Museum of Myths and Legends: The Cherokees
In this project, children were asked to imagine that they were a team of people running "The Museum of Myths and Legends."
They looked at the myths of the Cherokee nation; and commissioned to produce an exhibition for their "museum." Activities included: making a model of a Cherokee Village; creating art work and models based on Cherokee myths; designing Story Plates based on Cherokee myths; writing their own myths.
This is how we introduced children to Cherokee myths. We created a map of the Cherokee homeland in North Carolina, and marked on it locations associated with particular stories, such as: "Where Fire Comes Down"; "Spearfinger Place"; and "Blood Mountain."
We invited the class to speculate on what the different names might refer to. Then we introduced short extracts / summaries of some of the stories - and the children tried to match the stories to the names / locations.
Here's an example:
Selu and Kanati lived on the top of Pilot Mountain. Every day, Selu disappeared to a barn, where she produced corn from her body for the family to eat. But one day her sons watch her – and Selu knew that her secret had been discovered, and that she would have to die...
We presented a workshop on the Cherokee project at the "Dorothy Heathcote's Legacy" event. Pictures are from this workshop. You can see a video here.
The project was devised in collaboration with Dorothy Heathcote. Other images on this page show some of the work produced by pupils at New Invention Junior School, Walsall. The project was funded with a grant from Awards for All (National Lottery Community Fund).