Lesson plan

Seasonal Round of the Coast Salish

Find out why we have seasons, and model some food-gathering activities of the Coast Salish in different seasons.
Science content
Biology: Indigenous People's sustainable use of Living Things (K, 2, 3)
Chemistry: Indigenous People’s Materials/Separation methods (1, 6)
Earth/Space: Indigenous People’s Traditions around Sky, Land and Seasons (K-7)
Earth/Space: Sustainable practices, Interconnectedness (2, 5, 7)

Start with acknowledging that we are on the land of the [Coast Salish] people.

Model how the Earth moves around the sun. Show that when Earth is on one side of the sun the Northern Hemisphere (and Canada) is tipped away from the sun, hence we are in winter. When we are on the other side of the sun Canada is tipped towards the sun, and we are in summer. Spring and Fall slot between these places in the circle around the sun.

Discuss how Coast Salish (and other Indigenous groups) traditional harvesting uses the food and materials available in each season, sometimes moving to different places to follow the abundant food. This is called the seasonal round.

Make stations, for students to try seasonal activities:
Fish traps are set up when salmon are running in the summer and Fall.
Clam baskets are woven in the winter, and clams can be harvested all year.

Mention other Indigenous activities through the seasons.
I use this poster: https://vashonheritagemuseum.org/product/coast-salish-poster/

Grades taught
Gr K
Gr 3
Gr 4
Teaching Site
Selkirk Elementary
Shaughnessy Elementary