Eloquence and Culture Leading with Words

byPriscilla Black

This unit was design for the students to meet three objectives. This particular unit tells about one of the biggest Native American Indian Tribe, Dine'. As you read about the Dine' you will notice the name Dine' is preferred tribal name verses Navajo. This Unit will use both names because many research documents use the name Navajo. Like many other younger ethnic generation, they are immerse with today's contemporary way of living. Our Dine' Nation is not an exception to that. Through observation of my own, school age children are not aware of their history. In addition to history the art of speech is not taught at elementary schools on the Dine' Nation. This unit can become the key to open the door to Native American Eloquence.

The first part of the unit will help you understand the history of the Dine Nation and two main leaders that made a huge difference. So many students see the pictures of our past leaders and do not ask who they are. The history behind the past leaders are so important to our existence for cultural and ownership of tribal lands. In studying the topic, students can associate their identity to their culture and sacred tribal lands. Once that objective is covered under background knowledge, I want our 4 th grade students to learn about eloquence. How did the speeches of the past leaders in the 1800's improve our living standards today? How did spoken words of great leaders help us get our land back called Dine Tah. The final objective is to learn that Native American Indians have eloquence that is tied in with leadership.

As one looks at this unit, you will be able to use the history and background knowledge for any other ethnic speakers you wish. Also, you will be able to find specific standards from the English Language Arts, Social Studies, Writing, Speaking and Listening standards of your state and apply it. You may find that some standards can be embedded into certain content area with ease. I encourage teacher to use this unit for learning about other cultures' eloquence other than American leaders.

(Developed for Social Studies, grade 4; recommended for Social Studies, grades 4-5)

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