Native Voices

New Review

The Navajo people build their dwellings with the doors facing the rising sun in the east to welcome wealth and fortune. Pupils learn about the traditions of the Navajo people in the first part of a 16-part unit. They explore American Indian writing, oral traditions, and culture by viewing a video and engaging in discussion questions, writing a family legend and a character sketch, storytelling, writing poetry, and interviewing each other. The unit also includes some optional problem-based learning projects.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Use the Internet to find examples of Ghost Dance and Chippewa songs 
  • Show the class a picture of a hogan, the traditional Navajo dwelling, and have them compare it to a Western-style home
Classroom Considerations

  • Requires a projector or other viewing device 
  • Print the author biographies for scholars to read along

    Pros

    • Includes helpful overview questions and learning objectives to guide instruction
    • Provides a timeline for historical context
    • There are countless teaching tips and ideas for further exploration of each topic
    Cons

    • References a video without saying where to find it