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Introduction to Lakota/Dakota Oral Histories & Storytelling

by Jen Mellette

📖 STANDARD

ND H.3-5.3, & ND H.3-5.9 Describe North Dakota Native American Essential Understandings. Describe how individuals and groups contributed to North Dakota.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.5.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

LESSON TIME

 45-60 minutes

📲 TECHNOLOGY REQUIRED

Computer with internet connection

📃 Summary

Students read a Lakota story on the end of the world. The teacher gives a short presentation on oral history as used by the Lakota/Dakota. Students play a game with stories from Dakota or Lakota culture. Students present their own examples of oral history in writing or orally. Assessment is in oral or written presentation and via data reports on answers in Making Camp Lakota or Dakota.

📚 Lesson

Read the Story

Read or have a student read the Lakota story of the end of the world . The English translation can be found on the Akta Lakota Museum site here or you can copy it as a Google doc into your own classroom.

Presentation

This short (5 minute) Google slide presentation explains what oral history is and how it was used by the Lakota/Dakota.

Play a Game

Have students play either Making Camp Lakota or Making Camp Dakota. From the earn page, select the LIFE tab. Select any 3 activities on the page to watch and answer the questions. If students have not played the game before, this should take 10-15 minutes from logging in, introduction, and the three choices.

LIFE pages from Making Camp Dakota.

The lessons featured in the Life tab are perfect examples of traditional oral history passed down by both Lakota/Dakota tribes. 

Share Oral Histories

Once students have played the game, ask students to think of and share orally a story told to them or if they are not comfortable with public speaking, have them write down in a notebook entry to be turned in for grading. 

Assessment

The assessment value is based on what is written down in the notebook or what is shared orally with the rest of the class. Some students will not share or write anything down due to lack of knowledge, so those will be case by case and one on one with the student in question. Based on stories shared and notebook entries, adjustments to class series can be made to target how much time we can spend on a second lesson and third lesson with oral histories. 

Students completion of Life activities and their correct/ incorrect answers are recorded and data on student task completion and performance are available from the teacher reports.

RELATED Lessons You May Wish to Use

A Dakota boyhood is a lesson that also includes a story of Dakota life and teaches ELA at the fifth-grade level. This lesson also uses the Life section from the game Making Camp Lakota.

Breaking Down Division with Remainders – is a great addition for a cross-curricular unit. Making Camp Dakota follows a family at a pow-wow as the children learn about Dakota culture through stories from their elders and apply their long division skills along the way. This division lesson includes Making Camp Dakota game play, a video and Google slides presentation on division with remainders.

This lesson plan was originally developed as part of a series on returning culture and knowledge back to our youth as a part of the youth social skills night activities for the Native American Development Center in Bismarck, ND. It is part of a lesson plan series created by Jen Mellette, Youth and Community Coordinator. 

Primary and Secondary Sources with Buffalo Hunting

📖Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.1
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

⏰ Lesson Time

40-60 minutes

📲Technology

If you would like to incorporate the game, students will need access to computers with Spirit Lake installed on them.

In class: If you are teaching in person, you will need a laptop and projector for your slideshow presentation. If you want to include Spirit Lake gameplay, your students will need access to Mac or Windows computers that have Spirit Lake installed, along with their assigned usernames and passwords. Alternatively, Making Camp Dakota can be played on any device.

Remote: Students need internet connections to see your presentation, watch the videos, and view and enter answers on their worksheets.

📃 Summary

Discover why primary sources are important with a story about Dakota buffalo hunting. Have your students watch the following two videos back to back within the downloadable slideshow. These two videos together are great resources for a lesson on the value of primary sources. Included are questions for discussion and critical thinking. Students can do a primary sources scavenger hunt at the Library of Congress (LOC) website. Included in the slides are two curated museum videos about American bison.

Example usable to teach with primary sources: Black and white video of galloping buffalo

📚 Lesson

Present the lesson Buffalo Hunting – Primary and Secondary Sources. The slideshow comes with several examples of primary and secondary sources from the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian museum, and YouTube.

Videos with Primary and Secondary Sources

Two videos about the Dakota buffalo hunters are presented within the presentation for your students to compare and contrast. The first video contains primary sources, and the second is an interpretation of the narration using animation as a secondary source.

If you want to go directly to the two videos included in the Google slides presentation, these are linked below.

Video with Primary Sources
Video with Secondary Sources

Questions included within the Google Slides presentation

These can be discussed together in class or assigned to students to answer individually.

  1. Reflect: Which video did you like better? What did you like about it?
  2. Compare and Contrast: Was there any information you could get from the first video that you did not see in the second?
  3. Explain: Do you think both videos are equally accurate?
  4. Analyze: The first video used photos and paintings. The second video used animation to help tell the story. Both were made about the buffalo hunt. Which source did you think was more trustworthy? Why?
  5. Synthesize: Imagine if you could add some more facts to the video using primary and secondary sources. List one primary source you would add. List one secondary source.

Differentiated Instruction

Note: For differentiated instruction, you can have students select one or two of the questions to answer. In more advanced classes, you may wish to discuss how the oil painters could be biased in their representation of their subjects, and how even photos could be biased in the subjects photographers chose to capture.

Virtual Scavenger Hunt

  1. Review the copy and paste functions with your students as learning a key introductory component of online research using the LOC. Enclosed are instructions for students to help walk your students through.
  2. Have students research primary sources at the LOC website. Click the following link for downloadable graphic organizers to distribute to your class. One answer model has been filled out. Students will copy and paste URLs for six primary sources from the LOC site and label three of them.

Game

Spirit Lake is an adventure game with multiplication, division, and geometry practice that plays on Mac or Windows computers. This is tied in with Dakota culture and history. You can have your students play for 20-30 minutes, hunt rabid wolves, and hunt buffalo. Look out for primary and secondary sources!

Don’t have a Mac or Windows computer? Making Camp Dakota can be played on the web and also includes content with buffalo hunting, as well as examples of primary and secondary sources.

Assessment

To check their data, you need your Spirit Lake teacher data reports username and password and your students’ usernames and passwords roster added to your account for Spirit Lake.

Related Lesson

Primary and secondary sources

Dakota Boyhood: ELA Lesson 3

📖STANDARDS


CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.6
Describe how a narrator’s or speaker’s point of view influences how events are described.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.1
Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.2
Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.5.4
Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

LESSON TIME

45 minutes

📲TECHNOLOGY REQUIRED

A device with a web-browser – PC, Mac or Chromebook – or phone or tablet.

📃Summary

This is the third in a 10-unit English/ Language Arts unit centered around a visit to their grandmother that integrates English/ Language Arts and indigenous history. On the way to grandmother’s house, the student comes across an excerpt from the book, Indian Boyhood. The student reads the page, answers a quiz and then plays Making Camp Lakota to learn more about the Plains tribes.

📚Lesson Plan

1. Introduce the Lesson

This Google slides presentation introduces the lesson. The grandchild is walking to through the woods and comes across a note, which happens to be a page from the book Indian Boyhood, by Charles Eastman, a member of the Santee Dakota, who wrote a book about growing up in the 1850s in Minnesota. The link to the passage is in the slides presentation, so you can open the presentation, read the slides to your students and then assign the reading on Google classroom. TThis presentation can be used in the classroom, in a web meeting or done individually by students at home.

1a. Assign students to read the passage and answer the quiz

The link to the passage and the quiz is in the Google slides presentation or you can access it directly here.

The answer key for the quiz, along with the lines in the passage highlighted, can be found here.

2. Play the game Making Camp Lakota

There are 7 options in Making Camp Lakota for learning more about Lakota life

In the game Making Camp Lakota, select the LIFE option and then select any two of the activities to teach about Lakota life before the Europeans came to America.

Related lessons

A visit to grandmother, ELA lesson 2, comes before this lesson in the unit and is recommended.

ASSESSMENT: Making Camp Premium Teacher Reports

You can view your students’ progress on mastering this standard by viewing your Making Camp Premium Teacher Reports. You can view the Making Camp Premium reports here. 

STATE STANDARDS

This lesson addresses the following MISSOURI state standards
Reading 1A (5.R.1.A.c) – Develop and apply skills to the reading process. -Develop and demonstrate reading skills in response to text by monitoring comprehension and making corrections and adjustments when understanding breaks down
Reading Foundations 3A (5.RF.3.A.a-b) – Understand how English is written and read. -Develop phonics in the reading process by those tasks described in a-b.
Speaking/Listening 1A (5.SL.1.A.a-d) – Listen for a purpose. -Purpose – Develop and apply effective listening skills and strategies in formal and informal settings by following SL.1.A. a-d.

Visiting Grandma: ELA Lesson 1

This Common Core-aligned English/ Language Arts unit, combines ELA and indigenous history as your students follow in the footsteps of the grandchild on their visit to grandmother’s house.

In this first lesson, students receive a letter from grandmother.

📖Standard

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.6
Describe how a narrator’s or speaker’s point of view influences how events are described.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.1
Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.2
Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.5.4
Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

⏰LESSON TIME

45 minutes

📲TECHNOLOGY REQUIRED

A device with a web-browser – PC, Mac or Chromebook – or phone or tablet

📃Summary

Students will be introduced to a 10-unit English/ Language Arts unit centered around a visit to their grandmother. In this first lesson, students receive and correct the grammar and spelling in their grandmother’s letter. The lesson ends with playing misspelled words and grammar sections of Making Camp Premium.

📚Lesson Plan

1. Introduce the Unit

This Google slides presentation introduces the unit. Students are given a letter to read and correct. The link to the letter is in the slides presentation, so you can open the presentation, read it to your students and then assign it on Google classroom. The presentation includes links to sound files to read the slides and letter to students to accommodate individual students. This presentation can be used in the classroom, in a web meeting or done individually by students at home.

1a. Assign reading letter and correcting errors

The letter is linked in the Google slide presentation. You can also find the link here.

The teacher answer key for the letter can be found here.

2. Play Making Camp Premium

Go to Making Camp Premium. Select WORDS and then go to the third screen.

Bottom left is misspelled words. Top right is grammar.

Play the game on the bottom left to practice spelling. The box on the top right will practice grammar. An example is shown below of a response after the student has answered correctly.

RELATED LESSON

The next lesson in this unit, letter to grandmother, focuses on organization in writing.

ASSESSMENT: Making Camp Premium Teacher Reports

You can view your students’ progress on mastering this standard by viewing your Making Camp Premium Teacher Reports. You can view the Making Camp Premium reports here. 

State Standards

Missouri Learning Standards (MLS)

Writing 1C (5.W.1.C.a-b) – Apply a writing process to develop a text for audience and purpose.

-Revise/Edit – Reread, revise, and edit drafts with assistance to do a variety of tasks as stated in a-b.

Language 1A (5.L.1.A.a-e) – Communicate using conventions of the English language.

-Grammar – In speech and written form, apply standard English grammar for a variety of reasons as stated in L.1.A. a-e.

Speaking/Listening 1A (5.SL.1.A.a-d) – Listen for a purpose.

-Purpose – Develop and apply effective listening skills and strategies in formal and informal settings by following SL.1.A. a-d.