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Title: First Nation Peoples & Storytelling

PART I

Mental Set (hook):

Students are invited to seat in the circle. Once everyone is seated around the circle briefly talk about the importance of the circle in First Nations culture and talk about the power of sitting in a circle.
-this seating arrangement signifies everyone is welcome to share
-no hierarchical order
-signifies unity and equal powers in decision-making

*Prearrange seating before class so that chairs in circle formation.

Body:

1)Discuss the importance of storytelling in First Nation cultures.
-transfer of knowledge from one generation to the next
-recreational past time or conducted during celebration
-a spiritual tradition
-to explain the wonders of the nature
-to teach values and beliefs
-First Nations people and their connection to nature and how it is demonstrated through stories
2)Students will learn storytelling techniques such as use of tone, expression, and sound. Also, introduce the use of a storytelling bag and a wampum belt to aid in telling a story. The storytelling bag, called Hage’ota among the First Nations, can include objects that bring meaning to the story.
3)Students will be asked to take turns reading parts of a short stories passed down from First Nation groups.
4)Remind students to be respectful of storytelling tradition and to reflect upon the messages conveyed through each of the stories.
5)Explain to students that they are expected to present a First Nations story to the class during the Circle of Celebration and they must think of a way to present it with drama or music to complement the story. Also, introduce storytelling activity that will be discussed in next day’s class where each student must recount an interesting story in their own lives and create a set of storyboards or make up a storytelling bag to help them tell their story.

PART II

Mental Set (hook):

Begin the lesson by sharing a native legend, modeling storytelling techniques discussed in previous class.

Body:

Review with students the art of storytelling including sound, tone, expression, eye contact, and pacing. Discuss using a storytelling bag and/or storyboards to aid in telling a story. The storytelling bag, called Hage’ota among the First Nations, can include objects that bring life to the story. Storyboards help your audience to visualize and communicate ideas through pictures. Again, storyboards can be used to bring life to your story. Show students examples of storyboards and a storytelling bag.

*Introduce storytelling activity which each student will be expected to be part of:

Students will be expected to select a short story to read and share with the group. Students will have one class to read and prepare a retell,relate and reflect. They will be encouraged to demonstrate strong storytelling techniques as discussed in class. They will have another lass to prepare a storytelling bag or set of storyboards to help them in retelling, relating and reflecting. These ‘props’ may minimize anxiety of those students who are shy and/or uncomfortable to share their story with the class.

Part III

Mental Set:

Begin the lesson by sharing a native legend, modeling storytelling techniques discussed in previous class. As I retell the story, I will present storyboards with images relating to the story and draw objects from my storytelling bag that help to bring life to the story.

Body:

Review with students the art of storytelling including sound, tone, expression, eye contact, and pacing. Ask students, “how can one share a story with an audience and make it interesting and enjoyable, and hold the attention of the listener?”

Discuss using a storytelling bag and/or storyboards to aid in telling a story. The storytelling bag, called Hage’ota among the First Nations, can include objects that bring life to the story. Storyboards help your audience to visualize and communicate ideas through pictures. Again, storyboards can be used to bring life to your story.

Other ways to share a story include dressing in costume as one of the characters in the story, using drama, accompanying the story with music and/or using sound effects.

Review the 3r’s with students and ask them to think back to how I demonstrated retell, relate and reflect in sharing the story about Grandmother Spider stealing the sun.

Re-introduce storytelling activity which each student is expected to prepare for.


Social Studies:

*Compare key social and cultural characteristics of Algonquian and Iroquoian groups (e.g., language; agriculture and hunting; governance; matriarchal and patriarchal societies; arts; storytelling; trade; recreation; roles of men, women, and children).
Language Arts:
*Read a variety of fiction and non-fiction materials (e.g., novels, short stories, poetry, myths, articles) for different purposes.
*Read aloud, showing understanding of the material and awareness of the audience.
*Read independently, selecting appropriate reading strategies.
*Explain their interpretation of a written work, supporting it with evidence from the work and from their own knowledge and experience.

Social & Learning Skills:

*Student demonstrates attentive listening.
*Student participates actively in independent and group tasks.
*Student is respectful and cooperative towards classmates and teacher.
*Student contributes to class discussion.
*Student completes tasks assigned to them.



The lesson which is divided into three parts and delivered over three periods involves the whole class, however, there is a major component of the lesson(s) that involves independent work. Although each student is expected to work on their own storytelling assignment, I would encourage students to work together to share ideas and provide each other with feedback. This is especially essential for those students who are less proficient in English. The teacher should expect that these students will need the support of peers and the teacher. For the culminating task, ESL learners may ask a partner to help them 'deliver' their story to the class.

-please see detailed description and adaptations section for teaching/learning strategies

Develop and share a rubric with the class so that students understand what is expected of them in order to achieve a satisfactory grade.

Use the same assessment for ESL students, however, consider language capabilities and progress made throughout the process. Also, consider non-verbal communicative techniques used to help tell their 'story'

I think this is an excellent activity to expand students' vocubulary and further develop and practice verbal communication skills. While this activity may seem at first intimating for students with less proficiency in English, there are ways to involve them in this exercise and level the playing field so they feel prepared to meet the challenge. Some ideas are outlined below:

*Conference with ESL students and other students with issues in oral communication to suggest ways to support them and be open to their concerns.

*Allow ESL students to use cue cards to share their story

*Encourage ESL students to select very short stories.

*Allow ESL students more time to practice their story.

*Allow ESL students to select a partner to help them share their story ex. read cue cards while they act out their story using verbal and/or non-verbal dramatization techniques

*Allow ESL students to share a short excerpt from their story instead of expecting them to share the entire story

*Periodically check for understanding and address questions/concerns

*Demonstrate what is expected by sharing a story with the class using the same kinds of techniques that students will need to practice


Copies of short stories from different First Nation cultures;
Loo-Wit, The Fire-Keeper, The First Basket, The Fire Stealer, and Shangebiss, Keepers of the Animals, Keepers of Life, and Keepers of the Earth


Submitted by: Erika Carlson

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