Oklahoma has a long history of being a background for tales of westward expansion as well as maintaining the largest collection of art depicting the American West. Quite simply, if you were to think of States which are described as “Cowboy Country”, Oklahoma would more than likely be in a top five situation. Such an accomplishment is hard to ignore, as is the role that local tribes played in the development of the cowboy heritage narrative.
School has started again this year and I find myself in a new district, teaching a new age group (middle school) to successfully approach an impending State Test later this year (a first for me). All of this to say as I try to figure out the update issues with the blog as with the new school situation, I have to address that knowing someone has gone before me in this process is helpful; that I am not the person that has to reinvent the wheel. I always want to make connections that will be relevant but moreso long lasting.
As a classroom management tool, I recognize that very few of my students are eager to share first when presenting their ideas; What if they are wrong? How will they be judged in the eyes of their peers? How will they be judged by the educators?; I pivot to creating a culture for the students to highly reward bravery early on to normalize the process. Instantaneous positive feedback.
History tells us that very few early settlers are successful without a lesson or two from existing cultures. In this way, I believe that learning about as well as from these groups is of the utmost importance.
Oklahoma has quite a few things to be excited about. While we have previously covered “The Cowboy” Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City is also a great site to visit. As of this posting, the museums actually have partnered with eachother to offer a combined ticket. The F.A.M. Was more recently built, but both have an extensive reliance on the shared history of the West.
So, the only remaining question is which one will you choose to attend first?