We have launched into our exploration of the continents. This journey will take us well into spring as we discuss each continent and several countries within it.
We began our discussion by talking about the seven continents, and identifying the one we live in—North America! Within North America there are many countries, including our own, the United States. The United States is comprised of 50 states. We identified Ohio, and Oxford, the place many of us call home.
There are many works on the shelves that the children can explore about landmarks and monuments, North American animals, geography, flags, and artifacts. We have also included materials that are specific to the state of Ohio. These works remain on the shelves for two weeks until we move on to our next country.
We are grateful to have Emma, a member of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, working in our classroom this year. The word “Miami” is quite familiar to our students, as many children have parents who work at the university. Some of us have heard of the Miami River or Miami Township. All these names came from the Miami Tribe who once inhabited this region, but many of whom later relocated to Oklahoma.
Emma’s brother Jarrid visited our classroom and talked to us about the Miami Tribe. Tribe members are just like other Americans—they shop at the grocery store, have jobs, and drive cars. But sometimes they participate in special traditions and even speak another language—Myaamia.
Emma and Jarrid taught us a song that they sing as a greeting to one another. Jarrid also showed us how to play a game called Mahkisina Meehkintiinki, or, the Moccasin Game. One player says “kyaatoolo” or “hide it” and then the other player hides an object under one of four potholders. The player also pretends to hide it under all the other potholders. That player then says “mihkanto” or “find it.” This game used to be played with moccasins, but is now played with colorful potholders that bear the same decorative touches. Jarrid also talked about Lacrosse. It is a popular sport with the Miami Tribe often played at social gatherings.
Special thanks to Emma and Jarrid for sharing their knowledge and traditions with us!