Friday, November 20, 2009

Passport to Thanksgiving

In the fall of 1621, 90 Wampanoag men and 52 English people gathered together to eat; that shared harvest meal evolved into Thanksgiving.

This holiday time is a great opportunity to visit the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian. You can use your Des Plaines Library card to check out a Museum Adventure Pass for free admission. An easy 25 minute drive will get you to this cozy museum in Evanston.

The museum has five permanent galleries highlighting Native Americans from different regions of North America. There are lots of games to play, as well as touching tables for kinesthetic learning. During a recent visit I ground corn, wove a rug, and sat in a wigwam. I also visited the gift shop and the library.

During my visit I was particularly interested in learning about the Algonquin, Chippewa, and Iroquois. I wanted to learn about these groups because our local middle schools have the same names. Did you know that one of these groups is also called Ojibwe or Anishinabe? Check out The Ojibwe to find out the which one it is.

For an entertaining book to read with your child, you might try Iktomi and the Coyote. This trickster tale with audience participation is fun to share.

Have a happy Keepunumuk (time of harvest in the Wampanoag language)!

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