Turtle Island - Day 5 - Inuit

These activities can be done alone, but work best with one or more friends on a video chat like Skype, Zoom, Facetime, etc.

Grades K-3

Mindfulness Activity

Trivia question: True or false: Since the Inuit people were unable to farm or grow their own food because of where they lived, they mostly lived off meat like seals, walruses, whales, fish and wild berries.

Mindfulness activity:

  • Put your palms together at chest height.
  • Push them against each other as hard as you can.
  • Which muscle gets tired first?

Learning About Inuit Art

Supplies:

  • Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Paper
  • Crayons

Visit this Inuit art website.

  • Use the arrows to scroll through the different types of Inuit art.
  • What animals do you notice? What do you notice about the materials the artists have used?
  • Using your own crayons and paints at home, create a piece of art that is inspired by animals that you see in Calgary.

Learning About Inukshuks

Inukshuks are structures made of stones piled on top of each other. When it is very snowy in the north, things can start to look the same. Inukshuks give messages or information, like how to get somewhere, or where a good fishing spot is.

Learn about inukshuks by listening to the book “The Gift of the Inuksuk”. On your next family trip to river, create a small design out of rocks to mark your visit.

Learn more about Inukshuks.

Review Questions

Ask your child:

  • Were you surprised how similar/different your winter clothes are from the Inuit people? (Feel)
  • How do you think Inuit art is the same/different form the art in your house? (Think)
  • Share the link to the “Gift of the Inuksuk” with your friends! (Act)

Mindfulness Trivia Answer

Answer: True

Grades 4-6

Mindfulness Activity

Trivia question: What does Inuit mean?

Mindfulness activity:

  • Put both palms together in front of your chest.
  • Push your palms together as hard as possible.
  • Count to 15.
  • Which muscles can you feel? What do your muscles feel like when you push your hands together?

Northern Lights

The northern lights, or aurora borealis, are a familiar sight in northern Canada skies. These dancing lights hold special meaning in many Indigenous cultures. Some believe the lights are ancestors and they’re dancing in the sky and telling us they are all right, together and happy.

Supplies:

  • Old recycled CD
  • Sharpies or markers

Directions:

For this activity, we are going to use the rays of colours the CD has to create the Northern lights.

  • Draw a line in the middle of the CD and colour half of the CD in blue. Use different shades of blue if available. This will be water.
  • Next, draw silhouette of a mountain range.
  • Using a black or silver sharpie, draw in your mountains on the other half of the CD. 
  • Make sure to leave room for the Northern Lights to show.
  • With a green sharpie, draw trees.
  • With your mountain scene drawn in, you can move the CD back and forth and create your own Northern Lights light show.

Two Foot High Kick

Supplies:

  • Ball
  • String
  • Chairs or a ceiling hook (or something to prop up the ball)

Inuit games help people stay strong, fit and agile. This improves hunting and survivability in northern regions. These games also offer entertainment during long hours out on the land, especially during long periods of darkness.

  • To play this game, select a target (ball, or any object) and hang it at various heights from a support.
  • The target is kicked with two feet and the players must land on two feet.
  • You are given three attempts to kick the target. If you are playing with another person, make sure to take turns to kick the target with both feet while walking, running or standing still.
  • The target is gradually raised, until only one can still touch it.
  • That athlete is considered the winner. Proper technique involves using your arms for momentum and legs to jump straight up.
  • For good balance feet should be shoulder width apart.

Back Push

To start the game:

  • Have two players sit on the floor back to back
  • With knees bent, players reach around behind themselves and interlock their arms.
  • Players begin to push the other player as far as possible.
  • Players attempt to push each other out of a designated area.

Review Questions

Ask your child:

  • How does it feel to try games from other cultures? (Feel)
  • Why do you think these games were important for the Inuit people? (Think)
  • What other things can you do in the future to learn more about the Indigenous Peoples of Canada? (Act)

Mindfulness Trivia Answer

Answer: People

Grades 7+

Mindfulness Activity

Trivia Question: Which weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of bricks?

Discovering inside weather:

  • If you could describe how you are feeling inside with a type of weather, what would it be right now?
  • Would it be sunny? Cloudy? Rainy? Stormy?
  • Think about why you chose that type of weather.  

One Foot High Kick

Supplies:

  • Ball
  • String chairs
  • A ceiling hook (or something to prop up the ball)

This is an Inuit game that develops skills to deal with the different types of land conditions the Inuit people had to face during their hunting seasons. Hunters had to be quiet, fast and agile to have successful hunts to provide for their families.

Use your supplies to suspend a ball in the air. Each participant is given three attempts to kick the target. The target is gradually raised, until only one can still touch it. That person is the winner. Use your arms for momentum and legs to jump straight up. For good balance feet should be shoulder width apart. To show balance and control, the participant must hold their stance on the kicking foot for a few seconds or bounce a few times for the attempt to be considered a success.

The Northern Lights

Supplies:  

  • Paint
  • Paper toothbrush
  • Paint brush
  • Pencil
  • Music

The aurora borealis, or northern lights, occur when the weather is cold and the sky is clear. Sometimes they are a milky white, sometimes they are all the colours of the rainbow. They are a phenomenon associated with the north, and hold special meaning to the Inuit. Watch a music video called Northern Lights by The Jerry Cans, who are from Iqualuit, Nunavut. There is also a time lapse video of the Northern Lights in Alaska. After watching the videos, try painting your very own Northern lights. Listen to music while you paint to make it fun and calming, and to help you express yourself.

Back Push

Inuit games help people stay strong, fit and agile. This improves hunting and survivability in northern regions. The other need was for entertainment during long hours out on the land, especially during long periods of darkness.

Supplies:

  • Open area indoors or outdoors on flat surface

Directions:

  • For this activity, two players sit on the floor back to back.
  • With knees bent, players reach around behind themselves and interlock their arms.
  • Players begin to push the other player as far as possible.
  • Players attempt to push each other out of a designated area.
  • Whoever is able to push out of the designated area is the winner.

Review Questions

  • What feelings did you have when you painted the Northern Lights? (Feel)
  • What skills or strategies did you use for the one foot kick activity? (Think)
  • The Inuit used games and activities to build strength. What are other games or activities you can try to build strength? (Act)

Mindfulness Trivia Answer

Answer: Neither. They both weigh one pound.

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