by Christy Hanson
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
Dine’ Content Standard for Grades 7-8 (Government) 4.PO.2 – I will identify changes in customs and goods.
Dine’ Content Standard for Grades 7-8 (Culture) 1.PO.2 – I will show responsibility by knowing the stories related to my belongings.
📲 Technology required
This lesson requires a Chromebook, PC or Mac computer with an Internet connection.
Students watch a video by Albert Brent Chase, a longtime Navajo culture educator. Next, students read a passage on sheep resources and rug weaving in Navajo history. The video, How It’s Made: Navajo Rugs is also provided in this lesson. Students end the lesson playing Making Camp Navajo and designing their own rugs.
Set up the lesson by watching a video
In this five-minute video, Navajo weaver Albert Chase gives an overview of creating a pictorial rug with Germantown yarn.
Read a passage on sheep resources after the Navajo Long Walk
The article , Post-Long Walk Sheep Resources and Rug Weaving , can be added to your own Google drive and assigned to students. It can be printed out or students can complete on their computers.
Complete two vocabulary assignments
Students provide definitions of vocabulary words based only on the context clues from the reading assignment. Next, they look up the definition of each word in the dictionary and compare their original definitions with those in the dictionary.
The ANSWER KEY for questions assigned on the reading can be found here.
Optional (but highly recommended) video on how Navajo rugs are made
This five-minute video covers every aspect of rug-making from creating yarn from raw wool to creating different colors of dye to weaving on a loom.
Make their own rugs in the Making Camp Navajo game
This game teaches more information about Navajo weaving and allows the students to weave their own virtual rugs. Instructions are below and can also be found in this Google doc that can be added to your Google classroom.
Instructions for students:
- Go to the Games Portal for Kids here https://www.growingmath.org/games-portal-for-kids/
- Scroll down and select Making Camp Navajo
- Go to the page that gives choices of numbers, life or random. Pick LIFE. (If this is your first time playing the game, you will have to play through the introduction to get to this page.
- Select the middle picture, the one with the woman weaving, to learn more about Navajo weaving and make your own rugs.
This lesson plan is assessed through the student assignments for vocabulary definitions. The student completion of the rug-making assignment can be documented by screenshots of their rugs. Students design a digital rug design in the Rug Design Tool and share the results with the class. The teacher can then post them in an online gallery for everyone to see.