Native American Unit Study

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This November, we will launch into a Native American unit study. In addition to a more formatted unit study guide, our unit will also include several books written by Native American authors.

Of course this isn’t the first, or the last, time we’ll be focusing on this topic. However, November is Native American Heritage Month, so I decided to plan our studies around that. It’s clear to me that Native American/First Nation history is American history, and I plan to integrate it into our studies accordingly.

Here’s what we’ll be using:

Moving Beyond the Page Native Americansthis includes two books: (1) The Cherokee: The Past and Present of a Proud Nation; and (2) The Very First Americans

Moving Beyond the Page Native American Animal Stories— this is a language arts literature unit. “The stories, coming from Mohawk, Hopi, Yaqui, Haida and other cultures, demonstrate the power of animals in Native American traditions.” Authors: Joseph Bruchac, Michael J. Caduto, John Kahionhes Fadden

Redbone— a graphic novel history of the all Native American band. What I love about this book, and why I purchased it, is that it includes extensive Native American civil rights history intertwined in the story. It covers residential schools, the occupation of Alcatraz, and LOTS more. There’s also a lot for classic rock fans. Your older middle schooler may also appreciate the judicious use of swearing.

Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids— this was on my radar because it’s a Brave Writer Arrow selection, but I’ve seen it popping up in other literature based programs as well, such as (I believe) Build Your Library, and perhaps others.

Peacemaker— this is a Brave Writer Dart (see this post for more info), and I plan on reading it with my 7 & 10 year olds.

How the Stars Fell into the Sky — this is a retelling of a Navajo legend. I won’t spoil the story other than to say it includes the oft troublemaking character in Native American legends, coyote. I also have my eye on this picture book.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plantsalthough this is a BW slingshot, I first heard of this one a year or so ago when a friend posted about it. She’s enrolled in an environmental science program, and I believe it may have been assigned reading. Several moms I know recommended it, and mentioned the author has written another book (Gathering Moss) as well. Although I got a hard copy, I was also lucky that our library carries the audiobook version 🙌 This will be my read.

I will try to film a flip through of each of these materials, so that you can get a better sense of what is covered.

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