Sacred Little Ones - We Will Make a Path for Our Children College of Menominee Nation, Keshena, Green Bay, WI
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Circle Never Ends | Introduction | Application of the Model | Unit by Unit | Resources

The Circle Never Ends

A Multicultural Preschool Curriculum Model based in the American Indian Tradition.

The purpose of this curriculum is not to provide early childhood teachers a comprehensive, daily lesson plan or even a weekly plan. It is a framework that reflects a philosophy relating to how we, as adults, and children learn. The framework includes nine units that can be used in a nine or 12-month cycle. Each teacher or school may want to modify unit length to meet their needs. For each unit a sample legend story and teaching model is presented.

The guide is designed to be multicultural. By that we mean that the framework can be used as a model in a variety of cultural settings. The traditional Indian approach of first learning about oneself, and then gradually the rest of the world, is the basic success model.

American Indian Legends are used as the center of the curriculum web because we feel the use of the oral tradition will build good listening and speaking skills, good reading motivation, and will also transmit in a culture manner traditional knowledge to our children. At least one primary legend is offered as a sample for each unit. Teachers using this guide will want to add their own stories and legends, build curriculum webs, and enhance and enrich each unit. In this way, each unit suggested topics can be more fully explored, and the curriculum can be made unique and responsive to each culturally diverse community using it.

The framework was developed in an intertribal urban setting. Therefore, inclusions represent a wide variety of tribes. Additional stories and legends for the units can be gathered from tribes in the corresponding regional area and/or local culture.

The Life of a Man Is a Circle

Everything the Power of the World does is done in a Circle.

The Sky is round, and I have heard

that the Earth is round like a ball, and so are the stars.

The Wind, in its greatest power, whirls.

Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours.

The sun comes forth and goes down in a circle.

The moon does the same, and both are round.

Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were.

The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.

Our teepees were round like the nests of birds, and these were always set in a circle, the nation's hoop, a nest of many nests, where the Great Spirit meant for us to hatch our children.

BLACK ELK, LAKOTA SIOUX

Legend of the Dream Catcher