METARO IS . . .
THE PHOENIX RISING


Antonio Carpenter,
Chief Executive Officer

(757)619-2793
 
Contributions to METARO are
tax deductible through a fiscal sponsorship provided by
Strong City Baltimore.

Exploration, Field Study & Experience of the Native American Heritage Sacred Space
in an Urban Wilderness Park at Leakin Park, Baltimore, Md.
Antonio Carpenter, CEO, METARO, Multicultural Education Training & Research Organization

Learning Goal:

Middle school or high school, urban students will explore, observe, photograph, video record, & experience the world of nature and the cultural integration of the Native American culture in nature, in an urban wilderness park. These students will then personally reflect on their experiences, and record their experiences in a Nature Journal. Student will then discuss and compare their observations with those of other students. (Photo: Sacred Hopi Labyrinth)
 
Objectives:
  1. Students will practice Mindfulness Walking, in the Sacred Hopi Labyrinth, and upon arriving at the center of the Labyrinth, be seated, and write their reflections of the experience.
  2. Students will participate in a Sage Smudging and Sacred Fire Ceremony, in The Sacred Cherokee Ceremonial Arbor.
  3. Students will practice Mindfulness Walking as they hike the Eastern Woodlands Trail, observing and recording the rocks, plants and animals that they encounter.
  4. After observing and experiencing each activity, students will go to the Sangoma Wisdom Teaching Circle to record their observations, reflections and experiences in their nature journals or smartphones, and then have a group discussion where they compare their observations and experiences with those of other students.
 
Materials:
  • Backpack, hat, water bottle, binoculars, magnifying glasses, hand sanitizer, healthy snacks
  • Nature journal, pens, colored pencils, cameras, smartphones for pictures and recordings
  • Observation and inquiry sheets for each activity
 
Orientation & Implementation:
  1. Students gather at the Sangoma Teaching Circle to be given background on each component of the Sacred Space, along with specific Observation & Inquiry Sheets for each activity.
  2. Students will then explore, observe, experience, and record their experiences of each activity in the Sacred Space, in pairs, or in teams of 3-4.
  3. When the activity has been completed, students will return to the Sangoma Teaching Circle to reflect on their observations, experiences, record them in their Nature Journal, & discuss as a group.
  4. At the conclusion of the day, students will sit in the circle in the Sacred Cherokee Stone Arbor to give their reflection of their overall experiences in the exploration, observation, & reflection of the Field Study of the Native American Heritage Sacred Space in the Urban Wilderness Park.
  5. The educator will lead students in a "Giving Thanks" Ceremony where students will be shown how Native Americans consistently gave thanks to the Sacred Earth, and the Great Spirit for the bountiful gifts that the Sacred Earth had given them, and continued to give to them.
NAAEE Environmental Education Program Guidelines for Excellence:
1.3 Openness to Inquiry: Involve Learners in collecting/ analyzing their own data & comparing it to other's data.
1.4 Reflection of Diversity: Different Cultures are understood with respect
2.1 Awareness: Increase learner's awareness of the natural environment.
 
Resources:
  1. Coyote's Guide to Connecting with Nature (Young, Haas, & McCowan, 2009)
  2. USFW: Fostering Outdoor Observation Skills (Especially Unit 1 & Unit 4A) (Unit 1:Lesson 3:Using a Science Notebook & Unit 4A: Lesson
  3. Where & When to Look (http://www.fishwildlife.org/files/ConEd-Fostering-Outdoor-Observation-Skills.pdf)
  4. Voices of Our Ancestors: Cherokee Teachings from the Wisdom Fires: Dhyani Ywahoo, Shambala