Native Humor Lesson Plan


  1. Next, read Beverely Slapin's "The Basic Skills Caucasians Workbook." You can download the chapter on "Caucasian American Education" in PDF format and reproduce it for your class. Have a 10-minute class discussion about this literature. It is important to point out that Native people and their way of life, stories, sacred history, and art work are still considered "in the past," or "historical" in modern day museums. Native people are still alive and thriving. "The Basic Skills Caucasians Workbook" takes a funny look at how Caucasians live from a museum point of view. It has satire that can make even a serious person chuckle.
  1. Students will create their own one or two-page booklet of appropriate jokes or a “museum” that pokes appropriate fun at their own culture. Students will display their creations in class.

Assessment Recommendations

Students will be assessed on the following:

  1. The final venue (play, movie, commercial, literature, museum or joke book) to appropriately show cultural satire or humor. This will be assessed using the Six Trait Writing Rubric. This will be assessed using the Six Traits Writing Rubric. Information about the rubric can be found at this external link.
  1. Class participation and appropriate behavior towards other cultures.

Recommended Resources

The Indian Country Diaries DVD chapters and web pages listed above. The DVD is available from VisionMaker Video –

The following books of Indian jokes are also available from

Green, Rayna.  The Museum of the Plains White Person
Slapin, Beverly.  Basic Skills Caucasian Americans Workbook
Spuka Sin Win.  Jokes Heard Around the Rez

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