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Meredith Hall and Laura Licea

3rd grade
Early Native American cultures and their development in north America

Literature list
Cohlene, T. (2001). Dancing drum: a Cherokee legend. Mahwah, NJ: Watermill Press. (juvenile
Dancing drum: a Cherokee legend is a fictional book about a young Cherokee man (Dancing
Drum) who is trying to stop grandmother sun from burning the land. Dancing Drum makes
mistakes throughout the story and has to rectify them in order to save his people. This story is
based on a Cherokee legend and is a good example of traditional Native American story telling.
The illustrations beautiful support the text. Moreover, the back of the book features information
about the Cherokee people both past and present.
My partner and I would use this book as an example of Native American story telling. The
teacher would read the story to the students once all the way through. Then the teacher would
read it again this time stopping to point out characteristics (such as the personification of nature
e.g. the sun and moon) of the story that are hallmarks of Native American story telling. After a
third reading of the story, the students will be asked to make text to text connections.
Goble, P. (2005). All our relatives: traditional Native American thoughts about nature.
Bloomington, IN: World Wisdom. (historical non-fiction)
This book is a collection of short stories, songs, and quotes showcasing native American beliefs
and lore. Many of the stories are anecdotes featuring humans and animals. Throughout the book
is the theme of the connection between mankind and wildlife and how mankind needs to respect
the natural world. Although this book does not specifically say which tribes it is discussing, an
informed reader would note that the book is showcasing the plains tribes (mainly the Lakota).
The illustrations used in this text are based on Native American art styles found on tipis, shields,
and musical instruments.
My partner and I would use this book to expose the students to Native American lore. The
teacher would read portions of the book to the students. During the reading the students will have
sticky notes on which they can keep track of text-to-text, text-to-self, or text-to-world
connections; these connections will be shared after the reading. Through an exploration of the
lore mentioned in this book and the connections made by the students, a discussion can be
facilitated on the spiritual beliefs and traditions of early Native American cultures.
Hu, Y., Smith, C. L., & Wright, C. V. (2009). Jingle dancer. New York: Morrow Junior Books.
Jingle Dancer is a Story about a little girl and a Muscogee (Creek) tradition. For generations,
Native Americans have jingle danced, and for Jenna, this is one of her favorite traditions and she
constantly watches old videos of her grandma jingle dancing. Jenna wants to continue this
tradition and participate in a jingle dance at the next powwow, but realizes she has no jingles to
put on her dress so it can sing. With the help of her grandma, great aunt, a cousin and a neighbor,
Jenna is able to collect enough bells and has her grandma sew them on her dress. Jennas story
ends with her jingle dancing and a heart full of pride.
This book can be implemented many ways into the classroom. It can be used to show students
how contemporary Native American tribes still carry out some of the traditions of their
ancestors. It also has potential to be to open the door for a musical element to be incorporated
into the lesson. Throughout there are tink, tink, tink, and brum, brum, brum sounds going on.
The students can be active participants in the telling of the story by playing these parts with bells
and drums.
Kamma, A., & Johnson, P. (2002). If you lived with the Indians of the Northwest Coast. New
York: Scholastic. (Non-fiction)
This book gives light on what it would be like to be a child living within a Northwestern Coastal
tribe. The book proceeds through the perspective of a child. It highlights how different the
people in this region were and are compared to Native Americans in other regions. These people
were dominantly fishermen and artists and were a people of a hierarchical society and valued
material wealth. Because the land they inhabited was so diverse and waterway rich they did not
have to go far from their settlements.
Reading this book will allow students to somewhat know what it was like growing up as part of a
tribe that was in the Northern Coastal region of North America. Students could use this book to
go on a scavenger hunt. Putting themselves in the shoes of o Northwestern Native American
child, they will read and find how they, the student, would have lived, found food, and clothed
themselves. The can also decide where they would put themselves in the tribes hierarchy.
Kent, R. R. (2001). Pueblo (Native American homes). Vero Beach, FL: Rourke book co.
(historical non-fiction)
Pueblo (Native American homes) is a book describing the types of homes that the indigenous
people of the south west region lived in. This book provides information on the building
materials, architecture, and usage of each form of housing. The culture of the tribes in this region
is discussed, albeit minimally. Pictures of the dwellings and peoples are included in this text.
Also included in this text is instructions for building a model of one of the homes.
This book would be used as a text our students can consult when constructing their own Native
American housing. This book along with others will be available for the students to read prior to
making their dwellings. Students can follow the instructions for home building provided in the
book, or they can use the information (materials used, types of structures, etc.) to design their
own. Furthermore, this book can be used by the students to gather information when making
comparisons between the different Native American tribes. In addition, the information
presented in this book can be used to help the students make their interactive map of each region
of the Native American tribes.
Lassieur, A. (2000). The Inuit (Native Peoples). Mankato, MN: Capstone Press. (Non-Fiction)
This book is filled with many facts and details regarding the Inuit tribe and the life the people
led. Descriptions of their everyday rituals, eating habits, what they wore, and what their homes
were built out of, are provided. Also included is a description of their overall lifestyle, their
traditions, beliefs, and art styles. It provides a general insight on how these people lived. Details
are also provided on the government system of the Inuits as well as how they passed tradition on
through story telling.
This would be an appropriate book to use in class as a fact resource book. It has many details
about the Inuit tribe that could be used in anything from a simple graphic organizer to a small
research paper. This can also be used to enlighten students on how the Inuits used the resources
surrounding them to survive. Students can compare their life today to that of the early Inuit
Rumford, J. (2013). Sequoyah: the Cherokee man who gave his people writing. Columbus, O.H.:
Zaner-Bloser. (historical non-fiction)
This book tells the story of Sequoyah the Cherokee man who invented a system of writing for the
Cherokee nation. The story is multilingual; it is written in English and translated to Cherokee.
This book includes many illustrations. In 2005, this book was a Sibert honor as well as a
nominee for the Jane Addams childrens book award for young children.
This book has multiple possible uses for our unit. One possibility for the usage of this book
would be as a text read by the teacher to promote a discussion amongst the students about the
creation and usage of written language; As well as, the relations between European settlers and
Native American peoples. Another possible usage, would be as a text the students may read
individually to gain information on Sequoyah and the culture of the Cherokee Nation. This
information can be used to aid students in writing their letters to an early Native American
tribesman, in creating their adobe sparks video of a day in the life of a Native American, or in
making their acrostic poem of a key native American figure.
Sita, L. (2000). Indians of the great plains: Traditions, history, legends, and life (The Native
Americans). Milwaukee, WI: Gareth Stevens publishing. (historical non-fiction)

This book is about the lives of the early Native Americans living in the plains region. The author
covers information such as the landscape, available natural resources (including usable
vegetation and wildlife), and how those resources were used. As well as, the art work, societal
structures (such as government), and hunting methods of the people in this region. The book also
discusses how the information was gathered from Native American oral tradition, non-native
American stories, and archeology since there was no written language at that time. This book is
within the reading level of on target third graders and includes many pictures that help the
readers comprehension.

This book can be used in our unit in two ways. The first would be as a text the teacher uses to
deliver information to the students. For this method the teacher would read to the students and
the students would organize the information via a graphic organizer. The second is as a resource
the students can use to gain information on the Native Americans of the plains. For this method
the book would be made available to the students to read on their own when gathering
information for their Venn diagram comparing two early native North American cultures, their
interactive map of the regions of the native North American cultures, and their adobe sparks
video on the day in a life of an early Native American person in North America.

Takacs, S. (2005). The Iroquois (True Books: American Indians). New York: Childrens Press.
This is a non-fiction, fact-based, book. It is part of the True Books: American Indian book series.
Offered is information concerning the lifestyle of the Iroquois people. It touches base on what
the Iroquois ate, what they lived in, what they wore, and the tools and art they made. It is a
compilation of details that highlight the Iroquois tribe.
We can offer this book as a non-fiction option for students to read. They can use the details
within to do an assignment, such as a KWL chart, where the students put what they learned from
the text into the Learned column of the chart. This is also a very good resource for a resource
paper. Students can collect a list of facts from the book that could be added to their paper. Also,
this can be offered to students as an option to read during free reading time if they have
developed an interest on the topic and want to know more about the Iroquois.
Vanasse, D., & Brooks, E. (2006). A totem tale. Seattle, WA: Paws IV/Sasquatch Books.
In this book, traditional Alaskan Native American totem poles come to life. Each animal on the
totem comes with its own personality and opinions on where their place on the totem pole should
be. Once the sun goes down they build themselves back up in anticipation for the next night to
come when they can stretch their legs again. This story is full of magic and humor. It is cute and
creative and any child that reads it will love it.
This book can be used to highlight the story that a totem pole tells. Students can use this book as
a basis to design their own totem poles. They can pick their own animals and add a personality to
each one. After finishing their totem poles, the students can write a short story containing the
different characters of their totem pole and add dialogue between them. Their artwork and stories
can be displayed in the hallway for all the school to see.