Survival Of Native American Spirituality
GRADE LEVEL: Secondary
BASIC CONCEPTS: Native American spirituality/metaphysics
ORGANIZING GENERALIZATION: In an effort to comprehend the power of Native American spirituality, we must first understand the context of the following categories; the Medicine Wheel, symbols, growth & change, identity, and values.
CULTURE AREA: United States
TIME PERIOD: Pre-historic - contemporary
BACKGROUND: The Medicine Wheel - This is an ancient symbol used by
almost all the Native people of North and South America. There are many
different ways that this basic concept is expressed: the four
grandfather, the four winds, the four cardinal directions, and many
other relationships that can be expressed in sets of four. Just like a
mirror can be used to see things not normally visible (e.g. behind us or
around a corner), the medicine wheel can be used to help us see or
understand things we can't quite see or understand because they are
ideas and not physical objects.
Knowledge: Students will: (Reading 1.2) build vocabulary through reading, (Reading 2.1) comprehend important ideas and details.
Skills: Students will: read the accompanying materials, and construct their own personal medicine wheel with their own personal attributes they have self-identified.
Values: Students will: examine and increase vocabularies relevant to different contexts, cultures, and communities, and use prior knowledge of issues, characters, events, and information to examine texts and extend understanding.
ACTIVITIES: Students should understand the content of the material under Background in this lesson, read The Story of the Sacred Tree & The Sacred Circle, acquaint themselves with the materials on creating their own medicine wheel and using the accompanying lists and blank medicine wheel (circles) should then construct their own personal medicine wheel according to their own perceived attributes.
EXTENSIONS: Examining the lists of The Gifts of the Four Directions, students can identify the attributes they most need to work upon.
EVALUATION: It is extremely important that students be given time to consider all of the implications of this lesson. There are many insights to be had with this type of material. Many applications can be made, for students and teachers, to make them more aware of their own spirituality and values.
materials taken from The Sacred Tree: Reflections on Native American Spirituality - Fourth World Development Project and available from OSPI
Breaking the Sacred Circle - by Willard Bill