Native American Voices


This lesson is the second in the Native American Literature unit, the first unit in’s complete, year-long, American Literature course. This 50 minute lesson reviews the first lesson's terms which are used in discussing Native American literature, introduces the terms archetype and literature, has students read and discuss a printout which states the characteristics of Native American literature, explains two strategies for reading poetry, and introduces students to the poem "Song of the Sky Loom."


Needed Materials

Students’ folders with notes from Lesson 1 and/or printout from for Studying Native American Literature.htm

Internet access or printouts from

Internet access or printouts from


 Knowledge Targets

  1.  Define and describe Native American literature by stating and explaining three or more characteristics.

Skills Targets

  1. Apply knowledge of literary terms to works of literature (oral tradition, myth, rhythm, metaphor, and onomatopoeia.  

  2. Apply knowledge of two new literary terms - archetype and literature.

  3. Use the two strategies of multiple readings and asking questions to understand a poem.

  4. Interpret the meaning of a poem.

 Step:  1 Duration: 15 minutes – Knowledge Target 1, Skills Targets 2 and 3

Step:  2 Duration: 35 minutes – All targets

Tell students their purpose for reading is to become informed about Native Americans’ discoveries about the universe and their methods for preserving and communicating their discoveries. Students will prepare to demonstrate their ability to explicate (explain) “Song of the Sky Loom.” Direct students to silently and independently read the printouts or projections, take notes, and begin writing answers to the questions about "Song of the Sky Loom." End the class with review of targets.

Additional Reading for Advanced Students,  (has “The Corn Grows Up”)




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