September 27, 2012

Native Americans Day 12: Arctic: Eskimo (Inuit)

Arctic: Eskimo (Inuit)
1. Review: We talked about the Cree tribe in the Sub Arctic region last time. Today we will move to the Arctic region (show on regional map) and learn about theInuit tribe.
2. Map Skills: Compare the regional map to the globe or map today and see what countries or states are in the Artic region.
3. Discuss: Fill out the Tribes Chart after reading each section. Have the child listen closely to choose what word to put on the chart. Bold type words are good suggestions. After the chart has been filled out let the child color the Arctic region on the blank Native American Groups Map.
  • Habitat: The Arctic region of North America stretches 5000 miles from the Bering Strait to Greenland. The January temperatures often drop to -40ยบ Fahrenheit. The land is flat except for the central Alaska area.
  • Homes: Permanent homes were made of stone and earth. They were built partially underground. Whale ribs sometimes supported the roof. Temporary winter hunting lodges called igloos were made from snow and ice. The Inuit formed a circular foundation of ice blocks. They stacked smaller blocks to create a dome at the top. A small hole was left for ventilation. Gaps in the ice blocks were filled with soft snow and the inside was lined with furs.
  • Dress: Warm clothing was important to the Inuit tribes. Sealskin was usually wore in the summer. In the winter caribou skin was worn. Caribou skin was light weight yet very warm. Clothing was also made of other skins including those of musk oxen, polar bears, and birds. Both men and women wore hooded tunics and trousers over long boots. The women's tunics were made very large so she could carry her baby inside the tunic. Parkas were made of seal-skin.
  • Food: The walrus, seal, and other fur-bearing sea mammals supply food and clothing to the Inuit. All parts of the animals were used. The walrus hide was made into boats. In the winter seals were harpooned at their breathing holes in the ice. A hunter might have to stand still for hours waiting for the seal to come up for air. In the summer the seals came out of the water to sun themselves. The hunter can crawl close to the seal and throw a harpoon to kill the seal. In late summer the caribou were hunted. Inuit hunters made camp near the caribou grazing grounds. They would ambush the slow-moving herd with bows and arrows.
4. Read: The Inuit by Kevin Cunningham & Peter Benoit
5. Comprehension questions:
  • What region did the Inuit live in? Arctic
  • What kind of homes did the Inuit build? Igloos
  • What kind of clothes did the Inuit wear? Hooded tunics, Parkas and long boots
  • How did the Inuit get their food? Hunted

Natives of the Far North
I copied page 41 in Native Americans A Complete Thematic Unit by Jill Norris for J.  He colored the picture of the Inuit in their traditional clothing and then wrote 2 things that he has learned about the Inuit on the bottom of the page.

Sugar Cube Igloo
Discuss: Talk with children about the construction of the igloo. What shape is it? What is it made of? Ask them to think about how it is made, and how it works? Brainstorm with them about how a family could stay warm inside. Watch How to Build an Igloo.
Sugar Cubes
(one box = one igloo)
White Glue
White AcrylicPaint
Cotton Balls

1- Cover your cardboard with white paint. 
2- Draw out the shape of your igloo. Try to get it a circle, you can use a plate or upside down cup. Don't forget a doorway. 
3- Put down a layer of glue along your igloo shape, and begin to build your igloo. 
4- When you start you're second layer you want to build a little bit inwards so that eventually you're igloo will come together. 
5- Continue to build up and in, being careful. If you can stagger the cubes a bit it will be somewhat sturdier.  
6- At some point you'll need to let your layers dry. When we got to the third layer we decided to let it rest for the night. 
7- Glue cotton balls on the cardboard outside of the Igloo.

Nyasha's Problem
I had an activity in my files that we did for some problem solving. Nyasha needed to take a jackal, a bag of millet, and a rooster across a river; but her boat was so tiny that it could only hold her and one other item at a time.  She couldn't leave the rooster with the jackal because the jackal would eat the rooster, and she couldn't leave the millet with the rooster because the rooster would eat the millet.  How can she get everything across the river?
Take the rooster across the river...
Go back and get the millet to take across the river...
Take the rooster back across with her...
Take the jackal across the river...
Go back across and get the chicken...
And he figured it out!

Inuit Soapstone Carving
The Inuit made small carvings out of bone or walrus tusks. These were simple animal forms that they hoped would bring them good luck in hunting. As ivory became scarce, they began to carve soapstone instead.
  • a bar of soft soap (such as Ivory or self-hardening modeling clay)
  • pencil and scrap paper
  • plastic knife
  • modeling tools (optional)
  • sponge
  1. Sketch an animal on a piece of scrap paper. A rounded form is best, such as a polar bear, whale, rabbit, or cat. Keep it simple, and try sketching the front and back, as well as the side.
    J started with a rabbit, but discovered it was too difficult so switched to a whale.
  2. Copy your drawing onto the bar of soap by poking holes with a toothpick.
  3. Hold the soap in one hand. Hold the knife in your other hand and press your thumb against the bottom of the bar, cutting slowly toward your thumb. Take off only thin slivers with each stroke.
  4. Use the pencil or modeling tools to add details or texture.
  5. When you have cut out the basic shape, scrape the surface with your knife to smooth it. For and even smoother surface, wet a sponge and wipe the sculpture gently. Allow it to dry.

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