The 13 Moons

Students learn about the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe 13 Moons and think about how they can engage reciprocally with the land during different times of the year.

Program Details

Stay Up To Date!

The 13 Moons


•13 Moons on a Turtle’s Back (1992) by Joseph Bruchac and Jonathan Landon found here: •Access to the QUILLS website to hear the Anishinaabemowin and Kanyen’kéha words for each Moon •13 Moons. pptx
  • Students review the book 13 Moons on a Turtle’s Back by Joseph Bruchac and Jonathan London (1992) found here:
  • While they are listing students can look at a Turtle’s shell and examine how it relates to the Lunar Calendar (ie: 13 scutes on the inside and 28 on the outside). There is a turtle shell at Elbow Lake for students to look at.
  • Teacher leads students through the 13 Moons.pptx. Ideally an Anishinaabe and/or Kanyen’keha:ka community member should be invited into the learning environment to speak about how they enter into reciprocity with the land during each moon. 
  • Students learn the names in Anishinaabemowin and Kanyen’kéha for each Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Moon. Oral recordings of each word can be found on the QUILLS website.
  • Time permitted students can make a calendar of their own that relates to what they can do in each of the 13 Moons to engage reciprocally with the land. Students should be encouraged to include Anishinaabemowin and Kanyen’kéha names in their calendar and to be creative by using an artistic medium that appeals to them.
  • Teachers can reflect on how they might hold 13 Thanksgiving celebrations throughout the year with their students to express appreciation for the gifts of the earth. These celebrations should not attempt to replicate Indigenous land-based ceremonies. The point is that teachers think about the ways in which they enter into reciprocity with the land, based on their own positionality, and encourage their students to do the same.