Canku Ota Logo
Canku Ota
Canku Ota Logo
(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
pictograph divider
Favorite Web Sites
collected by Paul and Vicki
These Amazing Facts about Native Americans Will Leave You Speechless
Native Americans in the United States are often misunderstood, mischaracterized and mocked, but their history is a rich and complex one. Go beyond what you’ve seen in the movies and gain a deeper understanding of the Native American people, their story and their impact on society.
SAPIENS is about the human world. It’s about how we communicate with each other, why we behave kindly and badly, where and when we evolved in the past, and how we live and continue to evolve today. It’s about the relationship between our laws and ethics, the cities we build, and the environment we depend on. It’s about why sex, sports, and violence consume and intrigue us, what life was like in centuries past, where we might be headed in centuries to come, and much more.
The Dakota Exile Healing Ride
Our Ancestors are not forgotten. Throughout Indian Country there has been many stories told of the atrocities that occurred to the Indian Nations in America. American Indian history is American history, by telling our stories of our ancestors we begin to mend, "the hoop." When we ride the lands we do learn our history, learn our stories, and do this through ceremonies on these rides.
Cheyenne River Youth Project
The Cheyenne River Youth Project, founded in 1988, is a grassroots, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a wide variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities that ensure strong, self-sufficient families and communities.
pictograph divider
Memorial Day
Memorial Day (originally known as Decoration Day) was first observed in 1868 to honor the soldiers of the Civil War. Its origins can be traced back to General John A. Logan who proclaimed: “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.” Has the original meaning of the holiday been lost in BBQs and picnics?
Department of Veteran Affairs: Memorial Day
It is believed that the end of May was chosen for the first Memorial Day "because flowers would be in bloom all over the country." Visit the Department of Veterans Affairs Memorial Day site for a comprehensive history of the holiday, the story of taps, and to learn how the poppy became the Flower of Remembrance. There are also links to national observances, veteran statistics, and flag protocol.
The History Channel: Memorial Day
Explore the history of Memorial Day with a one-page feature article and a gallery of History Channel videos and photos. "The Civil War claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history, requiring the establishment of the country's first national cemeteries. By the late 1860s Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers."
Library of Congress: Patriotic Melodies
Now for something a little different. From "America the Beautiful" to "You're a Grand Old Flag," this Library of Congress site "tells the stories behind many of the songs that have now become part of the American national heritage. A combination of hymns, national songs, music of the theater, radio and television, military themes, and poetry, all of this music demonstrates that while over history many things have changed, this expression of pride and hope remain a constant part of the American experience."
Library of Congress: Veterans History Project
"Every veteran has his or her own war, and each is custodian of a unique story and memories. At the Veterans History Project, we treasure the personal narratives sent to us by veterans from all wars. Vivid as if they happened yesterday, these heartfelt accounts make us laugh, cry and remember." The stories are amazing (making this Library of Congress site my pick of the day) but better yet you can interview a family member, and add their story to the collection. The participation page is chock full of interviewing tips and sample questions. Stories can be submitted online or via a printed form.

PBS: National Memorial Day Concert
The Memorial Day Concert from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol is broadcast live on PBS. This companion website, while it doesn't host the concert (via streaming), has lots of interesting Memorial Day content. Visit for video highlights of previous concerts, and the thoughtful essays in the Meaning & History section, including a list of ways that Americans observe Memorial Day. "Memorial Day is a favorite time for Americans to read their family history, look at old photographs and learn about their ancestors; especially those who died in the line of battle."

pictograph divider
"April showers bring May flowers." Perhaps this is why May is National Flower Month. Indulge your green thumb with this week’s website picks about flowers.

Cornell University: Flower Growing Guides
This home gardening guide is not written specifically for students; it's for anyone interested in learning more about any of the 269 featured flowers. Flowers are listed alphabetically by botanical name (such as achillea millefolium) and common name (yarrow.) Each entry includes a picture, a description, and a brief guide to growing it. Yarrow, by the way, needs full sun and prefers well-drained soil.

PBS Parents: Exploring Flowers
Help your kids learn about flowers with these parent-child activities (for ages three to six) from PBS. Ideas include watching a video clip from "Flower Power," drawing flowers, collecting flowers, and/or pressing flowers. "As you collect and press individual flowers, encourage your child to describe them. Take her dictation, writing down her words on the paper next to the flower. Encourage your child to use words to describe the shapes, colors, and textures of the flower parts."

Pinterest: Flower Crafts for Kids
This Pinterest Explore collection showcases flower crafts. You'll find all the usual materials here: paper plates, construction paper, tissue paper, and pipe cleaners. You can refine your search using the tag buttons that run across the top of the page: Paper, Easy DIY, Fun, Egg Cartons, Coffee Filters and so on. Remember to click twice on any pin to see the craft at the originating website.

Thompson & Morgan: Top 10 Easy to Grow Flowers
British seed company Thompson & Morgan offers advice on improving your garden with these ten easy-to-grow flowers. Sunflowers, for example, can reach heights of fourteen feet and are quite kid friendly. "Just sow the seeds straight into the ground in a sunny, sheltered spot and watch them grow and grow and grow! Be sure to provide the stems with supports to grow the tallest sunflowers around."

US Forest Service: Celebrating Wildflowers: Just for Kids
The kid section of this US Forest Service wildflower site features coloring pages, activities, a dozen printable word search puzzles, and a glossary of vocabulary words from "adapt" to "threatened." Activities include How to Make a Butterfly Garden, Make Your Own Perfume, and Preserving Wildflowers. "Most wild flowers soon wither if you pick them, but you can preserve them for a long time by pressing or drying them. Choose only flowers that you know are common, and do not pick them unless there are lots of them."

pictograph divider
Driver's Ed
When calculated on a per-mile basis, teens are four times more likely to crash than older drivers. Worse yet, car accidents are the leading cause of death for American teens. On a more positive note, many organizations have created free online resources to help teens drive safer. Here are my picks.
Allstate Parent-Teen Driving Agreement
"Talking to your teen about the rules of the road isn't necessarily easy, but it is important." To guide your conversation, Allstate has create a downloadable Parent-Teen Driving Contract. Choose your state, then download the agreement. It includes blank space for you and your teen to write in your own agreements and consequences. Other resources include a parent's tip sheet and up-to-date research on teen driving statistics.
Driving Skills for Life: Students
"According to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 6,000 teens lost their lives in 2006 due to vehicle crashes. Driving Skills for Life aims to reduce the number of teen vehicle crashes in America." Sponsored by Ford, the learning module covers road hazards, vehicle handling, space management and speed management with videos, quizzes, and games. Teacher materials include a Leader's Guide with discussion questions and a Tool Kit with ideas for producing a high school driving safety day or event.
Impact Teen Drivers
Founded in 2007 by California firefighters and teachers, Impact Teen Drivers aims to spread driver safety through education. "And of the 5,500 teenagers killed in car accidents last year; 75 percent of the accidents had nothing to do with drugs or alcohol. Text messaging, eating, applying makeup and adjusting music are among the main killers." Best clicks are the photo galleries (most are pretty graphic), tips for teen (16 Tips You Already Knew), and the Probability Wheel (which will show you how much certain driving behaviors increase the probability of an accident.)
Power of Youth
"You may know some teens who drink. You may even have tried it yourself. But the truth is three out of four teens don't drink. That means the majority is staying alcohol free until 21! Learn the truth about teens and alcohol." This teen site is sponsored by MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers). Visit for a downloadable pamphlet about the dangers of driving drunk, and for ways you can "use your power to take a stand."

Teen Driving
Run by a mother-son team, Eileen and Ryan. Teen Driving got its start in 1994 "in response to several very serious accidents at Ryan's high school, Glenelg. Sadly, our community lost 3 students and a teacher in car accidents over a 4-year period, and there were many other serious accidents that resulted in injury." Highlights include driving tips, and info about buying and financing a car.

pictograph divider
Margaret Wise Brown
Although "Goodnight Moon" is her best known work (it has sold forty-eight million copies since 1947), children’s author Margaret Wise Brown (1910 – 1952) wrote more than a hundred children's books before dying suddenly at forty-two while recovering from surgery. Her special magic was using simple language to tell a story from a child's point of view.
HarperCollins Childrens's: Margaret Wise Brown
Celebrating 100 years of Margaret Wise Brown, this HarperCollins sites features some of her bestselling books with printable bedtime activities, coloring games, a printable counting activity, and an audio snippet from "The Runaway Bunny". There is also a short Brown bio and a longer one of illustrator Clement Hurd. "The son of a prosperous New York mortgage banker, Hurd attended St. Paul's and Yale, and seemed destined to join his father's firm when, in the spring of 1931, he announced his plan to become an artist and sailed for France."
Homeschool Creations: Goodnight Moon Unit
Crafty homeschooling mom Jolanthe shares activities and printables for a Goodnight Moon week. "We learned the nursery rhyme Hey Diddle Diddle this week {one of the pictures in Goodnight Moon is of the cow jumping over the moon}. As he found words to the rhyme {on a separate sheet}, he used a Do-A-Dot Marker to blot them out." You find the printable worksheets at the bottom of the page, listed under Other Helpful Goodnight Moon Links.
Hubbard's Cupboard: Goodnight Moon
Hubbard's Cupboard, a site for parents and teachers of preschoolers and kindergarten students, presents a five-day plan for teaching and enjoying "Goodnight Moon" with a group of youngsters. "Day One: Ask students to share with the class things that they do to get ready for bed (brush teeth, get a drink of water, put on pajamas, hug a family member, find their favorite stuffed animal, say goodnight, etc.)" The lesson plan includes a list of related poems, a few craft projects, and cross-curricular ideas such as studying nocturnal animals in science.
Margaret Wise Brown
Amy Gary, a publishing industry veteran, has found over 300 unpublished works by Margaret Wise Brown since 1990, which she is editing and bringing to market. Her site is an excellent biographical source, as it contains both a short and long bio, a photo gallery, and links to additional online articles about Brown. "Margaret loved animals. Most of her books have animals as characters in the story. She liked to write books that had a rhythm to them, so many of her books rhyme or repeat a word pattern."

Twodaloo: Goodnight Moon Vocabulary Activity
Stephanie is a mom of twins, and a speech-language pathologist. At Twodaloo she shares "activities and information about early childhood development that you can use at home, in the classroom, or in the therapy setting." This activity page is the first of three related to Goodnight Moon, and it uses the printables from Homeschool Creations (see link above.) The second and third units are linked in the closing paragraph.

pictograph divider
pictograph divider
Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us
Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us
pictograph divider
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.
Canku Ota Logo   Canku Ota Logo
The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the
Copyright © 1999 - 2017 of Paul C. Barry.
All Rights Reserved.

Site Meter
Thank You

Valid HTML 4.01!