Lessons and Resources for Middle School and High School
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||
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||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 for reading the novel for Positive / Negative stereotypes - can be applied to other YA novels|
|Indian Stereotypes for Students - Lessons to accompany CD||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||Analyzing a widely distributed dramatic "skit script" for stereotypes - requires Internet access|
Indian Stereotypes - songs and rhymes
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
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
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
Hands-On Stereotypes Box – A traveling exhibit of children's books, realia, toys, decorative objects, lessons and resources available for loan to Maine schools from Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain - this includes a DVD/CD of the stereotyping images used in the lesson described above
Invisible - This film is a "must view" for Maine High School students - borrow from local libraries or from the Maine State Library
Penobcot Curriculum contains a "Stereotype" unit, Invisible, and curriculum materials - purchase information is available from the Penobscot Nation
Unlearning Indian Stereotypes – a teaching unit focused upon children's books – VHS (Unlearning "Indian" Stereotypes) and teaching guide aimed at elementary school and school Librarians. Originally a filmstrip (you will still hear the beeps) created by the Council on Interracial Books for Children, this 12 minute video follows young Native children as they learn about stereotyping – set in NYC – somewhat dated (1977), but a great introduction to the Hands-On Stereotypes Box. The introductory essay is an excellent summary, if you can find a copy. Originally available for purchase ($35) from Honor Resource Center, but not available recently. This film is sometimes available, used, from Amazon.com.
The Wabanakis of Maine & the Maritimes – The following lessons and readings are recommended for Middle School:
• Interviews: 5 (C-62), 32 (C-94)
• Excerpts from History Books – B-21
• Guiding Questions – B-16 – 17 – these can be used effectively with the Hands-on Stereotypes Box
Native Books.com - purchase recommended fiction, cultural, historical, childrens's books online
Oyate - perhaps the best source to purchase books for Native studies in school - includes "Don't Buy" list
Joseph Bruchac novels: These novels are excellent "anti-stereotype" narratives: Dawnland, The Arrow Over the Door, The Winter People (all historical), The Heart of a Chief (contemporary)
1491 (Mann) – 2005 Knopf – "New revelations of the Americas before Columbus" – the chapter on the "real" 1st Thanksgiving is a must. It was reprinted in the November, 2005, Smithsonian.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Alexie) - (2007) - fiction for the middle school - life on "the rez" through the eyes of a 9th grade survivor - funny, painful, uncompromising - read it before you assign it
A Broken Flute (Seale and Slapin) - 2005 Oyate and AltaMira Press – expanded/companion version of Through Indian Eyes (see below) – includes essays and book reviews focused on Indian Residential Schools
A Century of Dishonor (Helen Hunt Jackson) - 1887 - available as a reprint from Amazon - exposé of the government's mistreatment of the Western Native Americans
American Indian Stereotypes in the World of Children (Hirschfelder, Molin, Wakin) – 1999 Scarecrow Press – identifies specific, key areas for concern (including Sign of the Beaver), provides background, resources and information
American Indians; Stereotypes and Realities (Mihesuah) – 1996 Clarity Press – each chapter presents and dispels a common stereotype – many illustrations
Another America; Native American Maps and the History of Our Land (Warhus) - 1997 St. Martin's Griffin - maps interspersed with history and other images tell the story of Native American history from a non-Eurocentric perspective
Changes in the Land (Cronon) - 1983 Hill and Wang - eye-opening, readable study of changes in New England ecology post-Contact - includes quite a bit of detail about Native lifestyle and culture
Forest and Shore; Legends of the Pine Tree State (Ilsley) - 2006 Afterflight, edited by Cram-Drach and Cram - annotated reissue of an 1856 text - the Scout stories provide a great "read-aloud" for teacher's wishing to share Maine-made stereotyical material with students; good accompaniment to the Hands-on Box and the 1908 Cartoons lesson. Appendix 3 is a readable short summary of Wabanaki history in Maine (some contradictions with The Wabanakis of Maine & the Maritimes).
In the Trail of the Wind; American Indian Poems and Ritual Observations (ed. by Bierhorst) – 1991 Dell – thematically organized texts, each attributed to a Nation – good introduction, appropriate for middle school, unlike several collections of stories
Iroquois Corn in a Culture-Based Curriculum (Cornelius) – 1999 State University of New York Press – although focused on the Iroquois, the text treats stereotyping as a topic, with many concrete teaching suggestions
Legends of Our Nations (North American Indian Travelling College) – retellings true to oral tradition
Lies My Teacher Told Me (Loewen) – 1995 Touchstone/Simon & Schuster – three chapters examine Native culture, history as recorded in US history texts
Native American Games and Stories (Bruchac) – 2000 Fulcrum – Interweaves stories with games (rules, description, illustrations), from many Indian Nations.
Playing Indian (Deloria) - 1998 Yale Historical Publications - history of non-Native use of Indian dress for political and other purposes
Pigs in Heaven (Kingsolver) - 1993 HarperPerennial - readable novel for grade 8 or higher - explores issues of Native identity, Child Protection Act - "Indian Territory" in Oklahoma
Shadows of the Indian (Stedman) – 1982 University of Oklahoma Press – numerous illustrations and a readable investigation of the origins and varieties of stereotype
Songs From This Earth on Turtle's Back; Contemporary American Indian Poetry (Bruchac, ed.)
Through Indian Eyes; The Native Experience in Books for Children (Slapin and Seale) – 1998 American Indian Studies Center – essays, poems, book reviews, bibliography and resources for locating materials
Unsettled Past, Unsettled Future; the Story of Maine Indians ( Rolde) - 2004 Tilbury House - unromantic history that is especially good in terms of 17th and 18th century treaties and land "claims" - also good for contemporary history - illustrated
The Wabanakis of Maine and the Maritimes – The following lessons and readings are recommended for Middle School:
• Interviews: 5 (C-62), 32 (C-94)
• Excerpts from History Books – B-21
• Guiding Questions – B-16 – 17 – these can be used effectively with the Hands-on Stereotypes Box (see below)
The White Man's Indian (Berkhofer) - 1978 Vintage - examination of history, philosophy and political interactions