Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Three lessons for Tuesday (Lydia's Grade Eight)

1. Subject: Art and the Christian Faith (which might have been Sunday Reading in the Parents' Union School, but we do it on weekdays).  Book used: Seeing the Mystery, by William S. Taylor. Beginning Chapter Four, "Over against us."

We have already mentioned the Dutch church where there is a carving of Jesus in Puritan dress. On page 53, Jesus is shown as a North American Native. On page 54, the artist Gauguin paints Jesus with carrot-orange hair.  Read the paragraph on page 54: Do these images of Jesus distract too much from his divinity?

Skip to page 57, and read from "Most of the time, we are simply not aware of the way that cultural influences permeate our perceptions," to the middle of page 61.  Look at the Javanese painting and then at Stanley Peters' Totem Cross. The author admits that Totem Cross makes him uncomfortable; what is your own response? (Is "comfortable" what we're really searching for?)

2. Subject: Canadian History. Book used: Grand River, by Mabel Dunham (1945); Chapter One, "A League of Indian Nations."

Introductory: Look at a map of Ontario and find the Six Nations Reserve, south of here. What do you know already about that area? The Six Nations did not always live there, though; they used to live in New York State. The land here was granted to them as a reward for loyalty to Britain, after the American War of Independence. And before they were the Six Nations, they were called the Five Nations.

Read pages 3 to "He had made the Men of Men in his own likeness; he had engraved his own image on their hearts" on page 5. This section lists the original Five Nations, and describes the interior of a longhouse. After listening to the passage, draw a longhouse as it was described.

Read pages 5 through 10, the legend of the formation of the Confederacy of the Five Nations. Narrate.

Read the last part of the chapter. Note Dunham's comment that "The confederacy functioned so satisfactorily that to this day it is regarded as a most remarkable political structure." What surprising thing was it able to achieve? Why do you think it worked so well? How did the Five Nations finally become the Six Nations?

At the end of the chapter, she mentions the Six Nations artifacts that (at that time) the New York State Museum had on display, such as wampum belts. In recent years, many of these items have been returned to their rightful owners. Read this article and give a short oral summary.

3. Subject: Natural History. Book used: Keeping a Nature Journal, by Clare Walker Leslie & Charles E. Roth.

Assignment on page 103: take a walk outside, and bring back plant materials such as twig samples. Remember which plants or trees they came from, if you know their names. Observe your finds using a magnifying glass. Make drawings in your nature notebook. Also make any notes of today's weather, birds seen, etc.

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