City Kids had a great time learning about how Native Americans have observed and used the night skies. Included in this lesson were a few origin stories about how things in nature came to be, like the Iroquois legend, The Hunting of The Great Bear. Following the presentation, one of our kids asked whether the stories we heard were true; it can be very easy to assume that the origin narratives one hears one's whole life are true and that other culture's narratives are myths. This lesson provided an opportunity to remind our kids that every culture has their own stories, their own way of explaining the world, and to each culture, their stories are important and valuable.
We do not all have to believe the same stories, but we can learn about each other's cultures through our stories, and maybe we can learn to think about the world from a different perspective; rather than pitting one truth against another, sometimes it is enough just to acknowledge and admire another way to think about the world. At City Kids, we spend a lot of time learning about different people, cultures, and nations because a diverse education is essential if we want to raise the next generation to be thoughtful and open-minded critical thinkers. Teaching kids to truly appreciate and value other cultures is just as important as any "academic" subject they are learning. (And the bonus of the lesson was that sitting in a red room is super fun!)