THE NATIVE AMERICAN LESSON PLAN –PAPER PLATE DREAM CATCHERS

Paper-Plate-Crafts-for-Kids-Make-super-cute-Dream-Catchers-with-Heart-Star-detailsFor the lesson plan I got an idea when I saw  DIY dream catcher. Once I read it I thought, aha, this might be  very useful in the classroom for a few reasons:

OBJECTIVES:

  • There are moments, and they are getting more frequent due to a variety of work that needs to be done as a part of a teaching job: getting the administration done, grading tests, staying after the class to do some extra-curriculum activities, participating in projects teams, attending teachers’ meeting, planning your next working day and so much more. By the end of the day you are absolutely both physically and mentally exhausted and you hardly have enough quality time for your family. With this lesson plan you will feel the difference.
  • When the students are in question I believe that this lesson plan will help them develop listening skills, help them develop creativity and imagination, and learn to follow the instructions. For this particular lesson plan, Suggestopedia method is (by the way, my favourite teaching method) the most appropriate. The colleagues who are familiar with this method are also familiar with the way it works. It is the essential method, in my opinion, as it directly affects students’ learning in a non-invasive way. Therefore, I find it the most appropriate to be used for this lesson plan, although other methods are involved as well. All in the approach to teaching this lesson is eclectic.
  • Besides those reasons, both the teacher and the students will enjoy the relaxing and inspiring atmosphere if done properly with some meditative music in the background and cinema like atmosphere. (Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata” light pan flute instrumental music, Peruvian recommended or any other to your preference.
  • As an outcome, the students will leave the classroom stress-free, since as much as you have had a hard day at work, so have they, let alone the focus on developing the listening, speaking skills, new vocabulary.

GROUPING:

  • It is recommended that the students work in groups of 4. Yet , pair work or even individual work is also acceptable, depending on the student’s personality. If some prefer to work individually, let them, if some prefer to work in pair, let them. If others prefer to work in small group and share the task, let them. This is a creative process and expressing creativity is a personal choice. Once you see them get involved into the task themselves, you will certainly be more than satisfied. It can bring them together or let them express themselves individually. If you are working with teen groups and plus, they probably won’t need your help. Let them take their dream catchers home and hang them over their beds.

TIMING:  Around 90 min.

A NOTE:

Prior to this class, which means the class before this own assign the homework for your students giving them a list of the material they will need for the next class. If they start asking any questions, just tell them: “ Not telling.It’s a surprise!”

FOR THE PAPER PLATE DREAM CATCHER YOU WILL NEED:

  1. A paper plate per student
  2. Scissors
  3. String or wool (if wanted, in different colours)
  4. Beads (explain the word)
  5. Feathers or felt (explain the words)

Also, at home, make sure that you prepare a video that will present and show how to make a paper plate dream catcher. For this purpose, you can record it yourself, paying attention not just to the process itself but the voice as well. It needs to me soothing, calming and suggestive. For this purpose you can click on the link below and see how some of the creative women have explained the process of paper plate dream catcher making process.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6zZepqpxQk

This mom is enthusiastic at the beginning which is absolutely normal. However, for the purpose of the class goals and objectives you needn’t be enthusiastic since you want to help the children focus spontaneously, in a relaxed way to listen to the instruction and try to picture it in your mind so that, later during the  class they can make their own paper plate dream catcher.

To make your own video, you can start this way (keep in mind that this part follows the WARM UP section):

“Up till now you were listening to the legend about the dream catcher. Now, we will try to learn how to make a paper plate dream catcher. Just sit comfortably in your chairs again, close your eyes again and listen to the instructions. Do not get distracted by the words you are not familiar with. Just listen and focus on my voice. Ready?

  1. Begin by cutting a circle from the center of your plate. Try and keep the bit you cut out “whole”, because you can reuse it to cut out a heart of star shape. Take a hole punch and cut even holes and cut even holes into the rim of your paper plate dream catcher. I started by making the holes with the scissors on the opposite sides of the rim, then rotating by 90 degrees and punching two more holes – similar like a compass. Then fill the space in between evenly. You can make 12-16 holes like this – forming the paper plate dream catcher.
  2. Cut some wool – it needs to be quite long, so, if possible, make sure it does not tangle, or use smaller pieces instead. You may end up just a couple of more knots but that is not a problem. It could make your dream catcher even more interesting or colourful if you use the shorter pieces of wool in different colours. Knot your wool to one whole and lace it through the heart that you placed in the center of the paper plate hole, and then the next hole along.

Always lace in the same direction, for example, over the heart and under the whole. Don’t keep the thread too tight. Keep it loose instead (approximately 4-5 cm). When you get to the end it will tighten naturally. To make the thread easier to handle the ends of the wool with some tape to create a shoe-lace effect. You can also use some beads along your thread as you go along. It will surely make your dream catcher look nicer. Using the same procedure, you can use another long thread of wool in a different colours, or choose to thread two piece of wool.

  1. Now it’s time to make your ‘tangly’ bits. Thread some wool through the 3-4 bottom holes of your dream catcher. Tie at the back and again use the shoe-lace effect.
  2. Bead your beads. If your wool is thick the the will keep the beads in their place. If it is not, just tie little knots under the beads.
  3. As for the feathers, you can use some natural feathers if not, use some felt to cut the leaves in different colours. Snip some uhm snips on the sides of the leaves and add a little line with a biro. .
  4. Snip a tiny hole at the top of your feather. Thread a bead and than your feather and finally tie a little knot at the back. For the real feather, just tie the wool around the end of the feather and ‘hide’ a knot with a bead. Aaaannnd there you go, your paper plate dream catcher is done.’

 

WARM UP:

To begin with, on entering the classroom, greet the students in a mild tone of voice and ask them to close the windows and pull the curtains. Also, tell them to sit and relaxed in their chairs as much as possible and to close their eyes. Play some Pan flute music in the background and the story below, using a ‘soft’ voice, on the Legend  of the Dream Catchers. Read it once or twice. Once, you have finished reading, ask the students some of the following questions:

  1. What is a dream catcher?…………A native indian protection talisman.
  2. Where does it originate from? ……….Native American Tribes.
  3. What does it stand for?……..To protect a person sleeping from bad dreams.
  4. How does it protect?………When the bad dreams enter the room they get entangled into the dream catchers web, whereas good dreams know their way and pass right through the center of the web.
  5. What are other interpretations of the dream catcher, and what does the feather stand for? ………Some tribes believe that all dreams can get caught into the web, and some of the good or bad dreams slide down the feathers to reach the person sleeping.

or you can think some other questions of your own like:

  1. Do you know what Dream Catcher is?
  2. What do you know about it?
  3. Where does it originate from?
  4. What is its purpose and so on

Be prepared for all kinds of answers, and it is advisable not to be judgmental. Following this conversation topic, you can read in the above explained mood and tone of voice, the Legend of the Dream Catcher. In addition you can ask a few questions just to check if the students have understood the reading comprehension. Alternatively, you can make copies of the paper containing a few questions that the students will answer either by writing the answers down or orally.

In the end or the warm up section, praise the students for their correct answers and good listening and behaviour and ask them again to turn of the lights and site back and relax.

The Legend Of the Dream Catcher
The Ojibwa (Chippewa) believe that night is full of both good and bad dreams. When a dream catcher is hung above the place where you sleep it moves freely in the night air and catches the dreams as they drift by. The good dreams, knowing their way, pass through the opening in the center of the webbing while the bad dreams, not knowing the way, are caught in the webbing and destroyed at the first light of the morning sun.There are many variants to the dream catcher legend, some which say both the good and bad dreams are captured and some which say the good dreams slide down the feather to those sleeping below. Although the Ojibwa are credited as the first people to use Dream Catchers many other Tribes and Native peoples have adopted Dream Catchers into their culture. Even though the designs and legends of Dream Catchers differ slightly, the underlying meaning and symbolism is universal and is carried across cultures and language barriers.

 

PRESENTATION: Now comes the time when you can relax and sit back and just play the video. If necessary, play it 2-3 times, till the students create  the whole mental picture of the process of making the paper plates dream catchers. In  addition to this, play some nice, slow, soothing,meditative instrumental music in the background.

PRODUCTION: When the presentation is over, ask the students to group themselves according to their own choice or help them group themselves. And just ask them to make the paper plate dream catcher, based on what they have heard. While they are deeply engaged in their creativity process, just circulate unnoticably through the classroom and monitor the students if it is really necessary. If not, sit at the back of the classroom and wait for the students to finish their work. If they have any questions help as much as you can. Whatever the choice you make, encourage students to speak English with each other.

CLOSURE:  By the end of the class each groups, pairs or individual students should present their work and tell the class how they felt during the process. This way you get the feedback of the lesson itself. You can tell them to take their paper plate dream catcher  home, write down on the rim of the paper plate their personal message and decorate their room.

I love classes like this and enjoy them as much as the students do, since many aspects are brought together: language study, visual material, active engagement on behalf of the students, arts and crafts that they can learn now and use later in life, and music as a path to relaxation and focusing on the activity being done.

I hope you will enjoy it too.

As an additional material you can prepare a Power Point presentation of the process of making the paper plates dream catchers, using the pictures below, just to keep the students in the focus of what they should do.

Here, you can download the Power Point presentation of the process of making the dream catchers, that you can play while the students are making the ones of their own.Thus, it will be an additional help to make the whole process and the final outcome look appealing to them. Just make sure that the music is playing in the background during the whole class.

THE NATIVE AMERICAN LESSON

Good luck and sweet dreams! 🙂

 

2 comments on “THE NATIVE AMERICAN LESSON PLAN –PAPER PLATE DREAM CATCHERS

  1. ANA says:

    Awesome!

    Like

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