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Canku Ota
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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Favorite Web Sites
collected by Paul and Vicki
North-South-East-West: American Indians and the Natural World
Through exploration of four different visions of living in and with the natural world—those of the Tlingit of the Northwest Coast, the Hopi of the Southwest, the Iroquois of the Northeast, and the Lakota of the Plains—North, South, East, West: American Indians and the Natural World examines the belief systems, philosophies, and practical knowledge that guide Indian peoples' interactions with the natural world. Though all of these peoples have chosen different pathways and strategies for making a life in their various environments, one similar concept is voiced by all—that a reciprocal connection exists between people and the world.
Bald Eagle
The Bald Eagle has been the national emblem of the United States since 1782 and a spiritual symbol for native people for far longer than that. These regal birds aren’t really bald, but their white-feathered heads gleam in contrast to their chocolate-brown body and wings. Look for them soaring in solitude, chasing other birds for their food, or gathering by the hundreds in winter.

Golden Eagle
The Golden Eagle is one of the largest, fastest, nimblest raptors in North America. Lustrous gold feathers gleam on the back of its head and neck; a powerful beak and talons advertise its hunting prowess. You're most likely to see this eagle in western North America, soaring on steady wings or diving in pursuit of the jackrabbits and other small mammals that are its main prey.

About Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP)
Started in 1995 as a scholarship program for university students, ANSEP has evolved into a longitudinal education model that provides a continuous string of components beginning with students in sixth grade and continuing on through high school, into science and engineering undergraduate and graduate degree programs through to the PhD.
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Spring is here, and it’s time to get out of the house and into the garden. I’ve learned that most adult gardeners started their hobby as children. The good gardening experiences we give our kids today become great gardening memories tomorrow. Hopefully, these five site picks will inspire your family (or your classroom) to turn their devices off, and go plant something tasty, beautiful, or both.
Eartheasy: Gardening with Children
"Working in a garden, a child can experience the satisfaction that comes from caring for something over time, while observing the cycle of life firsthand. Gardening gives children a chance to learn an important life skill, one that is overlooked in standard school curricula. Gardening is also a great way to teach environmental awareness by exploring the workings of nature." Visit Eartheasy for a top-ten list of what to plant and tips for gardening with kids.
Exploratorium: Science of Gardening
"Like all great endeavors, gardening is both a science and an art. See how the plants we tend feed our bodies, our minds, and our senses." This multimedia exhibit is divided into Feed, Control, and Bloom. It covers topics as diverse as carnivorous plants, the science of soil, the benefits of biodiversity, humongous pumpkins, and the secret lives of flowers. Gardening Toolbox is a non-profit supporting "garden-based education" for kids. The Gardening Toolbox section includes advice on Gardening Basics and Gardening Activities, along with a Plant of the Month feature. Teachers will find curriculum and other classroom ideas listed under the Educator Resources menu item.
Kids' Valley Garden
From planning and planting your garden to maintaining it and entering your plants into competition, this site covers it all. Written expressly for kids, you'll find great advice ("Keep a Garden Journal to record how and when you worked on your garden and its results.") and step-by-step instructions. You'll also find a glossary to help with gardening terms from "annual" to "zone" and separate sections on growing flowers, veggies, herbs and shrubs.

University of Illinois Extension: My First Garden
"Take a walk around your yard and look for spots that have good sunlight, are easy to get water to, and aren't in the way of somebody else trying to have fun in the yard." My First Garden from the University of Illinois Extension is blooming with step-by-step gardening instructions for elementary kids, and the parents and teachers helping them. Best clicks are Garden in Unbelievable Places (how about planting in your old tennis shoes?) and a downloadable, reproducible Garden Journal template.

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Bird Feeding
Because the cold winter months are the hardest for wild birds, February and March have been named National Bird Feeding Months by the National Bird Feeding Society. You can help your local bird population by providing supplemental food, water and shelter, and start a fun, educational hobby at the same time.
All About Birds: Feeding Birds
"Bird feeding has been an American tradition since at least the times of Emily Dickinson and Henry David Thoreau. It provides us with wonderful opportunities for close viewing of birds. It can also be good for birds." All About Birds (from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology) provides terrific advice on choosing a bird feeder, types of bird seed, and where to place your feeder. For teacher resources, search for "curriculum" in the search box near the top of the page.
Audubon: Bird Feeding Basics
Although birdseed and suet provide dietary supplement to more than 100 North American bird species, bird feeders also increase dangers such as window collisions, predators, and disease. Audubon offers tips on safely attracting and feeding birds, maintaining a feeder and guarding against squirrels. "A recent study found that colliding with a window is the most common cause of bird death associated with feeders. To avoid such collisions, position feeders at least three feet from the window."
Birds & Blooms: DIY Bird Feeders
Birds & Blooms (from the bird and garden print magazine of the same name) presents twenty-seven fun bird feeders you can make with your kids/ Here's a short list of some the imaginative materials used : a coffee cup and saucer, a glass soda bottle, a muffin tin, a pie tin, PVC pipe, silverware, an embroidery hoop, and a tin can.
The Humane Society: Feeding Your Backyard Birds
Visit this Humane Society page for answers to commonly asked questions about feeding your backyard birds. "Should I feed birds year-round? It's not necessary. Bird feeding is most helpful at times when birds need the most energy, such as during temperature extremes, migration, and in late winter or early spring, when natural seed sources are depleted."

Wild Birds Unlimited: Educational Resources
The Wild Birds Unlimited website has a huge educational section that includes information on bird feeding, bird species, bird behavior (such as bathing, courtship and migration), choosing binoculars, and creating a wildlife habitat in your backyard. You'll find bird-related Kid Activities listed under the main menu item "Get Close to Nature".

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St. Patrick's Day Crafts
For a wee bit of green fun in celebration of St. Patrick's Day, here's a roundup of creative craft projects. Most are easily made with materials you already have at home or in the classroom, and many are simple enough for the tiniest of leprechauns.

Activity Village: St. Patrick's Day Crafts
Rainbows, shamrocks, and leprechauns, oh my! Each St. Patrick's Day craft page from Activity Village includes a photo, materials list, and directions. You'll find additional projects by following the category links (such as Leprechaun Crafts, Rainbow Crafts, or Shamrock Crafts) listed under Explore Activity Village.

Disney Family: St. Patrick's Day
"On March 17th, the luck of the Irish is yours with these leprechaun-approved St. Patrick's Day crafts, desserts, printables and games." The photos here are gorgeous, and every craft and cupcake simply jumps off the screen. These are not categorized, so you'll need to scroll through all the pages if you are looking for something specific.

DLTK: St. Patrick's Day Crafts for Kids
These fun and easy St. Patrick's Day crafts are listed by subject, including leprechauns, pots of gold, shamrocks, and rainbows. Each illustrated craft recipe includes a recommended minimum age, a materials list, and (of course) instructions. Most include printable templates in both color and black and white (for those who wish to color their own crafts.) And, best of all, the instructions are available in a printable format (look for the highlighted link at the bottom of each craft page.)

First-School: St. Patrick's Day Activities and Crafts
For preschool and kindergarten kids, First School provides printable crafts (and lesson plans) for St. Patrick's Day and Irish American Heritage Month. In addition to the craft instructions, the activities include reference links to articles about shamrocks, the history of St. Patrick's Day, and other related topics. "Shamrock: (three leaves) is the national emblem of Ireland. Lucky Four-Leaf Clover: when a rare four leaflet occurs in a clover it is said to be lucky and the leaves represent hope, faith, love and the fourth one, luck."

Free Kids Crafts: St. Patrick's Day Crafts
Shamrock Man with googly eyes, Paper Plate Leprechaun, and St. Pat's Rainbow Loops are just a few of the thirteen illustrated craft projects listed at Free Kids Crafts. Additionally, on the second page of the St. Patrick's Day section, they have a collection of links to St. Patrick's Day crafts at other sites. Looking for a steady stream of new craft ideas? On the front page of the site, Free Kids Crafts features a new craft every day. Click on the calendar for an archive of previous crafts.

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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 - 2017 of Vicki Williams Barry and Paul Barry.
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