Dreamcatcher – Idea File

Students learn about the tradition of the dreamcatcher among the Ojibwe and Mohawk. Students create their own dreamcatchers using three-dimensional pieces.
Grades: K-3

For Young Artists: The Dreamcatcher

Teaching Concepts:

  • Dreamcatchers relate to Native American culture and legend.
  • The culture of the Mohawk people is passed through stories and crafts.
  • Art is created for various purposes and can help pass on culture and stories.

Academic Content

  • Visual Arts: three-dimensional art, Native American culture
  • Purposes of Art: narrative
  • Social Studies: Mohawk people

Lesson Idea
Open: Discuss how good dreams and bad dreams affect us. Tell students that the Ojibwe people created something to catch bad dreams because dreams were considered so important.

View: The video segment.

Discuss: Talk about the story of the dreamcatcher based on the web of a protector spider’s web. The bad dreams would be caught in the web and burned up in the morning sun. The good dreams would pass through to be dreamed again. (For helpful information, see the “For Primary” section of the Visual Arts Toolkit binder.)

Expand: Consider the idea of a dreamcatcher. Challenge students to imagine a creation that would catch bad dreams and let good dreams go. Using recycled items and inexpensive materials, allow students to experiment and create their own types of “dreamcatchers.”

Author: Mary Henson

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K-12The Arts