Lesson: Native American Creation Myths 2 & 3

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Lesson Objective

Students generate relevant questions about readings on issues that can be researched

Lesson Plan

 Lesson Name: Native American Myths II                        Course: High School Language Arts by Anke al-Bataineh

Objective:   Students generate relevant questions about readings on issues that can be researched

Essential Questions:            (write on board)
What interesting questions can we ask and answer about the myths we are reading?

What themes do we find in more than one myth we have read?

What natural items appear in stories and have a symbolic meaning?

Topographical Map of the US

American Indian Creation Myths

Anticipatory Set:         (5 min)
Ask students to try to remember the four categories of question laid out in the QAR. Fill in any gaps.

Input/ Group Work: (15 min)
Review the content of the Cahuilla myth read by the whole class yesterday. Reread if necessary. Ask students to meet in their groups of four from yesterday and to generate questions a teacher might ask students for each of the four QAR categories. They may do this collaboratively or by assigning responsibilities.


Guided Practice: (15 min)

After 10 minutes, use numbered heads to read one question from each group’s list in each category. Compile a list on the board, separated to look like the rubric. Ask students to identify questions that would be worth researching. If there are none, ask them to generate some. Discuss what makes a question “worth researching” and write those criteria on the board.


Group Work: (20 min)

Change groups of four. Give each group one of the following stories: Yokut, Blackfoot, Modoc and Acoma. In their groups, they should read the assigned story and generate a healthy list of questions in all areas, including some that are worth researching. This should be done on a pre-formatted transparency of the QAR worksheet.


Discussion: (15 min)

After 20 minutes, each group should come to the front and project their list of questions. While projecting their list, they should give a 3-5 sentence summary of the plot of the myth. The class should discuss and identify research-worthy questions. The group should highlight these before sitting down.


Research: (30 min)

Either the teacher or a chosen group leader can assign each research question to a group member. They are now responsible for researching and reporting back on this question. If they find that it is too difficult or complex to research, they will also report this.


Allow students to use the internet and reference books to research their assigned question. For example, “Were the Cahuilla the ancestors or descendents of any other tribes? Do those tribes have similar myths?”


Presentations: (40 mins)

Call students randomly to give 2-5 minute presentations for the class that discuss

1.     What was the question?

2.     What was the research process like?

3.     What answers were found?

Conclusion/Assessment:         (10 min)

Ask students to offer conclusions drawn from presentations on which questions are most worth researching. Create a class-wide criteria for future reference.


Students write in their Language Arts notebook on the prompt:

What facts have you learned so far about myths? What have you learned about Native American cultures? What have you learned about asking and answering questions?



Vocab to Watch Out For:


Lesson Reflection:

What went well?

What would you change?

What needs explanation?

Students generated interesting questions, despite sometimes being unusual.

Students weren’t motivated to do the research. Maybe it should be dropped or else more accountability should be held.

It is important to reinforce the definitions and distinctions of the QAR categories. This should help students with the answering process.

Lesson Resources

QARworksheet   Activity
Native American Myths II  


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