Inter-disciplinary Lessons Bring Native American Culture to Other School Subjects
Ms. Janine Bowen, Seneca Language Teacher for grades 6-8, is required to push into other subject areas in the afternoons to co-teach lessons with other teachers and help them meet their learning objectives while using her Seneca language, history, and culture expertise.
Here are a few examples of what this looks like in the classroom:
In a Science class, Mr. Betrus and Ms. Bowen helped students understand the science behind a water drum.
In an English class, Mrs. Roesser and Ms. Bowen helped students write Haiku based on Seneca people’s experiences during the removal caused by the building of the Kinzua Dam.
In a Math class, Mrs. Dietrich and Ms. Bowen worked through math word problems based on Seneca Nation budgets, events, and other cultural activities.
In English Language Arts Enrichment classes, Ms. Bowen worked with 6th graders each month to teach them about the Indian Boarding School experience using first person accounts and non-fiction books.
In Social Studies class, Mrs. Pihlblad and Ms. Bowen presented the life and accomplishments of Ely Parker, a Seneca chief, legal scholar, engineer, Civil War hero, and Cabinet-level commissioner.
In Mrs. McFarland’s Health class, she discussed the Seneca Nation’s efforts to combat diabetes for the local Native American population.
In Ms. Keefe’s 8th grade Enrichment classes she has helped students work on comparative writings based on the books, “Star Girl” and “The Story of Lacrosse.”
She related the story of a local elder in Ms. Benjamin’s and Ms. Mason’s ELA Enrichment classes.