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Study Unit I Defining Terms  
Study Unit II Fieldwork Basics  
Study Unit III Discovering the Obvious: Our Lives as "The Folk"  
Study Unit IV The State of Our Lives: Being a Louisiana Neighbor  
Study Unit V Oral Traditions--Swapping Stories  
Study Unit VI Louisiana's Musical Landscape  
Study Unit VII Material Culture-The Stuff of Life  
Study Unit VIII The Worlds of Work and Play  
Study Unit IX The Seasonal Round and Life Cycles  
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Unit IX Outline:

Introduction (this page)

Part 1: The Seasonal Round

Lesson 1: Birthday Calendars

Lesson 2: Constructing Personal Calendars

Lesson 3: Folklife Around the Year

Part 2: The Cycle of Life

Lesson 1: Birth and Early Childhood

Part 2, Lesson 2: Rites of Passage

Part 2, Lesson 3: Elders' Ways







Unit IX
The Seasonal Round and The Cycle of Life

By Paddy Bowman, Sylvia Bienvenu, and Maida Owens

It's Easter Sunday morning in Marksville, Louisiana. Many of the townspeople are attending services at the various local churches. Meanwhile, Brent Scallan and Mike Bordelon hurry to set up tables and chairs for registration and a loud speaker system they will use in the big egg knocking contest that will begin soon, after the church crowd arrives. Brent will be the Master of Ceremonies, a capacity in which he has served for the past thirteen years, since he was eighteen years old. Mike, as his assistant, will be in charge of registration, as well as helping to keep everyone organized, and checking eggs at knocking time (to make sure that each contestant is using only the three eggs he or she has had registered, stamped and numbered). Years ago, Mike, now age forty five, was the announcer. Now he leaves that task to Brent. When it is time to begin, Brent calls out, "Last call to register your eggs." Then starts the T-toddler contest for children under eight. Their prizes will be baskets of Easter candy. A few adults are still scrambling to get their eggs registered. Brent calls out for numbers one through forty to line up on the steps. Mike is checking the eggs, making sure everyone is there, helping people find the knocking partners. And the big moment is here! "Ready! Knock!" Brent continues, reminding the contestants, "If all your eggs are cracked, please step down. If your eggs are not cracked, pair up with the next person in line and continue knocking. If you are finished knocking, please move off the steps." Soon there will be a winner, and a great, fun tradition continues in Marksville.

--Sheri Lane Dunbar

from "If Your Eggs Are Cracked, Please Step Down: Easter Egg Knocking in Marksville

Unit Introduction

Just as a seasonal round of folklife customs, rituals, and beliefs accompanies our passage through the calendar year, so the cycle of life embraces us in a journey from birth to death marked by milestones great and small. This unit invites students to place their own seasonal rounds and life celebrations and milestones in the context of others in their communities, in Louisiana, and around the world. Fourth graders study the seasonal round in Part 1, while 8th graders research the cycle of life in Part 2. Adapt these lessons to your students. For example, Lessons 2 and 3 in Part 1 are adaptable for 8th graders.


Unit IX Resources

Unit IX Outline


National Endowment for

            the Arts.

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