Recording a Dying Langauge

Is there value in preserving indigenous languages that are almost extinct? That's the question posed to viewers of a short film about the attempt of one Native American woman who is creating a dictionary for Wakchumni, the language of the Yokuts, a tribal group native to Central California.

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Provide groups with different sentence strips, have them create a language for the words in their sentence, and dictionary entries that provide a pronunciation guide, the part of speech, and a definition for each word
  • Have groups research other languages in danger of extinction
Classroom Considerations

  • Preview the video to determine if the slow, reflective pace is appropriate to your learning situation

  • The six-page packet includes background information about Marie Wilcox and the Wukchumni language, discussion questions, writing prompts, and links to related resources

  • The slow pace of the video may prove challenging to some viewers
Common Core