Learning About Great Lakes Native People With Cranbrook

MACUL Session: 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Presenter: Charlon Franke, Teacher, Fraser Public Schools
Connection: Cranbrook Institute of Science

After an introduction from Charlon on how she uses Cranbrook’s programs in her curriculum, Cameron Wood from Cranbrook gave an overview of the programs that they offer.


As Cameron walked us through the activity, he explained how he was accessing the visuals. We started by identifying the three Native American tribes in Michigan. We greeted each other and learned “thank you” and “see you later” in one of the native languages.

Cameron talked about the timeline and showed various artifacts for each time period.

In a discussion of what people need to survive, Cameron draws the items that the students come up with – food, shelter, etc. Peter Reynolds, the keynote speaker today, would have been proud of his line drawings.

Cameron noted that the program can work as a review or an introduction. What varies is how much he leads the students in the question and answer section.

A bartering game teaches students how trading works and economic concepts. While some participants were concerned about how the activity would work, Charlon shared how well Cameron handles the students in the actual videoconference. “I just sit back and say, oh my, is this my class?!”, because they are handling the activity so well.

A cup game teaches students the difference between a communal democracy, an American democracy, and a monarchy.

After the program demo, Cameron shared with us the other programs that Cranbrook offers and took questions and answers.

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