Native American Literature Lesson Plans for High School
Native American literature is an integral part of American history and culture. Teaching it in high school can help students understand the complexities of Native American life, language, and heritage. However, it’s essential to have well-rounded lesson plans that foster critical thinking, respect for diverse perspectives, and cultural sensitivity. In this post, we’ll explore some Native American literature lesson plans for high school that you can use to engage your students and promote cultural awareness.
Lesson Plan 1 – Oral Tradition and Storytelling
This lesson plan aims to introduce students to the importance of oral tradition and storytelling in Native American culture. Here are the steps:
- Start with a short history of Native American storytelling and oral tradition, emphasizing the role of storytelling in Native American culture.
- Select a few Native American stories that illustrate the values and beliefs of different tribes.
- Assign the stories to the students to read and analyze.
- Facilitate group discussions and ask questions to encourage critical thinking and analysis of the stories.
- Ask students to write their own stories that reflect their values and beliefs.
Lesson Plan 2 – Native American Poetry
This lesson plan focuses on Native American poets and their literary contributions. Here are the steps:
- Provide students with a brief history of Native American poetry, including its significance in Native American culture.
- Select a few Native American poets, and assign their poems to the students to read and analyze.
- Facilitate class discussions focusing on the themes, style, and imagery in the poems.
- Ask students to write their own poems inspired by the style and themes of the Native American poets studied.
Lesson Plan 3 – The Interconnectedness of Life
This lesson plan explores the Native American belief that everything in the universe is interconnected. Here are the steps:
- Begin by providing students with some background information on the Native American belief about interconnectedness.
- Select a few Native American stories or poems that explore this theme.
- Facilitate class discussions and critical analysis of the stories, poems, or films.
- Ask students to reflect on the interconnectedness of everything around them and write their thoughts in a journal entry or an essay.
Incorporating Native American literature into high school curricula can make a significant difference in promoting cultural awareness among students. The above lesson plans will help teachers foster critical thinking, respect for diverse perspectives, and cultural sensitivity. Additionally, teachers should consider bringing in Native American writers or guest speakers to provide students with firsthand accounts of Native American history, culture, and literature. By doing so, students can gain a deeper appreciation of the rich and complex tapestry of Native American life, language, and heritage.