Native American Night
Native American Night at Baltz Elementary
On Wednesday, January 23, 2019 Baltz Elementary hosted a Native American Cultural Night. The event was put together by the fourth grade team in collaboration with Art and Music. Native American History is a part of the fourth grade Social Studies curriculum. As a cross curricular project, Art and Music jumped on board to give the students a deeper understanding of the culture.
Throughout the unit, students developed an understanding of the struggles that occurred long before the arrival of Europeans and explorers. The students were able to learn that the first people to live in a land are referred to as the “indigenous peoples, or “original settlers.” The Native Americans are those indigenous peoples and cultures of our United States.
There are hundreds of tribes throughout the United States many of them known as the Cherokee, Apache, and the Navajo. This particular event was focused on the Inuit. The Inuit were the last native people to arrive in North America.
The night began in the gymnasium with a group of fourth grade students performing two Native American songs using their singing voices, drums, and shakers. The first song was titled “Bear Dance”, the second was titled “Rabbit Song” which showed the importance of animals in the Native American Culture. The songs were learned in class by all of the fourth graders.
The songs were followed by a performance by the Aztec dance group Tonantzin Yaotecas. The group put on a dynamic performance with brilliant costumes, fire and drums. A fourth grade student from Baltz and her family are members of the group.
After the performances, the students and their families were invited to visit the fourth grade hallway to the beautiful artwork. The Inuit have a distinct culture and appearance from other First peoples groups. They didn’t have a language like we use today, they used symbols and pictures to express their words and ideas. These images were displayed on dream catchers and replicas of Buffalo Hide Paintings that the students made. Also on display were clay pots and Totem Poles that the students had made during Art Class.