Writer, copy editor, and educator who finds joy in reading, writing, and thinking along life’s trails

History Readers and Writers

   Newsletter from Martha Stoddard     

If you looked out of your window one morning and saw this scene, you probably had traveled in time back to 1936 in Window Rock, Arizona.

Lamb and native child in cradleboard

The photo of the Navajo papoose on its cradleboard with a lamb was originally taken by H. Armstrong Roberts. It is now part of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

The lamb in the picture alongside the baby gives us a clue about how Native Americans believe that animals, humans, and all things in nature connect with each other. Names of these elements can be written in a circular pattern.


Place a nature picture sticker or clip art nature picture in one spot on the circle. Create your nature circle by writing names of plants, weather, animals, bodies of water, land features like a mountain, and other natural things along with a human. The design means that all things on the circle are equally important. Each named element learns life lessons from other named things.

Circle words with Turtle

Imagine the relationships among the circle elements. List what each might teach the next one.
Example: The turtle teaches the cricket to hide from predators.
The cricket teaches the waterfall to _______________________.
The waterfall teaches the donkey to _______________________.
The donkey teaches the raccoon to________________________.
The raccoon teaches the boy to __________________________.
The boy teaches the willow to ___________________________.
The willow teaches the crane to__________________________.
The crane teaches the snake to __________________________.
The snake teaches the star to____________________________.
The star teaches the daisy to ____________________________.
The daisy teaches the rain to ____________________________.
The rain teaches the turtle to ____________________________.

Now you have a list poem about the respect that Native Americans have for all of nature. Do you remember the photograph of the lamb beside the Navajo papoose?
The lamb teaches the papoose to ___________________________.
The papoose teaches the lamb to ___________________________.
The tree trunk teaches the baby to __________________________.
The animal skin teaches the lamb to ________________________.

Now you can create some Native American nature poems of your own!!



Do All Indians Live in Tipis?: Questions and Answers. Smithsonian Books in association with the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution.

 Galt, M.F. The Story in History: Writing Your Way into the American Experience (1992). New York: Teachers & Writers Collaborative.

 Shea, Therese. The Hopi People. (2015) New York: Gareth Stevens Publishing.

 Smith-Baranzini, M. USKids History: Book of the American Indians. (1994) Boston: Little, Brown.

 Sonneborn, Liz. The Choctaws. (2007) Minneapolis: Lerner Publications.

 Sonneborn, Liz. The New York Public Library Amazing Native American History: A Book of Answers for Kids. (1999) New York: Wiley.



https://www.kidsdiscover.com/teacherresources/oral-history-project/ Tellin’ it how it was: An Oral History Project

www.historyguide.org A Student’s History Guide: Why Write History?











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