Quills Subject Area: Mathematics

Lakes and Oceans as Sentinels of Climate Change

Students learn about the potential of lakes to act as sentinels of climate change by examining a STEM study that uses lake cores to understand the impact of climate change on a local aquatic ecosystem. Students can engage in an optional math extension activity in which they graph diatom sediment data and compare patterns present in the data.

Western STEM Connection -Tree Migration

Students learn about how the changing climate is affecting expansion and population dynamics of trees and shrubs, learn to identify local tree species, and use tree cookies to make predictions regarding the impact of climate change on local tree species. Students can also engage in an optional math extension project in which they use graphing and patterning principles to make predictions regarding tree growth.

Transportation – Snowshoes

Students learn about snowshoe designs utilized by local Indigenous groups. Next, students can engage in an optional extension activity in which they examine how traditional snowshoe designs reduced pressure upon the snow by dispersing weight over a larger area. Students learn how to calculate pressure by converting metric units into international system of units (SI).

Shelter – Wigwams

Students learn about the cultural significance of wigwams to the Anishinaabe and engage in an interactive hands-on math activity where they calculate the diameter, area, and circumference of where a wigwam would be constructed using number of steps and other body parts to approximate distance. As an extension students can examine how harvesting materials at different times of the year impacts tree growth and forest health.

Haudenosaunee Basket Weaving

Students learn about the cultural significance of basket weaving to the Haudenosaunee. As an extension teachers may choose to have students weave their own baskets that integrate patterning principles.

Ohèn:ton Karihwatéhkwen (The Words That Come Before All Else)

Students learn the The Ohen:ton Kariwatehkwen (The Words that Come Before all Else or the Thanksgiving Address) and reflect on how it positions humans in a rich, interdependent web of relationships with elements in the natural that must be related to with reciprocity. As an extension students journal in an outdoor sit spot about what they are grateful for in nature.

Water Wasting Journal

Students keep a personal water journal to track their own water consumption and understand ways they can contribute to making positive change on a personal level.

Trade and Travel

Map an Indigenous trade and travel route along Canada’s first highway, navigating waterways from Kingston to Mexico.

Ohèn:ton Karihwatéhkwen (The Words That Come Before All Else)

Students review the Ohèn:ton Karihwatéhkwen (The Words That Come Before All Else) and consider the centrality of water to Haudenosaunee and other local Indigenous groups.

Water Walkers

Students learn about Water Walkers and the important work they do protecting local water sources.

Two-Row Wampum

Students learn about the two-row wampum and how it can be used as a metaphor for using Indigenous land-based knowledge and Western science together. Students design wampum inspired beadwork to consolidate their learning.

The Honorable Harvest

Students reflect on the plants and animals around them that provide for their holistic well-being and learn about the Honorable Harvest and how it relates to the gifting of tobacco.

Indigenous Resurgence

Students learn about the ability of Indigenous resurgence to revitalize Indigenous lifeways and engender empowerment within community. Students engage in a beading project as an example of Indigenous resurgence.

Weaving – The Gifts of Cattails

Students learn about the many gifts that cattails provide from local Indigenous community members. With assistance from a community member students harvest cattails and create a cattail mat.