The focus for April is Wisdom.
Wisdom – Nbwaakaawin:
Wisdom is represented by the beaver because he uses his natural gift wisely for his survival. The beaver also alters his environment in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way for the benefit of his family.
To cherish knowledge is to know wisdom.
To have wisdom is to know the difference between positive and negative and know the result of your action.
Use your inherent gifts wisely and live your life by them. Recognize your differences and those of others in a kind and respectful way. Continuously observe the life of all things around you. Listen with clarity and a sound mind. Respect your own limitations and those of all of your surroundings. Allow yourself to learn and live by your wisdom.
The Creator gave the Beaver large teeth and the knowledge of how to build. This has enabled the Beaver to positively impact its environment and create a more sustainable world.
Our goal is that teachers will learn together with their students about these teachings and bring them into their regular classroom activities.
With a focus of wisdom, students could:
- Write, draw, talk about wisdom for others and for yourself – how do people in your life show wisdom? What is the difference between wisdom and knowledge? Brainstorm “What qualities make someone wise?”
- Have students decorate a Beaver and write above or below the Beaver what represents Wisdom for them. On the next page, see the Beaver art by Michelle Stoney, a Gitxsan artist who has graciously given permission for anyone to print off and colour this design – she just asks that it not be used for sale or profit.
- Share some picture books about wisdom such as The Sharing Circle, Amik Loves School, The Whale Child, The Dancing Trees, or books from this list.
- Engage in self-reflection and self-assessment techniques, being honest and kind with where students are in their learning journeys. When do students see yourself showing wisdom? How do they use their knowledge to support the learning of others?
- Explore the 13 Moons of the WSANEC
- Highlight the Moon of PEXSISEN (pronounced Puck-See-Sung): The Moon of Blossoms and Opening Hands. Learn about the activities that take place during the PEXSISEN Moon. Particularly, consider the impact of weaving and knitting.
- Explore the importance of the Salish Woolly Dog and its connection to weaving and knitting. We would like to highlight some related artwork by Indigenous Artist Sarah Jim of the Salish Woolly Dog. She has also posted some information about the Woolly Dog.
- Invite an Elder to join your class! Elders and Role Models can be booked through Engage:
- Explore the First People’s Principle of Learning: “Learning involves generational roles and responsibilities.” This principle highlights the importance of Elders.
- April 22 is Earth Day. How can we use the teaching of Wisdom to take care of Mother Earth? What does Mother Earth teach us? Explore what taking care of our environment looks like. Engage in activities that support nurturing and appreciating the local environment. Spend time outside, enjoying all our natural environment has to offer.
- Help students learn how to acknowledge the traditional territory we reside on. Have students explore what territorial acknowledgements sound like and discover why they are important. Invite students to write their own territory acknowledgement.
- Learn about one of our local native plants, like TEX TEX (Stinging Nettle). Why is this plant important? What can we learn from this plant?