Resources for teacher and students include those that are contained in the annotated bibliography, and will also include visual resources, first person accounts, and films. The following are three sample lesson plans out of a total maximum of eight lesson plans (three teaching weeks: nine 80 minute classes).
Annotated Bibliography: Resources for Teachers and Students
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.
New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2007. (Gripping, funny, and sad, Alexie's novel is written as an autobiography, from the perspective of a teenager. There some similarities to
Catcher in the Rye,
Alexie's main character Holden Caufield: Alexie is brutally honest about adult failings, including alcoholism on the reservation. He his also deeply critical of substandard education on the Reservation and the self safisfied arrogance of entitiled white students. Caulfield and Alexie both know who the phonies are.)
. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2005. (Amazon has the following review on its site, admiring a breakthough work of history: “For generations, Indian people suffered a grinding poverty and political and cultural suppression on the reservations. But tenacious and visionary tribal leaders refused to give in. They knew their rights and insisted that the treaties be honored. Against all odds, beginning shortly after World War II, they began to succeed.
explores how Indian tribes took their hard-earned sovereignty and put it to work for Indian peoples and the perpetuation of Indian culture. This is the story of wrongs righted and noble ideals upheld: the modern tribal sovereignty movement deserves to be spoken of in the same breath as the civil rights, environmental, and women’s movements.”)
Deloria, Philip J.
Indians in Unexpected Places
. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 1999 (In a sometimes ironic way, the book explores stereotypes which may confine Native peoples to the past.)
Aperture Foundation, Inc.
Strong Hearts: Native American Visions and Voices.
New York: Aperture. (This book offers one pleasant surprise after another to those used to depictions of Tribal Culture only in the form and style of
Touch the Earth.
One hundred twenty-five images by thirty-four Native American photographers are combined with poetry. The book offers rare insight into complex questions of personal identity, race, politics, family, and society. “
will stimulate real cultural exchange for a long time to come, as it conveys the experiences and insights of American Indian artists and writers defining their cultures today.” (Amazon.com)
Touch the Earth.
New York: Promontory Press, 1971 (An elegiac vision of American Indian life as it was in the late 19th Century, told through quotes of Indian alive at the time and photographs taken primarily by whites, with such classic images by Curtis. Accoding to the review by The Village Voice at the time of its publication : “A beautiful, moving collage which touches on almost all significant aspects of the Indian sensibility.”
Dir. Chris Eyre. 1998 (Young Indian man Thomas is a nerd in his reservation, wearing oversize glasses and telling everyone stories no-one wants to hear. His parents died in a fire in 1976, and Arnold saved Thomas. Arnold soon left his family (and his tough son Victor), and Victor hasn't seen his father for 10 years. When Victor hears Arnold has died, Thomas offers him funding for the trip to get Arnold's remains, but only if Thomas will also go with him. Thomas and Victor hit the road.)(summary from IMDB).
Little Big Man.
Dir. Arthur Penn. 1970 (Jack Crabb is 121 years old as the film begins. A collector of oral histories asks him about his past. He recounts being captured and raised by Indians, becoming a gunslinger, marrying an Indian, watching her killed by General George Armstrong Custer’s troop, and becoming a scout for Custer at Little Big Horn.) (summary from IMDB) In important ways, despite the film’s irony, the film is largely a view of Indians as they were, not as they are. It is no coincidence that the film and the book
Touch the Earth
came out within a year of one another. The film is less reverential than the book, and could serve as a solid start to the unit.)
The Ways: Great Lakes Native Culture and Language
is a series of stories, in video, map and digital form, from Great Lakes Native Communities, is reachable at its web site
and is the product of Wisconsin Media Lab. The short documentary films include such topics as Warriors Boxing, Spearfishing, Living Language, and Lady Thunderhawks (girls’ basketball). The tone and subject matter of the films would engage students and stimulate discussion.)