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As you plan to use this curriculum in your classroom or program, here are some tips that are essential for the success of the program and student well-being:
For centuries Ojibwe people have followed a well-defined seasonal pattern as they made use of the rich assortment of resources present in the environment. Accordingly, this curriculum is organized with the four seasons in mind:
Some of the activities described in the lesson plans do not coincide with a particular season, and therefore can be used in the classroom any time of the year. Other lesson plans clearly indicate a seasonal connection and must be used during those times of the year out of both traditional and cultural respect for the Native community. For example, in most Great Lakes Ojibwe traditions, storytelling is only done when snow is on the ground. Therefore, the storytelling lesson plans of this curriculum guide are only to be taught during the winter months. Traditions vary, so it is important to be aware and respectful of your community's beliefs. The teachers who created these lessons built their knowledge from community resources including teaching artists, cultural experts, parents, and elders.
Identifying and implementing culturally appropriate practices in each season is part of becoming culturally aware and respectful. Acknowledging traditions and patterns of communities also helps build bridges between home and school for both students and families.