This text set is meant for fourth grade students. I have included some easy and some more difficult texts to appeal to all different reading levels, and I have selected books with both male and female main characters to appeal to all students. According to Dr. Curtis and Dr. Lohfink of Kansas State University, these are all outstanding multicultural books as well, featuring all of the 10 Criteria for Selecting Quality Multicultural Children's Literature.
It is important for students to learn about Native American culture because this is something I believe we don't teach enough of in schools. It is important to know that we were not the first Americans, and that indigenous cultures were rich in traditions and skills we cannot even dream of. This online list compiles useful information on how to teach about Native American History in a respectful and culturally responsive way, and I would encourage you to utilize it when discussing this unit with your students at home. http://www.understandingprejudice.org/teach/native.htm
Below I have included each book cover and a brief summary, following this section is a slideshow containing the following information for each text: key skills from the KCCR ELA (Kansas College and Career Ready English Language Arts) Standards, a learning objective, one of the five reading first components, area of ELA, and rationale for each.
This biography is about a young boy of the Lakota Sioux who is originally named Slow, because he does everything carefully and deliberately. Eventually, Slow is renamed Sitting Bull due to his demonstrations of courage and bravery. ISBN: 0399226923, 32 pages, By Joseph Bruchac, Rocco Baviera (Illustrator), Published by Philomel
This nonfiction book tells what life was like for a Cherokee Indian family living in the Great Smoky Mountains, 200 years ago. By Peter and Connie Roop, ISBN 059095606X, 80 pages, published by Scholastic
This is a three part, informational book which chronicles the lives of three Native American heroes,Osceola, Cochise, and Tecumseh. This book is different from most other children's books about Native Americans because it brings up delicate topics such as racism and the reality of the treatment of Native Americans by white settlers. By Ann McGovern, ISBN 0545467209, 128 pages, Published by Scholastic
Malian lives near Montreal in the mid-eighteenth century with her family. One cold night, her father carries her out into the woods and instructs her to run to their Tribe's winter camp, and he returns to the village. That is the last time she ever sees her father. This book is an account of the attack by English Major Robert Rogers on Quebec s St. Francis Abenaki community in 1759. Genre: Historical fiction, By Marge Bruchac, William Maughan (Illustrator), ISBN 0916718263, 36 pages, Published by Vermont Folklife Center
Similar to A Boy Called Slow, this book tells about the young life of well-known Native American hero, Crazy Horse. Genre: Biography, By Joseph Bruchac, S.D. Nelson, ISBN 1584302828, 40 pages, Published by Lee & Low Books
This is a realistic fiction book that follows Jake, a young Iroquois boy in modern day America through the trials and tribulations of being a public school student. Jake's perspective on lacrosse is different from that of the other students, and that impacts his performance in the sport. By Joseph Bruchac, ISBN 1581960220, 127 pages, Published by Darby Creek Publishing
This is a "question and answer" text that details traditions, customs, and daily life of the Iroquois Tribe. By Ellen Levine, 80 pages, ISBN 059067445, Published by Scholastic Paperbacks
Jenna comes from a Native American family in present day Oklahoma. She is intrigued by the traditions of her heritage and this story chronicles how she goes about preparing for a pow-wow. By by Cynthia Leitich Smith, Ying-Hwa Hu (Illustrator), Cornelius Van Wright (Illustrator), ISBN 068816241X, 32 pages, Published by William Morrow
Jim Thorpe was a Native American athlete who excelled at baseball and football, and won metals for the United States in the decathlon and pentathlon. Genre: Biography, By Ellen Labrecque, ISBN 1402771509, 124 pages, Published by Sterling Publishing
This book is about a young Native American girl who has a special way with horses. One day she walks away with many wild horses, and she falls asleep and is caught in a storm and becomes lost. Her people search everywhere for her, and she is eventually "rescued", but as it turns out, she was as wild as the horses she cared for. By Paul Goble, ISBN 0689845049, 32 pages, Published by Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books
Slideshow for further information on each text
In conclusion, I want to emphasize the importance once again of learning about Native American History; according to Kellie Cunningham Bliss, an educator of Native American heritage, "Schools have a responsibility to prepare students to function in our diverse society. Requiring or encouraging the implementation of tribal curriculum provides all students the opportunity to learn about Native culture." via: http://www.tolerance.org/blog/native-culture-should-be-taught-year-round