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Lesson Plans

Pluralism & Storyteller Dolls

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Cecilia A Marks (cecilia3)
Fri, 07 Feb 1997 18:16:39 EST

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Have been reading the comments regarding this subject and thought I'd
jump in with a few thoughts. Actually after reading Carla Harwitts last
comments I felt comfortable enough to do so!
I have been teaching art in a small (300 plus) parochial school for many
years and have always incorporated the arts from many cultures in my
lessons. We have children from many cultures attending our school and
they share their art and customs with us. We do weaving, Kachina Dolls,
paper cutting from many countries, batik, clay work as Mission & Native
American pottery , African masking, plus much, much more. When I
introduce the lesson of the Kachina Dolls I always tell the students that
they are symbols or representations of the gods of the tribes and they
are not "dolls". They are very much like the plaster statues found in
our Church that represent certain saints. Our students have also made
crosses from everything from nails, to clothespins, to beads, to sea
shells.....The students learn by doing and experiencing. How can they
know where they are going if they do not know where others have been? If
I was teaching Science or Math I would not expect the student to relearn
what others had learned before him/her. They need to have something to
build on.

Finally, having grown up in New Mexico I do not the understand the
argument regarding the Storyteller Dolls. If I'm not mistaken,
Storyteller Dolls were first made in the 1960's and have been remade as
Storyteller Turtles, etc. I do not believe they are Kachina Dolls.
SchoolArts did an article on them a few years back.

It is so wonderful to read so many of your practical ideas and lessons.
Cecilia (V)

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  • Reply: Nancy Walkup: "Re: Pluralism & Storyteller Dolls"