Native American Mythology Unit

Table of Contents

Introduction

Activities

Resources

Archived Work

This Year's Work

Culminating Campfire Activity

Introduction

This unit ideally takes place from "Columbus Day" through Thanksgiving. Experiences such as a field trip to The Museum of American Indian Culture and silent "stream of consciousness" sessions in the woods on campus preceed classroom lessons.

To enable the children to experience nature as the early inhabitants of our NE woodlands, we take our students to a nearby wooded area. They bring with them a book we've dubbed "Bits and Pieces," a scrapbook-type collection of pre-writing brainstorms, outlines, quotes, pictures, articles, etc. The children record all of the sights, sounds, thoughts, sensations, and imaginings as they sit in the woods for a 30-40 minute period. This experience helps the children establish settings for the myths they will eventually write. They are often surprised at how poetic their pieces sound. Some are turned into "woods poems."

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Activities

Pre Writing Activities

Myth Writing 101

  • Write a list of at least 20 facts about your group in your "Bits and Pieces."
  • Spend time alone in a special place outdoors where you can record all the sights, sounds, smells, and emotions you experience a syou imagine this place long ago...as Native Americans may have experienced this place.
  • "Soak up" the culture of your group by listening to stories and music, watching videos such as "The Land of the Eagle," and exploring Websites to gather more information.
  • Make an outline of the ideas you will use in your myth.
  • Word process a rough draft.
  • Peer conference. Listen to feedback.
  • Revise. Edit.
  • Review storytelling techniques.
  • Practice storytelling techniques.
  • Read/tell your story at Campfire Simulation.
  • Write or word process a good copy of your myth.
  • Add your myth to the fifth grade webpage.
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    Resources

    Favorite Books Containing Myths


    Keepers of the Earth and Keepers of the Night, (both by Caduto and Bruchac)
    Native American Myths and Legends and Myths of the North American Indian, (both by Colin Taylor)
    First Strawberries, retold by Joseph Bruchac
    Where the Buffaloes Begin, by Olaf Baker

    Other Reference Materials

    Keepers of the Earth by Caduto and Bruchac
    Native American Stories told by Joseph Bruchac
    Timelines of Native American History by Carl Waldman
    How the Stars Fell From the Sky by Jerrie Oughton
    The Encounter by Jane Yolen
    Medicine Cards by Sams and Carson
    Keepers of the Night by Caduto and Bruchac
    Microsoft Bookshelf CD-ROM by Microsoft
    Encarta `96 CD-ROM by Microsoft
    Multimedia Animals Encyclopedia by Applied Optical Media
    GeoSafari by Educational Insights interactive
    Time Almanac by Softkey
    US Atlas CD-ROM
    Search the WWW for other examples of Native American myths. Try some of our
    Native American Bookmarks which we compiled for this unit.
    Native American Foods and Recipes

    Your notes from our trip to The Lenni Lenape Historical Society

     

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