Friday, April 5, 2013

Finding Authentic Native American Lesson Plans

While searching around the Internet this evening for some "good" Native American Lesson Plans, I came across a wonderful article entitled, Beware of Fallacious Native American Lesson Plans. The article was written by Jessica Diemer-Eaton, who is an historical interpreter of Native American life ways and owner of Woodland Indian Educational Programs. Diemer-Eaton provides a variety of educational programs for schools, students, museums, Powwows, and historical events. And she writes articles that revolve around Northeastern Woodland Indian cultures.

The article focuses on important things to look for when trying to find authentic and meaningful lesson plans about Native American life and culture. 

This article can be an invaluable tool in evaluating lesson plans for potential educational use, identifying ten classic signs of substandard lessons. As a licensed teacher myself, I applaud this article, and I agree with Diemer-Eaton's point about most teachers not having specialized knowledge in Native American subjects. As she so aptly put, "it requires full-time attention to be fluent in Native American subjects." So her article's goal is to help educators sift through the abundance of resources that the Internet provides, and hone in on the ones that are viable, and that will be most authentic and effective for student learning.

And if you are looking for some wonderful Native American classroom resources, be sure to visit the WIEP website. There are some wonderful teacher resources there, worksheets, coloring pages, and several other great resources as well.

Woodland Indian Educational Programs

Their "mission is to contribute to Native American historic preservation, by utilizing resources put forth by the academic and Native communities, in order to develop and conduct public programs and online resources that present Native culture and history in a way that targeted audiences will best receive it."