Wabanaki Studies

dawnIndian Stereotypes

Lessons and Resources for Middle School and High School

Online Resources
Print Resources


The lessons below are original. Links to the best online resources from other sources are available in the Resources section of this page and in the Wabanaki Lessons - Resources listings (specific to teaching Wabanaki studies). 

Lessons are in two formats for downloading: Word .doc (will also open in AppleWorks 6) and Portable Document Format .pdf (will open on any computer with Adobe Acrobat reader). The lessons do not replace American History lessons, but should be used to complement and extend them. Designed to include reading, writing and discussion, the lessons can be part of a Literacy curriculum.

Files for Downloading
How to Teach Indian Stereotypes Powerpoint Presentation - .ppt (Mac OSX), .pdf version Powerpoint presentation for Wabanaki Studies Institute 2006 - uses or refers to many of the lessons listed below
Introductory Lessons and Activities

Negative/Positive Indian Stereotypes - summary handout - .doc, .pdf

An Indian Quiz - Anticipation Guide or self-test for Stereotyping unit - .pdf (this is not original - it is from Understanding Prejudice, where it has been replaced by an online interactive quiz).

Stereotype Concept Definition Map - lesson plan and blank organizer focusing students on the concept and consequences - .doc, .pdf

All Cultures Chart - .doc, .pdf

All Cultures Chart Lesson - .doc, .pdf

Word Scatter - .doc, .pdf

Word Scatter Guide for Teachers - .doc, .pdf

 These lessons can be used individually or as a group to introduce Native American stereotypes, to introduce the concept of cultural similarities, and to structure K-W-L activities.



Cowboys & Indians

Cowboys and Indians - lesson to accompany the Western Story Playset - .doc, .pdf

Cowboys and Indians Directions - for the playing of the Western Story Playset game - .doc, .pdf

The  Western Story Playset can borrowed from the Hands-On Box.  It can also be purchased at Big Al's and many other budget stores. Any collection of "Soldier - Indian" play figures can be substituted, as can a collection of at least 30 figures that are student-created. The lesson focus is upon the stereotypes inherent in the game.
The Sign of the Beaver - Pinpoint the Stereotypes Lesson - .doc, .pdf This lesson focuses on selected passages from the novel.  All organizers and resources are included in the downloaded file.
The Sign of the Beaver - What do you think?

Lesson - .doc, .pdf

Charting Postitive/Negative Stereotypes - organizer - .doc, .pdf

Chart Teacher's Guide - .doc, .pdf

Essay: Race as Seen in Children's Books - .doc, .pdf

Essay Teacher's Guide - .doc, .pdf

Lesson for reading the novel for Positive / Negative stereotypes - can be applied to other YA novels
Indian Stereotypes for Students - Lessons to accompany CD

Stereotypes for Students: CD Lesson and Teacher Guide - .doc, .pdf 

Look Out for...Stereotypes organizer - .doc, .pdf

Questions and Opinions - organizer - .doc, .pdf

Vocabulary for Students - .doc, .pdf

Vocabulary - Teacher Guide - .doc, .pdf

Indian Stereotypes for Students is a QuickTime slide show (movie) of still images reflecting a variety of stereotypical images and objects. It can be borrowed from Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain and is included in the Hands-On Box. Many of these lessons require the movie.
The Life of the Corn

Lesson - .doc, .pdf

Questions for Students - worksheet - .doc, .pdf

Introduction to skit - .doc, .pdf

Analyzing a widely distributed dramatic "skit script" for stereotypes - requires Internet access
Indian Stereotypes - songs and rhymes

Lyrics & Lesson - Contemporary - .doc, .pdf

Ten Little Indians (children's rhyme, 1868) - .doc, .pdf

Lyrics to the songs in the Indian Stereotypes slide show - and many more - with a Lesson.  A CD of the songs is available for loan through the Hands-On Box. Lyrics should be previewed before use.
Unlearning "Indian" Stereotypes

Viewing Guide for Students - .doc, .pdf

Teacher's Guide and Answer Key - .doc, .pdf

Lessons to accompany the VHS tape of the same name - tape is available for loan from the Hands-On Box.

Indian Stereotypes: Caricature of 1908

Lesson and Resources - .doc, .pdf The file contains the lesson, printable organizers, a story, and three cartoon pages from 1908. It is an excellent set of lessons to accompany a critical reading of Sign of the Beaver, Dawnland, The Heart of a Chief, or The Arrow Over the Door
Cartoons and Advertisements

Sample Discussion of Cartoons and Comics

Paint-Your-Own-Teepee - .doc, .pdf

Moundbuilders - .doc, .pdf

Close to Home - .doc, .pdf

Foreign Children- .doc, .pdf

No to Asylum Seekers - .doc, .pdf

1-page lessons focused on an advertisement or contemporary cartoon. These are offered as sample lessons for the purchased cartoon images (for education use only) included in the Hands-On Box and can serve as models for teacher-created lessons using the Native theme cartoons that continue to appear in The New Yorker and other publications (generally around Thanksgiving). Additional cartoons and Task Card lessons are included in the Box materials.


The listing below is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list; it is a list of materials that I have found most helpful. Most of the resources will lead educators to other informative materials. Educators are urged to use my feedback form to add resources to this listing.

Recommended Online Resources - these provide both information and background for the Teacher

seal pictograph

copyright Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain
updated 2/7/06