Gaynor Students Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Posted on Thursday, October 7th, 2021

Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2021 is on Monday, October 11, and Gaynor teachers are helping their students learn about and honor the holiday. Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a holiday that celebrates and honors the history and contributions of Native Americans.

Students in Blue Cluster Head Teacher Rebecca Felt’s advisory class complete a weekly journal entry studying different people and their achievements. This week, the class learned about Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, the first indigenous Secretary of the Interior.

“The students learned about the roles the Department of Interior plays in the country and then reflected on the significance of having an indigenous person in that position,” Ms. Felt said. “They reflected upon three quotes by Haaland and researched her life to find six to eight facts.”

In her writing class, students read an article about Indigenous Languages and efforts by women within the community to reclaim/revive languages.

Ms. Felt said the class is using the article as a vehicle to practice the Notice & Note Nonfiction Signposts, a reading strategy that helps students gain a better understanding of key elements in nonfiction text. The class also used the article to practice summarizing and paragraph writing.

“The article is kicking off a unit on the importance of preserving culture, where we are going to be reading similar articles across cultures about traditions and maintaining a sense of heritage,” she said. “The students are going to then write personal narratives about their own heritage.”

In the Green Cluster, Teacher Zoe Carril taught a lesson on the Seven Sacred Teachings of the Indigenous People, a set of teachings on human conduct towards others.

The Seven Sacred Teachings are love, humility, courage, respect, honesty, wisdom, and truth.

“After the lesson, students chose the sacred teaching that most identified with themselves,” Teacher Alyssa Tucker said. “They created artwork with watercolors and will finish it off with a writing reflection.”

Through multisensory lessons, Gaynor teachers helped students learn the significance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day by honoring their achievements and culture.