The Inuit people balanced rocks to create a type of “land art” that was both beautiful and with a purpose. Over 400 years ago, the people created Inuksuks that helped them find their way; that spoke of a good resting place; that defined a place for storing their food in the winter; that shared a good fishing spot; that helped them in their hunt for caribou; and that described a place of beauty.
The JK began to understand the hardships that the Inuit people faced in the Arctic and of the beauty in that region. They looked at some videos of the Northern lights. They looked at images of Inuit homes and of the various Inuksuks. Then, they created a landscape using chalk pastels and torn brown paper showing their understanding.
One student said, “My Inuksuk shows this is a good place. It is a beautiful place for a picnic.” Another student said, “My Inuksuk shows me where to go. I was going to my house. I could see the Inuksuk and found my way home.”
Today, we gathered our collection of rocks to see if we could balance them. The aim was to balance the rocks to create an Inuksuk. Once they were balanced, one student suggested that we could use the plasticine “to make them stable.”
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Working in partners, they balanced the rocks and solved stability problems together. One student said, “I had a hard time balancing. We had to try a lot of times.” Another student said, “ We balanced our Inuksuk with having big rocks at the bottom, medium ones in the middle, and small ones at the top. The really tiny ones were the eyes.”
They decided that we would collect more rocks in the playground outside to create bigger Inuksuks. Who knows where that will lead?