Lesson #3

Lesson Topic/Subject: Native American Culture; A Closer Look (Poetry)
Grade Level: Third Grade
Teacher of Lesson: Cari Schaffer


  1. Students will learn about the Native American Indian culture.
  2. Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the Native American culture as the love and respect for the beauty, wonder, mystery, and infinite cycle of nature.
  3. Students will practice the beat, rhythm and meter of poetry as they read some Native American Poetry aloud to the class.
  4. Students will compose their own short poems based entirely on creativity with no rules or restrictions given (i.e.: no rhyme, scheme, format, etc.)
  1. The Earth Under Sky Bear's Feet; Native American Poems of the Land, Joseph Bruchac
  2. 2 Xerox copies of each poem (there are 13) so every student has 1
  3. Pencils
  4. Paper
  1. Introduce the book The Earth Under Sky Bear's Feet to the class. Explain that it is an anthology of poems which means that it is a collection of poems put together into a book. Often times anthologies have common themes. This theme has to do with how the Native American Indians feel about their land.
  2. Ask the students to tell what some characteristics are about the Native Americans that they already know.
  3. Read the title poem out of the book to the class. Be sure to read it like a poem, emphasizing voice, meter, beat, and rhythm (you do not need to introduce these terms to the students).
  4. Ask the class to throw out some ideas of why that sounded the way it did. Why is it considered a poem? How did I read it differently than when I read a story?
  5. Give each child a copy of one of the poems. Have them find their partner (the one with the same poem), and have them spread out around the room. Give them 20 minutes to learn the poem, get a feel for it, and practice saying it with the help from their partners.
  6. Gather the class on the carpet.
  7. Have each child (alone or with their partner) stand up and, using the book, read their poem aloud. Then have them show the picture.
  8. When everyone has had the chance to go, have everyone go back to their seats.
  9. For the remainder of the time, have them write their own short poem about anything they feel very strongly about (what they like, dislike, etc.). Stress that it can be about anything they want and can be written any way they want. They can even draw a picture with it.
  10. Allow them time to share their poems as they finish, even if it is later in the day.
  1. Did the students learn and understand more about the Native American culture as they read the poems aloud and learned their very own?
  2. Were students able to demonstrate what they have already learned about the Native American culture and itŐs emphasis on the respect for the wonders of nature?
  3. Did students practice reading the poems like poems? Were they able to identify them as somewhat like songs and notice the differences when compared to reading stories?
  4. Were the students able to write something, anything, that resembled a poem? Were they excited to get the chance to share this poem with the class?

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