Learning about African & Native American culture through music and art

This guest post is by Amy Muegge, music teacher, and Janice Wooten, art teacher, of Lincoln Elementary in Ponca City, Oklahoma.

Their students are learning African drumming and creating Native American-inspired cultural artworks in preparation for a Building Bridges Multicultural Festival for families in March, funded by a 2013-2014 Sharing the Dream Grant.

Lincoln drums

Three days before the beginning of winter break, the World Music Drumming set that we ordered with Sharing the Dream Grant funds arrived. One of the 5th grade classes helped carry the boxes down to the Music Room when the UPS driver dropped them off. The students were so excited that we had to open the boxes immediately. They only had time to play one rhythm pattern, but as they walked out the door they couldn’t stop smiling. All of our 2nd-5th grade students had the opportunity to try out the new instruments before school let out for the holidays.

Since coming back, the 3rd-5th graders have been studying the African continent and have been practicing West African drumming. In our drum circle, the students are learning about the tradition of listening and working together by having mutual respect for all members of the circle.

lincoln buffalo hide art

In our art classes, students are studying the social aspect of art and history of Native Americans. The children first started out learning about Native American history in the 1800’s and how all the social turmoil continues to be felt in the modern world.

After gaining knowledge of historical events, they created a reproduction of a buffalo hide storytelling piece of artwork. The artwork represents tribal stories of the plains. Pictures often expressed stories of historical events and people of the tribe were honored with images of animals, plants and other environmental symbols.

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Sharing the Dream

Grants for pre-K-8 school projects that create global classrooms where children—and families—can safely connect, exchange ideas and learn together.

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