Campfire Stories with George Catlin
"This website compiles paintings, historical documents, and commentary from contemporary experts so you can explore the intersections of two cultures, both in Catlin’s time and today…”
Campfire Stories has many interesting and useable features for educators. This website covers topics in Catlin’s paintings including Native American homelands, tribal leadership and historical figures, and the Great Plains ecology and geography; all covered by contemporary American Indians, historians, and other experts. With many lesson plans for teachers to choose from, this site offers a Great Plains history and perspective. It requires Flash 6 and Quicktime plugins. Once these plugins have been downloaded and installed the site works great, the download time might take a while.
Explore National American Indian Heritage Month
“The National Register of Historic Places is pleased to promote awareness of and appreciation for the history and culture of American Indians and Alaska Natives during National American Indian Heritage Month. This month is dedicated to recognizing the intertribal cultures, the events and lifeways, the designs and achievements of American Indians and Alaska Natives.”
This is another series of thematic lesson plans provided by Teaching with Historical Places, a project of the National Park Services. Explore National American Indian Heritage Month uses historical sites of Native American villages and battles to examine their cultures and histories. These lesson plans specifically focus on the Battle of Honey Springs, the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, the Battle of Oriskany, Pueblo, Hidatsa, and Mandan cultures, histories and sites, Lewis and Clark, and the Spanish mission-presidio system. The lesson plans include a clear, coherent outline accompanied by images, readings, and review questions.
SCORENative American PoetryTeachers’ Guide
“This supplementary unit is part of an eighth grade, interdisciplinary Native American archaeology unit, but may be used in upper elementary or high school humanities or American history classes. It is a mini-study of free verse, sensory words used in Native American poetry, and paraphrasing. Students will read and study free verse poetry through Native American Poetry and write a free verse poem.”
This website offers teachers a lesson plan to teach Native American poetry in a world-comparative setting. The lessons begin with an overview of free verse and trends in indigenous poetry. Then, they use haiku poetry, biographies, and other methods to place this literature in a national and world context. The project includes lesson plans for kindergarten through twelfth grade, and guides for teachers to prepare for the activities. These guides include brief literature on verse and recommended grading systems. When using the website, teachers should be aware that there are dead links that were supposed to access the poetry samples. Unless the school system uses Prentice Hall Literature Silver, teachers integrating this material into their curriculum will need to procure copies of Native American poetry, haiku poems, and various free sample verses. Overall, this is a good sight for teaching an interdisciplinary approach to Native American History. Integrating this literature in a history course will give students an insight into the present cultural identity of Native Americans. This sight is maintained by Schools of California Online Resources for Educators (SCORE) Project, and funded by the California Assistance Program (CTAP) and the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA).
Teaching with Documents:
Maps of Indian Territory, the Dawes Act, and Will Rogers’ Enrollment Case File
“Federal Indian policy during the period from 1870 to 1900 marked a departure from earlier policies that were dominated by removal, treaties, reservations, and even war. The new policy focused specifically on breaking up reservations by granting land allotments to individual Native Americans.”
The primary purpose of this site is to provide instructors with a lesson plan and resources to teach students about the Dawes Act and Indian Territory. Activities rely on group activities, primary documents, and creative writing assignments, as well as a research project geared toward learning the dismantling of Indian reservations. While the site includes some textual explanation about this event, students accessing the material will find more use from the primary documents and should refer to other sources for an in-depth explanation of the Dawes Act and Will Rogers’ life.
Teaching with Documents:
Memorandum Regarding the Enlistment of Navajo Indians
“During World War II, the U.S. Marine Corps, in an effort to find quicker and more secure ways to send and receive code enlisted Navajos as ‘code talkers.’”
This lesson plan offers teachers an activity that instructs students on the role of Navajo soldiers as code talkers during World War II. The activity includes background information, images, primary documents, and group activities. Furthermore, it incorporates modern legislation, issues, and media. The writers recommend using Wind Talkers, starring Nicholas Cage, as a means of visualizing Navajo soldiers’ duties. Overall, students should enjoy this lesson plan. If nothing else, at least the movie should catch their attention!