UEN Security Office
Technical Services Support Center (TSSC)
Eccles Broadcast Center
101 Wasatch Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
(801) 585-6105 (fax)
Students will learn why it is important to hear the legends and stories of American Indians.
This is the first of five lessons in the Seventh Grade American Indian History Lesson Plan Unit:
Understanding: Legend is an integral part of culture and comes from the land, background, religious beliefs and values of a people. Through American Indian legends and stories we can learn respect. For everything—the Earth, yourself, the way you carry yourself, the way you treat other people. Eddie Spears, Lakota Sioux.
People walked upon the face of the land known as the United States of America long before it was a country. Some archeologists estimate that the first inhabitants arrived 40,000 years ago, and others 13,000 years, before the present day. Many American children are taught about Christopher Columbus discovering America and the First Thanksgiving at Jamestown. Yet, this is not the correct history. As so the history now unfolds.
The Indians that inhabited the lands of the Americas learned of this great land by experience. They were eclectic biologists and scientists in their own right. They knew of the waters, the trees, and the various animals. They tilled the earth, grew food, and walked the paths through this great land. It was their homeland. They were the first people to inhabit this land. Their history is one of pride, sacredness, and knowledge of the land. Learning this history requires a look into their past, their trials, and the story of the days when others came to their land and began to change the face of their world forever. However, some of their traditional cultural values, ethics, and sacred beliefs exist to this day.
This unit is an attempt to help children understand the first people of this land and develop an even greater appreciation for their diversity, culture, and the generations whose hands helped forge this land and were pivotal in the building of this nation.
Some general information about American Indians:
Initial establishment of the imagery of the Indian, like the word itself, came from the pens of Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci. Such imagery and stereotypes have prevailed to the present through inaccurate written accounts and Hollywood movies. Each Indian tribe has its own language, which is different frome those of other tribes; its own history and origins; its own customs (social and spiritual); its own traditional dances; its own styles of clothing; its own foods; its own values; its own culture; its own spiritual beliefs and practices; its own life styles; and its own tribal governments. Most tribes also have an extended family system.
Indian tribal groups also exist in Canada, Mexico, Central America, and South America. Tribes of the Caribbean were mostly destroyed by diseases that the Europeans brought, and the remaining Caribbean tribal peoples intermarried with the French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, and black slaves.
Essential Question 1: Why Is it important to hear the legends and stories and their origins to understand the American Indian culture?
Essential Question 2: Why is it important to hear a variety of stories, myths and legends? (To broaden the view and understanding of the students.)
Essential Question 1 - Assessment
Essential Question 2 - Assessment
Students will respond to one of the following essay questions:
Utah State Office of Education
Social Studies Enhancement Committee
American Indian History
Lesson Plan Writers: