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Transcript

Science

Writing

Speaking/Listening

Comprehension

Multimedia

Critical Thinking

Click on each of the star icons to access a variety of learning activities for each category.

5331: Learning Activities Home Page

  • Talking Circles
  • "Native Lights" Podcasts
  • Philosophical Chairs
  • Concentric Circles
  • TQE
  • Thanksgiving Address Read Aloud

  • Theme Analysis
  • Best of: Braided Frames
  • Making Metaphors
  • Vocabulary Notebooks
  • Note Catcher Document
  • Venn Diagrams

  • Gratitude Writing
  • Reader's Notebook
  • Character Analysis
  • Bloom's Pyramid
  • Expository Writing
  • Place Narrative

  • Language of Chemistry Poems
  • Seek Plant App
  • Gifts of the Land
  • Regenerative Agriculture
  • Mutualism
  • Five Aspects of Being

  • Climate Lit
  • Artwork from the Text
  • Interactive Maps
  • Land Back Movement
  • Agriculture Connections
  • "Indigenous Stories" Short Docs

  • Tableau
  • Grammar of Animacy
  • Carlisle Indian School Research
  • Hexagonal Thinking
  • Windigo Footprints
  • Honorable Harvest

Speaking/Listening

Activity Idea

Click on each activity below to find out more information about the learning activity, including resources, videos, and templates to use.

Braiding Sweetgrass Application

Talking Circles

Implement Talking Circles as a daily routine during the unit for students to share their ideas about the text or use check-in questions to get to know your students.

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Click the arrows for more information and links to resources!

"Native Lights" Podcast

Philosophical Chairs

Concentric Circles

TQE

Thanksgiving Address Read Aloud

Assign each student a podcast episode from "Native Lights" and then have students make connections between the podcast and Braiding Sweetgrass.

Use philosophical chairs prompts as an anticipatory set before reading a section of the text to get students interested in the upcoming content!

Practice concentric circles after reading a section of the text or before a large group discussion for students to practice sharing their ideas and connecting with their classmates.

Use TQE writing time as a bell-ringer activity at the start of class to reflect on the text before having a class discussion.

Participate in a class read aloud of the Thanksgiving Address and then reflect on how collective reading has an impact on our experience and understanding of a text.

Comprehension

Activity Idea

Click on each activity below to find out more information about the learning activity, including resources, videos, and templates to use.

Braiding Sweetgrass Application

Theme Analysis

Create a tracking chart for students to identify examples of key themes throughout Braiding Sweetgrass.

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Click the arrows for more information and links to resources!

Best of: Braided Frames

Making Metaphors

Vocabulary Notebooks

Note Catcher Document

Venn Diagrams

Review the Braided Frames quotes highlighted throughout Braiding Sweetgrass. Then, have students select their 10 favorite Braided Frames and analyze/explain the importance of each of them.

Ask students to develop metaphors and connect them to themes throughout Braiding Sweetgrass or to write a metaphor for a specific section or passage as they read.

Create a Frayer Notebook journal using the vocabulary words listed in each section of Braiding Sweetgrass.

Use the Note Catcher document for students to organize their ideas as they read each section of Braiding Sweetgrass. Then, students could use their summaries or quote collections for their summative projects.

Use the Venn Diagrams to keep track of big ideas/comparisons throughout the text (like Scientific Knowledge and Indigenous Wisdom) or for a specific section of the text like "Allegiance to Gratitude" (83).

Writing

Activity Idea

Click on each activity below to find out more information about the learning activity, including resources, videos, and templates to use.

Braiding Sweetgrass Application

Gratitude Writing

Use the gratitude writing prompts throughout the unit or as a reflection opportunity after reading each section of Braiding Sweetgrass.

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Click the arrows for more information and links to resources!

Reader's Notebook

Character Analysis

Bloom's Pyramid

Expository Writing

Place Narrative

Use the writing prompts located throughout Braiding Sweetgrass as daily journal entries or notebook responses after reading a specific section of the text.

Complete the character analysis activity about Hazel from "Witch Hazel" (75), John from "Wisgaak Gokpenagen (119), Tom from "Putting Down Roots" (221), or Lionel from "The Honorable Harvest" (153).

Provide the Bloom's Pyramid for Braiding Sweetgrass as a choice writing activity for students, or assign different levels of the Pyramid depending on student needs.

Practice sequential writing with a section of the text like Maple Sugar Moon (67). For an interdisciplinary option, continue using the sequential writing method by applying it to concepts students are learning in math and science.

Ask students to write a place narrative in the style of "The Council of Pecans" (31) and "The Gift of Strawberries" (39) about a meaningful place in their lives.

Critical Thinking

Activity Idea

Click on each activity below to find out more information about the learning activity, including resources, videos, and templates to use.

Braiding Sweetgrass Application

Tableau

Use the section highlights from Modules 4-8 and assign each group of students a short story, vocab word, person, or idea to illustrate as a tableau.

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Click the arrows for more information and links to resources!

Grammar of Animacy

Carlisle Indian School Research

Hexagonal Thinking

Windigo Footprints

Honorable Harvest

Teach students about the grammar of animacy and ask students to practice using it in their writing assignments throughout the unit. Then, ask students to reflect on the impact of using "ki" as a pronoun in their writing.

Design an activity for students to explore the images and documents from the website or adapt one of the teaching resources and connect to Braiding Sweetgrass.

Write vocab words, themes, or ideas from Braiding Sweetgrass and ask students to make connections and illustrate the relationships between these concepts throughout the text.

Brainstorm places where Windigo shows up in our society and then research the issues and develop possible solutions or ways to defeat Windigo.

Have students create an action plan for practicing The Honorable Harvest commitments in their own lives.

Science

Activity Idea

Click on each activity below to find out more information about the learning activity, including resources, videos, and templates to use.

Braiding Sweetgrass Application

Language of Chemistry Poems

Select a scientific concept (from the novel or related to students' current science coursework) and create a poem in the style of page 261.

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Click the arrows for more information and links to resources!

Seek Plant App

Gifts of the Land

Regenerative Agriculture

Mutualism

Four Aspects of Being

Have students use the Seek app during a nature walk to identify plant and animal species, and then have students document their findings.

Watch "Gifts of the Land" with students and ask students to take notes on how the beauty of nature is rooted in scientific concepts throughout the video.

Complete a lesson or series of lessons about regenerative agriculture and then ask students to make connections to Braiding Sweetgrass.

Ask students to reflect on examples of mutualism from the text as well as examples of mutualism in their lives.

Apply the Four Aspects of Being framework to scientific concepts from students' current science coursework or from Braiding Sweetgrass. Discuss this question: can science and spirit both co-exist together?

Multimedia

Activity Idea

Click on each activity below to find out more information about the learning activity, including resources, videos, and templates to use.

Braiding Sweetgrass Application

Climate Lit

Use examples from the Climate Lit Database to compare and contrast with themes from Braiding Sweetgrass (for example, Te Fiti from Moana!)

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Click the arrows for more information and links to resources!

Artwork from the Text

Interactive Maps

Land Back Movement

Agriculture Connections

"Indigenous Stories" Short Docs

Analyze artwork throughout Braiding Sweetgrass using The Perceive Method. or assign an artwork analysis before reading each section of the text as an anticipatory set.

Explore the interactive map with students and identify the territories your school is located in. Develop an action plan for how to spread community awareness and respect.

Invite students to research the Land Back Movement and participate in advoacy efforts or make connections to Braiding Sweetgrass.

Implement one of the Native Farm to School lessons from the resource guide, or plant a Three Sisters Garden at your school site!

Students can select one of the "Indigenous Stories" short docs to watch (or you can select one to watch as a class), and then make connections between the themes in the short doc and Braiding Sweetgrass.

---The Native Lights podcast episode, "Historian Brenda J. Child Responds to the Federal Indian Boarding School System Report" provides insight on the U.S. government's current work to address the trauma caused by the schools.

The following resources provide a variety of opportunities for students to learn about and research the Carlisle Indian Boarding School referenced throughout the text. ---The "Carlisle Indian School Resource Center" has a variety of lesson plans and tools.

Carlisle Indian School Resources

---An interactive map titled "Mapping Native American Boarding Schools" from ArcGIS StoryMaps

Click here to download a copy of the Frayer Model Vocabulary Map!

The Frayer Model is a vocabulary graphic organizer. You can create Frayer Model Vocabulary Books for students to collect all of their vocabulary words during a unit of study.

Vocab Notebooks

Click here for a list of all vocabulary words in Braiding Sweetgrass.

Making Metaphors

Metaphors are a critical comprehension component because they illustrate concepts from the text in abstract ways and help the reader make connections. Braiding Sweetgrass is full of metaphors that help the reader understand the text more deeply. Click here for a Metaphor Activity to adapt for student use!

Hosted by Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe members, Leah Lemm and Cole Premo, the "Native Lights" podcast shares stories from Native communities in Minnesota. While the members are all Minnesota-based, the conversations are centered on culture, storytelling, and community, which are all themes throughout Braiding Sweetgrass.

"Native Lights" Podcast

"Native Lights" on Apple Podcasts

"Native Lights" Website

Share "The Thanksgiving Address" resource from Earth to Tables, which includes a video of the Thanksgiving Address being read in both Mohawk and English.

Thanksgiving Address

Then, provide students with a script of the Thanksgiving Address from the Six Nations Indian Museum and Tracking Project and consider reading the Thanksgiving Address aloud with students.

Check out the Land Back Website which is currently being powered by the NDN Collective. While on the website, be sure to look at:

Land Back is an Indigenous-led movement that aims to put Indigenous lands back into the hands of Indigenous people. This organization is a powerful example of advocacy as a direct response to many of the themes throughout Braiding Sweetgrass. Click here to read the article, "Land Back: The Indigenous Fight to Reclaim Stolen Lands," from KQED.

Landback Resources

  • Land Back Video

  • Land Back Podcast

  • Land Back Manifesto

Then, watch the video, "How the #LandBack Movement Might Help Save the Planet" from Above the Noise.

  • Click here for a Student Viewing Guide from KQEDLearn when showing the video!

Key Themes throughout Braiding Sweetgrass:

Theme Analysis

View theme examples and discussion questions on pages 4-8 of the Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults Teaching Guide

  • Circles
  • Gift Economy
  • Good Medicine
  • Gratitude
  • Indigenous Wisdom
  • Kinship
  • Reciprocity
  • Responsibility

Bloom's Taxonomy is a way of classifying different layers of learning and analysis. Bloom's Writing Pyramid is a great way to help students scaffold towards more complex aspects of writing.Click here for a Bloom's Taxonomy Template for Braiding Sweetgrass!

Bloom's Taxonomy

Braiding Sweetgrass powerfully weaves scientific knowledge with storytelling and poetic voice. Click here to view "The Scientific Lens: An Exploration of Science-Inspired Poetry" from the Poetry Foundation for some ideas for getting started.

Note Catchers are a great way for students to keep track of their ideas as they read a longer text. Click here for a template to use with your students as they read Braiding Sweetgrass!

Note Catcher Document

Sequential (process) writing is an important skill for students to develop, and Braiding Sweetgrass provides a variety of opportunities for students to practice summarizing the text using sequential writing skills. Click here for a sequential writing template students can use throughout the unit and in a variety of classes beyond ELA!

Sequential Writing

Windigo Footprints

In Indigenous cultures, Windigo is a monster who symbolizes overindulgence, selfishness, and greed. Our society represents aspects of Windigo. Click here to view a list of current issues that reflect Windigo values. Then, consider how you could have students research and make connections between these present-day examples of Windigo and the ideas throughout Braiding Sweetgrass.

Click here for a resource from the Native Farm to school Project for planting a Three Sisters Garden, which is referenced in Braiding Sweetgrass.

Consider how you can incorporate some concepts from the Native Farm to School Project at your school site! Click here to view a helpful school guide that includes a varety of resources and lesson plans to help you get started.

Agriculture Connections

Then, show the documentary GATHER to your students, which focuses on the ways Native communities are reclaiming their culture through food (The film is available on Netflix and Amazon Prime).

Three Sisters Gardens

Native Farm to School Projects

The grammar of animacy is a critical concept in Braiding Sweetgrass because it offers linguistic evidence of the ways we see nature as "objects." Click here for a list of characteristics of English as well as the pronoun suggestion "ki" that Kimmerer uses throughout the text. Then, consider how you could have a discussion with students about this concept!

Grammar of Animacy

Grammar of Animacy Graphic

Reader's Notebook

A Reader's Notebook provides space for students to reflect as they read! Click here for a list of writing prompts woven throughout Braiding Sweetgrass.

Then, click here to view this resource for setting up a Reader's Notebook with your students!

Place Narratives

Place narratives are opportunities for students to practice descriptive writing while also discovering deeper meaning about their own life experiences and stories. Click here to read about the power of Place-Based Writing.

Then, read "A Systematic Approach to Teaching Narrative Writing" from Edutopia to consider how you might design a Place Narrative assignment for students based on Kimmerer's writing style in Braiding Sweetgrass.

Talking Circles have been used by Indigenous people to share stories and build community. Click here to learn about how to incorporate Talking Circles in your classroom, making sure to honor the Indigenous roots of this practice.

Click here to access the Native Land Digital resource to explore an interactive map of the world that highlights Indigenous territories, languages, and treaties.

Interactive Maps

Then, look through the accompanying "Teacher's Guide" created by Native Land to learn how to navigate the map and implement it into your curriculum.

"Do you know the Indigenous names of the places you live? If not, how can you find out?" (pg. 51 of Braiding Sweetgrass)

Philosophical Chairs helps students take a position in a discussion, and provides opportunities for discussion around a topic that asks students to "pick sides." Click here for a framework for your Philosophical Chairs discussion.

Click here for a list of Philosophical Chairs prompts related to Braiding Sweetgrass.

The Honorable Harvest is an important concept throughout Braiding Sweetgrass that illustrates the interconnectedness of nature, gratitude, and humanity.

The Honorable Harvest

Honorable Harvest Graphic

Writing Prompt from Braiding Sweetgrass: Choose one of the Honorable Harvest principles, and focus on weaving it into your life for the next week. Notice how you think, feel, and experience the world” (175).

“In indigenous ways of knowing, we understand a thing only when we understand it with all four aspects of being: mind, body, emotion, spirit" (page 63 of Braiding Sweetgrass).Science often privileges mind and body (observable facts and traits), but rarely acknowledges how spirit and emotion interplay with scientific processes.

Four Aspects of Being

Click here for a framework for thinking about science using the Four Aspects of Being from Braiding Sweetgrass.

Character Analysis

Character Analysis activities are a great tool for thinking deeply about the text and practicing evidence gathering and inferencing skills. Click here for a character analysis template to use with students.

Gratitude is a theme woven throughout Braiding Sweetgrass. Click here to download a list of Gratitude Writing Prompt ideas to use as you read the text.

“Gratitude is much more than a thank you. It is a thread that fosters relationships” (43).

Gratitude Writing

Hexagonal thinking is a great way for students to make connections between big ideas and themes both inside and outside the text. To learn more about how to implement Hexagonal Thinking in the classroom, check out the article "Using ‘Hexagonal Thinking’ to Deepen Classroom Conversations" from Edutopia.

Hexagonal Thinking

Click here for a Google Slides template to create your own hex activity for students related to Stamped!

Concentric Circles is a great activity to start small and hone discussion skills with only one person at a time!Use some of the writing prompts from Braiding Sweetgrass to spark conversation!

Illustrator Nicole Neidhardt created the beautiful artwork in Braiding Sweetgrass. Use an image analysis tool like The Perceive Method to identify the impact of the illustrations on our understanding of the novel.

Analyzing Art

Click here for digitzed images from the novel

Seek is an app that helps students identify plants and animals by simply snapping a picture. The app does not require students to create an account and can be used on student iPads.

This user guide will help you navigate the app with students!

Regenerative Agriculture is a conservation approach to food and farming that focuses on sustainability and rehabilitation of nature.

Regenerative Agriculture

Click here for a lesson plan about The Indigenous Origins of Regenerative Culture from The Edible Schoolyard Project!

Use the Braided Frames throughout Braiding Sweetgrass to highlight important or insightful quotes. You can use these frames for student analysis, discussion, or as writing prompts. You can also invite students to create their own list of Braided Frames based on their own favorite quotes from the text. Click here for a list of all Braided Frames throughout Braiding Sweetgrass.

Braided Frames

  • The Thanksgiving Address and The Pledge of Allegiance (pg. 83)
  • Hazel and the Author (pg. 75)
  • Scientific Knowledge and Indigenous Wisdom (track throughout the entire text)

Venn Diagrams are a useful tool for identifying similarities and differences in concepts. Use these as your students read Braiding Sweetgrass to examine the overlap and points of divergence between a variety of ideas throughout the text. Click here to download a Venn Diagram template!

Venn Diagrams

Possible Compare and Contrast Topics

Mutualism and interconnectedness are themes present throughout Braiding Sweetgrass. Discuss the scientific concept of mutualism and then make connections to the following examples from the text:The Council of Pecans (pg. 31)Asters and Goldenrods (pg. 57)Maple Sugar Moon (pg. 67)The Three Sisters (pg. 107)

Tableau is a great tool for representing an idea in a variety of ways. This Tableau resource from The Teacher Toolkit includes helpful information and lesson ideas, as well as a video to see it in action.

Tableau

Click here for some simple slides to get started building your tableau activity with students!

The Climate Lit database highlights a variety of nonfiction and fiction texts (including film!) that focus on the importance of a sustainable climate. Use the resources for compare and contrast opportunities, possible extensions, or to identify themes across Climate Literature!

Climate Lit

TQE (Thoughts, Questions, Epiphanies) is a great way to ask students to think about what they're reading before creating questions for their discussion. Click here to view more information for how to implement the TQE protocol in your classroom.

View the above short doc from the "Indigenous Stories" collection, or click here to view the entire playlist!