Each year, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs’ Wonder on Wheels mobile museum travels through the state.
A special curriculum is developed by the one museum with the Wonder on Wheels, which then goes out to communities far and wide.
With students out for the summer, parents and teachers may find that many of the state’s museums have an online component to it.
“We’ve been in the process of getting materials online for the public to use,” says Daniel Zillmann, director of communications and marketing for DCA. “These are important tools.”
Take for instance, the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture in Santa Fe.
The museum has put its 116-page curriculum for “Indigenous New Mexico – Sharing the Wonders of Our World!” online and available for download. It is at indianartsandculture.org/wonder-on-wheels-curriculum.
The packet includes information and educational lessons to provide background on the following Southwest land-based tribes: Apache tribal communities, Navajo Nation, and Pueblo communities – and features a total of 24 tribes.
According to MIAC, the curriculum packet is intended as a pre-visit companion to the WOW mobile exhibit, which has been developed around essential areas that are important to the three land-based tribal groups: Plants and Foods (corn and yucca; Navajo textiles/dyes); Clothing (Apache, Pueblo and Navajo); Musical Instruments (drums and rattles); Art (Apache and Pueblo pottery; Navajo textiles); and Hunting Tools (bow & arrow, atlatl and rabbit sticks).
According to MIAC, the educational lessons target kindergarten through 8th-grade students and are tailored to address New Mexico State Content Standards, Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, which focus on the following content areas: Social Studies, Language Arts, Reading, History, Geography, Mathematics and Science.
The packet also features background information on the 24 tribes in New Mexico.
“There are three Apache tribal groups (Mescalero, Fort Sill and Jicarilla), the Navajo Nation, and 19 New Mexico Pueblos. One additional Pueblo is included in this document, Ysleta del Sur, located on the border between New Mexico and Texas, near El Paso,” the MIAC document said. “While related through kinship, clans and language groups, each of these tribes has its own distinctive traditions and ways of knowing the world. What complements them is the notion of their core values that are embedded in daily ways of living. While each tribe has a set of core values that embodies who they are as the principal people residing in the places they call home, the shared core values are common to all three tribal groups.”