Events Album Featuring

the Art of

Language, History, & Culture

the world is mudluscious and puddle wonderful - ee cummings

Use glorious poems that push the boundaries – e.e. cummings, Christina Rossetti, Wallace Stevens, Lewis Carroll, Pablo Neruda …

Form a talking circle to explore children’s thoughts.

Encourage them to make their own poetry.

Share First Nations Poetry. – eg.

Explore through curiosities.

Allow students to lie down and close their eyes while listening to poetry – read the poem twice.

Follow Montessori’s philosophy of writing before reading.

The sandpaper letters should lead to an explosion of writing. Sometimes I think we try to tidy up the process too much. The letters are theirs and the creations should also be theirs.

Writing in the spaces and colouring the lines ... a perspective metaphor by a four year old after a prairie romp.

Simulate Tribal Life (full day casa to adult)


Use nature immersion to explore prehistory – students can create non-verbal or proto-verbal presentations of how they think tribes discovered fishing, hunting, the use of fire, the discovery of words, medicine through plants, adornment, worship, etc. This was ‘taught’ to me by my full day casa class on the prairies around Saskatoon. They developed a sophisticated sense of community that grew into a cave-art installation involving various media including painting, charcoal and chalk pastel on rocks (images inspired by stories and pictures of the Lascaux Caves.)

Early Hominids ... researching, measuring, tracing, creating

Dramatis Persona

Becoming your subject and presenting in the voice of your subject including supporting dramas offered by watching students. Ages – 6 – adult – A great event to film.

Dramatis Personas create powerful learning portals through which to study ancestors and world changers. Students wear simple costumes and bring artefacts that evoke aspects of their character. They often create journals detailing events of early, middle and later life and integrate world events. We usually end with a feast of dishes our characters might have enjoyed.

Portraits of Great Environmentalists and Cultural Heroines for Dramatis Personas

Jane Goodall

Wangari Muta Maathai

Rachel Carson

Harriet Tubman

Graphic Stories / Newspapers

Use panels and drawings to tell the stories of your subjects. This can be simple or complex – annotated or merely illustrated.

The eloquence of letters from pictographs to the illuminated manuscripts of the Book of Kells

Darius I

Explore visions of history through guided visualizations, drama, sculpting space, music, making maps into portraits of great explorers ... honouring the ecological footprints of tribal peoples ...

Indigenous Story

Share the story of residential schools with the children – adapting it to their ages … Share the process of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, again adapting it. Perhaps become a Legacy School focusing on Reconciliaction

Support Student fundraising

Imagine a world where all connections are honoured. Explore Woodland art and invite the students into a creative visualization on how they would symbolize connections ... Shapes, lines, elements, symbols, relationships ... Norval Morrisseau

Explore the story of Nomad people world wide and use art, drama and research to deepen and enrich the experience. Invite Native Elders into the class to tell stories of time and place and possible futures.

The Kairos Blanket Exercise – a powerful simulation may be adapted to different ages

All Nations Water Walk – Share stories, songs and rituals of ecological healing from First Nations perspectives

The Stranger


A Great Book - The Ledger Book of Thomas Blue Eagle

Told by J.H. Grutman and Gay Matthaei / illustrated by Adam Cvijanovic, Charlesbridge, MA. 2007 – a compelling story of residential school as if written by a child – glorious illustrations.

Participate in An All Nations Water Walk

The following script was created with the Upper Elementary students at Sunshine Montessori School

Today we are honouring the Anishinaabe tribe who are doing a Water Walk of the entire Grand River. They are walking as we speak to bring awareness to our world water crisis. They call the walk “The All Nations Walk” because water is vital to the lives of all of us.

The walkers begin at the source of the Grand River, near Dundalk Ontario and feed prayers, hope and sacred plants into the water.

They carry the water all the way to the mouth of the Grand at Lake Erie then gather pure water and carry it all the way back to the source.

The women carry the water in a copper vessel that is specially chosen for its power to heal. The men carry the eagle staff to protect the women and the women protect the water.

We do this today to support them and to make a commitment to preserving and promoting healthy rivers, marshes, lakes and oceans.


We heard about the Grand River Water Walk in June and it inspired us to do more research and to participate. The Water Song was particularly compelling and as we listened to the water -healing tradition we got an idea.

The walk is designed to create a sense of deep commitment and spirituality so only very small groups of children are invited to participate at one time. We spent the afternoon designing our own ceremony in fellowship with the Water Walkers.

What happened then ...

The day before the ceremony, we walked to a tributary of the Grand, collected water in our copper vessel and carried it back to the school.

The Ceremony:

J introduced the ritual and the children involved made a circle around the audience. Two boys cued the music and we began.

The students had placed a copper pan on a wolf pelt* surrounded by four small copper receptacles representing the four directions. A sense of the sacred filled the gym as the water was carried counter clockwise and distributed in each small container. The students ended with a water pouring ceremony as the song faded to silence.

*The pelt was a small rectangle - a baby blanket - handed down from my grandmother.

We completed the pouring ritual by gifting the water from the Grand to a magnolia tree planted in memory of one our mothers.

A surprise: Early in the morning of the ritual, N came to school with 2 beautiful “Eagle Staffs” she had made the night before. She had collected feathers from her beloved family of urban chickens and decorated the staff with blue fabric and cotton to give the impression of water.

For information on the Water Walk please visit the following. We hope this will be a yearly event.

We completed the pouring ritual by gifting the water from the Grand to a magnolia tree planted in memory of one our mothers.

"You can see inside ... you can see the spirit of things ..." M.

As an experiment, try to integrate History, Art, Language, Drama, Zoology, Botany, Science through Music …


Have soothing music in the classroom.

Make music with the children regularly and have a drum for sculpting drama and movement activities.

Dance and move to music.

Explore and experiment with musical styles and rituals.

Form a little band. Invent.

Make instruments – use natural materials.

Sing songs from different cultures.

Create a student café where they can perform

Integrate music and sound scapes into presentations

Find Rhythms in all things

Find Tunes hidden under the skin of being ...

"The Hunt" - Love the anomalies!

a balance