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Canku Ota
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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Favorite Sites
collected by Paul and Vicki
Pulling Together
"The Pulling Together experience builds relationships, bridging the gap through communication and hard work amongst today's youth. The journey is one of goodwill, cultural experience and learning, with the Fraser River being both the "teacher" and the "highway" we have travelled"
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians
Our ancestors, those who have walked before us, have left many legacies that, with great pride, we continue to live and build on today. By bestowing cultural wisdom through generations, we are able to teach our youth the early ways of the Chumash, learn the traditional language of our people, and educate the public about who we are as a tribe and as individuals.
Museum of Northern Arizona
The mission of the Museum of Northern Arizona is to inspire a sense of love and responsibility for the beauty and diversity of the Colorado Plateau through collecting, studying, interpreting, and preserving the region’s natural and cultural heritage.
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Preschool Songs
For oodles of sing-along fun, these sites provide lyrics for all the classics (such as Twinkle, Twinkle or Muffin Man) as well as fun, new words for original piggy-back songs sung to familiar tunes.

Bookwakwala: Songs
These original animated music videos celebrate all sorts of common experiences, such as moving to a new neighborhood, making an echo with a friend, eating with chopsticks or trying new things. The tunes are catchy and the lyrics are easy to understand: great fun for sing-alongs at the computer. Be sure to explore the rest of the site, including the musical games, animations and stories.

Everything Preschool: Preschool Songs
Hundreds of song lyrics, both traditional and original, are categorized by topic, such as Farm Animal Songs, Sports Songs and even Popcorn Songs. Some of the lyrics are sung to well-known melodies, such as Old MacDonald, Pop Goes the Weasel or the Hokey Pokey. Others are lyrical finger plays without specific melodies. The rest of the site is chock full of preschool themes, lesson plans, crafts, and alphabet activities.

Mrs. Jones' Room: Sing-Along Songs
Mrs. Jones is a Pennsylvania kindergarten teacher with an amazing website. Her sing-along page starts with a list of recommended music sites, followed by a really long list of song lyrics. My favorites are the alphabet songs, with lyrics for all the letters as well as vowel and consonant sounds (consonant digraphs, long and short vowels, and consonant blends.) "Do you know the zipper man, the zipper man, the zipper man? Do you know the zipper man? He loves to zip and zip."

Preschool Express: Music and Rhyme Station
Most of the original rhyming lyrics at Preschool Express were penned by site publisher and author Jean Warren. "In her retirement, Jean has decided to give something back to the world by developing a totally FREE website for parents, teachers and grandparents of young children." The rhymes are sorted by season, along with a section for Anytime Songs that include Dinosaur Songs, Color Rhymes, and Birthday Songs. Here's one about a ladybug, sung to the tune of On Top of Old Smokey. "Out on the branch / A ladybug crawled. / She wasn't big / She was quite small."

Preschool Rock: Preschool Songs and Poems
Use the menu in the left-hand column to find original songs about holidays, animals, numbers and letters. The Classic Preschool category has a few "old standards rewritten with a modern twist," such as My Big Truck sung to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. "Rev Rev Vroom Vroom / My big truck. / Up on a hill or down in the muck. / Your big truck wheels / Spin round and round / I see them race across the ground."

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Things To Do This Summer
"Mommy, I'm bored!" Prevent the b-word from visiting your house this summer by combing these lists of summer activities ahead of time. Hopefully you will find dozens of good ideas and enough inspiration to fill the entire season.

About Parenting Teens: 101 Fun Things To Do This Summer
"Here is a list of fun things for your teen to do this summer. Print it out and give it to your teen the first time they tell you they are bored. Or be proactive and give it to them before they complain about nothing to do." Great ideas from the guide Denise Witmer include inventing a new type of pizza, making a music video, having a watermelon seed spitting contest, and hosting a car wash to raise money for your favorite local charity.

Backyard Nature: 101 Nature-Oriented Things To Do This Summer
Here at Backyard Nature, summer is all about the outdoors. Suggestions include listing all the trees in your neighborhood, putting out a birdbath ("It doesn't have to be a real birdbath, but could be something like a turned-upside garbage can lid.") and starting a rock collection. Most of the 101 items include educational links, so you can learn more about feathers, lichens, squirrels, bug-eaten leaves, and other fun backyard stuff. 101 Things To Do This Summer
"As much as your kids will tell you they can't wait for summer, the words 'I'm bored,' inevitably cross their lips - sometimes sooner than you think! While children do enjoy the freedom that comes with the summer months, they still like to have a little structure to their fun." So, how about writing a letter to your best friend, making dinner with your family, cutting up old greeting cards to make a puzzle, or starting a band? With 101 suggestions, there is surely something here that will capture your child's imagination. 101 Fun Things To Do in the Summer
This list from is written for Moms and Dads with preschoolers and toddlers. Suggestions include helping your little ones make new friends on the playground, bringing your kids' books alive with a scrapbook or a letter to the author, and mastering jump rope games with your child. One of the items even includes an iTunes playlist of "guaranteed kid-pleasers" for "boogieing down" in the living room or backyard.

Semicolon: 100 More Things To Do When You're Bored: Summer Edition
Semicolon is a mom from Houston,TX who blogs about "kids and books and homeschooling and communities and sometimes movies and politics and fun links." Her very creative ideas include acting out Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, painting the Sistine Chapel on a piece of butcher block paper taped to the bottom of a table (that might take a while!), creating a math scavenger hunt, planting a flower bed and learning the alphabet in sign language. Many of the projects include links to other mommy bloggers who expand upon the activities and offer advice on how to implement them.

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Birthday Party Games
No birthday party is complete without a few party games, and today's sites are just what busy parents need to make party planning easier. Parenting Teens: Birthday Party Games
Teens may say they just want to "hang out" with their friends, but having a few games up your sleeve will surely come in handy for those moments when the conversation slows. These games, from Parenting Teens guide Denise Witmer, are specifically for teens, and include many clever ideas such as a Duct Tape and Newspaper Fashion Show ("each team creates fashions"), Fill my Bowl Relay Race (how many M&Ms can you carry in a straw?) and Pass the Peanut (with a spoon in your mouth!)

Birthday Party Ideas: Games
"So, you've come up with a great theme and now you've got to figure out how to keep all those little party goers busy -- birthday party games of course!" From the classics (such Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Musical Chairs) to the unique (a Bucket of Pennies Contest or a Chinese Auction), Birthday Party Ideas has a very large collection of games, mostly submitted by readers like you. To add your birthday party idea (or game), click on the Submit Idea button in the top menu.

Family Fun: All Party Games
Disney's Family Fun site has thirteen pages of party games organized by title or user rating. To view the highest rated games, click on Sort by Rating. These games are both well-liked by parents, and also a bit different from the usual same old, same old. They include games such as The Clairvoyant Crayon ("young magicians wow their audience"), Sardines ("a version of hide and seek") and Polka-Dot Pinch ("players will see spots before their eyes").

Party Game Central: Kids Party Games
Party Game Central is my pick of the day because of the size of its database and terrific search function. To find games perfect for your audience, start at Build Your Custom Game List, where you can query by age, group size, venue (indoors or outdoors) and activity level (passive or active.) And Party Game Central doesn't stop with kids games. You'll also find hundreds of games for teens, pool parties, bridal showers, baby showers, couples parties, and holidays.

University of Illinois Extension: Let's Party
"A guide to drug-free parties for 5th to 8th graders." Focusing on a slightly older audience, this site from Urban Programs Resource Network covers both party hosting and party attendance. It includes a section of Party Games, but also has advice on party foods and party rules. For example, when hosting a middle-school party, "If anyone leaves the party they should not be allowed to return. This will discourage people from leaving your property with the intent to drink or use drugs and return to the party."

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The Medici
The House of Medici was a powerful family dynasty in Florence during the fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries. They made their money in banking, and although they were not monarchs, they held great political power. Their greatest legacy was their support of art and architecture during the Renaissance. As patrons they supported many important artists, including Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Brunelleschi and Botticelli.
Florence Art Guide: The Medici Genealogical Tree
With the Medici dynasty spanning hundreds of years, the easiest way to understand its genealogy is with a family tree. Florence Art Guide provides us exactly that, along with clickable links to articles about the family's most famous progeny, such as Cosimo I (1519-1574). These articles also contain links to articles about related people (such as Giorgio Vasari, artist and architect) and places ( the Uffizi, Palazzo Vecchio, and the Pitti Palace.)
PBS: Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
My pick of the week is this PBS site, built as a companion to the 2004 four-part television special. Best clicks include the interactive tour of Florence (click on Florence Scape), the interactive family tree (look in the Medici section), the Medici Quiz (also in the Medici section), and the interactive timeline (in Turning Points.) Also visit for biographies of many of the most important Renaissance artists, including Botticelli, Donatello, Ghiberti, Michelangelo and Leonardo.
The Medici Archive Project
The Medici Archive Project is analyzing over three-million letters and documents from the famous family. Their "goal is to animate the actual words of the Medici Grandukes to tell the untold stories of power and intrigue from the most influential family dynasty in Western Civilization." Best reads for casual visitors (like us) are the Highlights listed on the front page, such as Women Artists and Women Patrons of the Arts, which translates snippets of a handful of letters describing women as both commissioned artists and art patrons. Fascinating!
Florence's Duomo: History
The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, better known as Florence's Duomo, is a symbol of the Medici's impact on Florence. Supported by Cosimo di Giovanni de' Medici (1389 - 1464), architect Filippo Brunelleschi designed and built its huge brick dome between 1420 and 1436. Learn more about this impressive cathedral with this hyperlinked illustration that explores the Dome, the Baptistry (with its famous Ghiberti doors), Giotto's Bell Tower, and more.

The Galileo Project: The Medici Family
"Through banking and commerce, the [Medici] family acquired great wealth in the 13th century, and political influence came along with this wealth." This one-page overview of the Medici Family is part of The Galileo Project at Rice University. Ferdinand (1549 - 1609) appointed Galileo as a math professor at the University of Pisa. In 1610, his son Cosimo II (1590 - 1621) (who had been tutored by Galileo as a young boy) offered the scientist a court position.

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Students And Teachers Against Racism announces their new website that offers insight into the Native American perspective to teachers and educators.
Changing Winds Advocacy Center
Through presentations, classroom sessions, curriculum, fund raising, charitable works, and multi-media efforts, we seek to raise public awareness of the stereotyping, discrimination, racism and other unique situations facing Native Americans.
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Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.
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