Harry Wong
Oct 2017
Vol 14 No 3

PBL: How to Kill a Moose
By Todd R. Nelson

"You'll be in my tribe," said James Eric Francis, pointing to the kids in the front row seats in Ms. Pelletier's room. And then he grouped the rest of the class into four other tribal families. They were going to work on survival: finding food, shelter, and clothing that would see their people through the four seasons that Francis had drawn into the scheme of his habitat on the board. Survival in the Penobscot Indian tradition, that is.

Francis is an artist, photographer, teacher and the Tribal Historian of the Penobscot Indian Nation. He visited our school to talk about traditional Indian techniques for getting to and from work, putting food on the table, using technology, and keeping warm and sheltered in Maine.

Stretching across the classroom white board, Francis had drawn rivers and forests and seacoast encampments; numerous wildlife species; helpful plants and geological contours and formations; and the four seasons. Here were all of the ingredients of natural resources, Indian technology, and tribal lore - the bark for canoes and wigwams and long houses; animals for meat, clothing, and tools; stones, feathers, roots, and a transportation system. All the kids had to do was assemble it into a way of life that worked for their survival....

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Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.12 No.11 November 2015
Cover Story by Todd R. Nelson
PBL: How to Kill a Moose
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