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American Indians of ND: Medicine Wheel and Other Symbolic Activities

Medicine Wheel and Other Symbolic Activities

In small groups or individually, have students draw a bison on either a bulletin The following are suggested ideas for teaching about the Medicine Wheel:

Have students brainstorm in small groups while sitting in a circle what things on Earth are in a circle (e.g., tree trunks, stems, moon, sun). Have one group at a time share one item they listed and make a list for the students to see. Continue adding to the list until all items have been listed. Discuss the significance of the circle, and then have the students write what they learned about the circle and its significance for everyone and everything on Earth

Discuss the following statement in class: “Time is a great circle; there is no beginning, no end. All return again and again, forever.”

Hold a class meeting where everyone is seated around the classroom in a circle. Discuss how the class could work and play in harmony as the Plains Indians tried to do in their daily living.

OPTIONAL: Explain to your students “tipi etiquette” and incorporate it into your class meeting.For more information on Tipi Etiquette click here.

Have students create a Unity Button to symbolize unity and harmony with everyone in the world.

One of the values the American Indians held dear to them was generosity. The dance of the sacred tree is a Give-Away ceremony. It is to remind everyone to bring gifts to nourish the web of life and to dance to the rhythm that would create harmony in the world. The dance can be done in any location where a tree is available. All people of any age are invited to attend. For a more detailed explanation, refer to the following site:

  • The Healing Center
  • Hold a Give-Away ceremony in your classroom. Have students bring something to school that is meaningful to them or something they have made and give it to someone to celebrate an occasion or to honor someone.

Have students create their own dream catchers. For more information on Dream Catchers click here.