There's an easy way to help your child with his diorama assignment. You throw a shoe box at him and some crayons or markers and say, go to it.
Think about how you can teach the kid about local Native American history. And ya know. Do that.
Take him to The House of Refuge because they have a time line of local history that includes local Native American information.
Realize in the car on the way home that the only thing that seemed to sink in with your kid was A: The pirate for whom this part of the beach is named and the fact that he was hanged and thousands attended. And B: The house of refuge keepers had problems with black bears.
Um. Not helpful.
A few days later happily discover a Native American section while on a trail walk at the Florida Oceanographic Society.
Ays, are not one of the tribes up for choosing in the assignment.
Of course not.
Actually walking through this structure still proved memorable.
A little helpful.
Next up: See what the library has to offer.
Check out She Sang Promise: The Story of Betty Mae Jumper Seminole Tribal Leader
Turns out our book of choice is beautifully illustrated and lyrically written. It not only taught the experience of this Seminole women born in south Florida, but also nicely touches on the themes of women empowerment (Never mind that she became a tribal leader - she friggin' wrestled alligators!), the importance of education, and how to improve upon ones culture while still respecting it. Ok, so my kid probably didn't pick up on much in terms of these themes, but they're there. Promise. Good little book.
We read about "chickees" and knew we'd need to include one. We discussed how the chickee was different from the Ays structure we saw (no floor vs raised floor). We saved a picture to use as a reference for our model:
Compliment his idea to have a large tree in the middle dividing up the scene.
Agree with his layout and offer zero corrections.
Decide you will make fun of him for-ever because he wrote, "flying animals" on the sky part instead of just, ya know, "birds." (Hey - the school system makes building their self-esteem a huge priority. We feel that at home we can keep it real.)
The actual making of the diorama.
Tag team husband to take over from here.
Watch husband disregard traditional shoebox plan and break out the power tools. Watch 8-year-old's eyes light up.
Next day paint the back and draw on some "flying animals" (all of which happen to be birds - not a bat or a flying squirrel in the bunch).
Watch Dad get started on the Chickee.
I'm not sure of the actual breakdown of the assemblage at this point and I slacked at taking pictures. All I know is that one night at almost 10pm during "project time" I heard a basketball bouncing in the garage so I went in to check "progress." Dad was sitting there in front of the Chickee while Kid was playing.
Dad, "This floor is taking forever."
Mom, (eye roll) "If he's not helping he could at least go to bed."
Kid did work on the roof and sweep the garage of all the scraps. So there's that.
Last step: Kid glues store-bought figurines to project, poses for pic, and brings to school one whole day before it's due!
So there's your Florida Seminole Diorama How-to.
Looking at this picture it is clear that Kaden's hair is the project we need to tackle next.
And after all this talk about Seminoles there is only one way I can, in good conscience, end this post: