Here is a PDF of my lesson plan:
Raven Myth Lesson Plan
I believe my lesson plan most represents curriculum standard D: “foster[ing] a complementary relationship across knowledge derived from diverse knowledge systems.” In particular it “draws parallels between knowledge derived from oral tradition and that derived from books” and goes on to “engage students in the construction of new knowledge
and understandings that contribute to an ever-expanding
view of the world.” Here’s how:
Right off the bat I talk about how cultural context is often skipped over even in teaching “the classics,” and frame this lesson as a building block of critical thinking and interpreting cultural value based on context clues. I ask the teachers to start with a video made by Alaska Native students which relays an oral history of the Golden Spruce and tell the teachers to stress to their students how very real the Golden Spruce was to make sure the classroom understands the importance of the stories they’re about to experience. Treating these texts as valuable contributions to a learning experience is key to being a culturally responsive educator and a decent human being.
In the next part of the lesson, students are asked to prepare a short play of their group’s version of the Raven Steals the Sun myth, without knowing the other groups have a variant on the same story. Performing the plays will really highlight not only the differences inherent in the text but also the way the students interpreted the myth. This and the discussion following (in which the class verbally compares and contrasts the myths while talking about the cultural values that might be represented) is the part which really expands a student’s worldview.
The skills these students will learn in deciphering cultural context through literature will be invaluable throughout their academic career–and just highlights how important this standard is in teaching.