Reviews for Kid's Guide to Native American History : More Than 50 Activities

Booklist Reviews 2010 January #1
Complementing the authors' excellent Native Americans Today: Resources and Activities for Educators, Grades 4-8 (2000), this child-centered gathering of history, crafts, and activities opens with a chapter of stereotype-dispelling information, then goes on in regionally arranged chapters to present brief accounts of the past and (especially) present lives and customs of several dozen cultures, from Mi'kmaq to Native Hawaiian. Carefully steering clear of items with ceremonial or religious import, Dennis and Hirschfelder add simple directions for creating versions of distinctive everyday objects--such as Seminole-style decorations for a baseball cap or Winnebago appliqué ribbonwork for a notebook cover--plus games, recipes (with notes suggesting adult supervision where cooking or cutting is involved), and art projects. Rattray supplies simple line patterns or diagrams throughout. With plenty of ideas for curriculum enrichment, this resource also includes enough historical background to be a good supplementary source of information for early reports. Back matter includes extensive lists of books, Web sites, and Native American museums and cultural centers. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2009 October #1
More a guide for teachers and parents than for kids, this comprehensive volume offers much information about Native cultures past and present. A timeline, sidebars, lists, maps and a variety of projects and activities involve readers in a broad learning experience, though in trying to cover so much ground about so many Native groups in the introduction and first chapter, the volume starts overly broad and didactic. In the many activities offered, the authors do not include the making of ceremonial objects or clothing, as they don't want to encourage children to "play Indian," which is offensive to Native people. However, this spirit seems contradicted in such activities as puppet shows, crafting a Seminole design patchwork baseball cap, sculpting a Pueblo storyteller doll and making an Ojibway seasons apron. Still, the book includes a wealth of information and activities for classroom teachers or parents creating a home learning program. (glossary, list of Native American museums and cultural centers, list of festivals and powwows, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 7-10)Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 November

Gr 3-6--This two-in-one history and activity book does an excellent job of explaining Native American history in easy-to-understand language while stressing the differences between and diversity among tribes. The book is divided by region (including maps of each one): Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Plains, Great Basin and Plateau, Southwest, Pacific States, Alaska, and Hawaii. Activities are kid-friendly (a few have adult supervision required) and encourage exploration of the text (such as creating a Delaware story bag, trying a Gros Ventre-inspired hands game, playing Washoe stone jacks). Clear illustrations accompany each activity. An introductory note is careful to explain that no ceremonial objects or clothing are included, and children are discouraged from "playing Indian," thus promoting cultural sensitivity. Brief biographies of famous, modern-day Native peoples are generously included, thus reinforcing the fact that Native American history is still being made. Pronunciations of tribal names and other Native words are included throughout. A lengthy list of museums, cultural-resource centers, and festivals is appended, as is a substantial suggested reading list. A top-notch resource for classroom use or independent study.--Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library

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