The Hadenosaunee use Wampum Belts to record important events instead of writing. Apart from researching and learning about the custom, we took part in it as well and made the connection with the narratives we were writing. Students chose a memory and dedicated a symbol for who was there, where it occurred, and when it happened. Symbolism has been a consistent discussion.
Students did this fist by getting ideas using post-it notes and a journal. Then, students got engaged with Google Classroom and created a mock Wampum using Google Draw. Finally students created the Wampum and explained their symbols in their 1st 5 paragraph "essay" of the year.
See the transition made in the last 2 weeks!