Book by Miska Miles
Lesson plan by Pohai Kukea
My students were engaged in a research project on Native Americans, specifically of the Navajo tribe. In order to peak their interest and also get them to do some higher level thinking, I decided to introduce a fictional Navajo story called Annie and the Old One, by Miska Miles. I looked for books on the Internet that were approved by Native American groups and did not perpetuate negative stereotypes and Annie and the Old One got a stamp of approval. The only concern was about calling Annie's grandmother "The Old One". So while the title had that phrase, I changed the language throughout the book to "grandmother" and had a discussion with my students about what they call their grandparents. My goal for this lesson was for my students to use the generalizations they make about Navajo culture, based on the book, in their research. I also wanted them to recognize that research about a culture can be done through many different genres, not only non-fiction.
1. Students will be able to verbally summarize the main points of the story, Annie and the Old One.
2. Students will be able to make generalizations about Navajo culture based on reading Annie and the Old One.
1. Read a range of literary and informative texts for a variety of purposes.
2. Use strategies within the reading processes to construct meaning.
1. Focusing event - Show students the book and have a short discussion about what they have already learned about the Navajo tribe from their research. Read the title of the book and have them predict who they think "The Old One" is. When students figure out that it's a grandparent, ask them to share what they call their grandparents. Talk about grandparents and how important they are to us.
2. Read aloud Annie and the Old One.
3. Have a class discussion about the main points of the book, using the following guiding questions:
4. Let the class know that there are a lot of things that can be learned about Navajo culture from reading books like this. Ask the students questions about things that relate to their research and what they already know about Navajo culture from their research and make a web of their responses. Some guiding questions:
5. At the end of the discussion, let the students know that they can use the information that they learned from the reading of this book to help them with their research. Have a short discussion about the accuracy of what we've read and checking the information that we learned here with the information they read about in the research to make sure that it's accurate.
1. Class discussion about the main points of the story.
2. Class-created web of different aspects of Navajo culture learned from the story.
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