Natural Cycles: Coming Full Circle—Using natural cycles to teach elementary science objectivesby: Charlotte Pliske

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Native Americans commonly use a circle in their art and stories to represent the fact that matter is conserved. From generation to generation, Native Americans passed on the idea that matter is conserved and used the wheel, hoop, or circle as a symbol of endlessly repeating cycles, such as night and day and life and death. The purpose of the medicine wheel activity decribed in this article is to present a tool for teaching natural cycles. Each of the nine illustrated cycles represents natural cycles that are important science concepts for students to understand.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (2)
  • on Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:41 AM

The activity described in this article is titled “The Medicine Wheel”. A paper plate and some simple classroom tools will help create nine wheels that explain natural cycles for students in PreK through fifth grade. Some of the wheels relate to day and night, life cycles, simplified rock cycles and more. Teachers are provided with a sample dialogs to engage students in when using these wheels. These are quick, useful, learning activities to use to introduce these natural cycles on Earth.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:01 PM

This article shows teachers how to use Medicine Wheels to teach natural cycles. First an explanation of the Native American medicine wheel is provided. Then the article provides instructions for creating paper plate medicine wheels. Finally, the author explains how to use the wheels to teach the natural cycles. Information is also provided on how to use the medicine wheel cycles as an assessment tool to see how well students understand the important concepts. Students should be able to identify, explain, and predict events using the wheels. One page of the article depicts drawings of 9 natural cycles important to elementary science literacy.

Carolyn M  (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Carolyn M (Buffalo Grove, IL)

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