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Lesson #1: A Storyteller's Inspiration

Lesson #2: Video Storytelling

Lesson #3: Speak With Your Elders

Teacher’s Guide: Introduction

Welcome to the CIRCLE OF STORIES lesson plans. These lessons will allow students to examine the complex and rich oral tradition of Native American storytelling, create their own stories to share, explore indigenous and Native American cultures and the issues which face them today, and research and explore their own cultural heritage by recording their unique family stories and heritage.

These lessons are directed toward grades 6 through 12, for use in the following subject areas: language arts, theater, history, social studies, multicultural studies, technology, and life science.

  1. Lesson 1: It’s All Part of the Story
    Storytelling reflects the rich cultural and religious heritage of the generations before us, and it leads us to understand how our past has influenced our present. Use this plan to help students learn to share their story while learning to appreciate stories from others.

  2. Lesson 2: Our Small World
    Invite students to explore indigenous and Native culture, and promote appreciation for the contributions from these cultures. Use this plan to teach your students about cultural conservation and to bring more understanding about the issues that tribes face today.

  3. Lesson 3: Record and Preserve Your Family Stories
    In this activity, students will learn the basics for and importance of recording their own family history. Students will learn about the right questions that will provide insight to their family stories, and will research, collect and share stories that will bring them closer to their heritage while possibly spawning a lifelong interest in genealogy.
About the Lesson Plans Author:

Betsy Norris teaches sixth grade English in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Betsy has taught at levels K-9 and as an adult educator in GED preparation and computer training. Betsy has chaired her school’s technology committee, served on the local community technology committee, co-authored the school Web page and sponsored the school’s computer club. In 1999, Betsy was named the Tennessee winner in Technology & Learning magazine’s Teacher of the Year award program, and her school won the National Business Week Award for Instructional Innovation. In 2000, she was named Technology and Learning magazine’s Southeast Teacher of the Year.