community Integration and Department of Curriculum and Instruction Art Education Program.
Project Intersect focused on students in Cloquet Public Schools and the Fond du Lac Ojibwe School. The CBAI Project focuses on students in St. Louis County Schools District #2142 in northern Minnesota.
These projects seek to enhance interest, understanding, enthusiasm, and performance in standards-based subjects among American Indian and non-American Indian students in grades K-8. Teachers of grades K-8 and art teachers participate in training to enhance their understanding of Ojibwe culture and art and then work with project staff to design lesson plans in order to integrate this new knowledge into their existing curricula. These new lesson plans are available to you on this website, which will be updated as more lessons are created.
Because these lesson plans were created by working teachers, you will notice the personal and often conversational tone in which they are written. Additionally, the teachers took care to offer suggestions and helpful hints for their effective use by teachers and educators elsewhere.
The lesson plans shared here may not always be appropriate choices for all classrooms, regions, and contexts. The teachers of this project worked in collaboration with elders and culturalists in their community to ensure proper and appropriate curriculum, based on local Ojibwe art and culture.
Before committing to any lesson plan idea, please be sure to research the literature, resources and any classroom materials you intend to use for accuracy and appropriateness. There is great diversity in Native communities and we cannot stress enough the importance of educating yourself, as well as connecting with elders and culturalists in your region for guidance and assistance in curriculum development.
Please take a minute and look over the resources, cultural materials, and informative links as you prepare to bring these lesson plans thoughtfully and appropriately into your classroom.
The lesson plans on the website were developed by classroom teachers in grades 1-8 with the support of project staff. Connie Hyde, Cloquet Public Schools and Tara Graves, Fond du Lac Ojibwe School served as on site staff. Dr. James Bequette, Arts Education faculty at the University of Minnesota and Dr. Jean E. Ness coordinated activities with the University and project sites, and Kelly Hrenko, graduate student in Arts Education managed the collection, editing, and consolidating of all lesson plans, observed teachers in their classroom's, and provided content support to all project teachers.