Through the Eyes of a Navajo: Nature Writing

byCheryl Singer

As a Navajo Language Teacher teaching on the Navajo reservation, I have developed a curriculum called “Through the Eyes of a Navajo: Nature Writing” for high school students (grades 9-12). This curriculum gives explanations to the following areas of Indigenous cultural knowledge: the Navajo Philosophy which is the foundation of learning in balance and harmony; the Dualities (male and female concepts) which are the environmental and universal teachings connected to the human being; and the importance of a proper self-introduction in the Navajo language which is part of the language, culture, and way of life. To establish awareness of the environment, students will be introduced to the sit spot, nature journal writing, and poems and children’s literature by Navajo authors, and they will learn to identify the male and female concepts of the environment and universe from the Navajo point of view. The unit will bring awareness of the true internalization of knowledge, the cultural richness of storytelling, and the journey of nature writing.

(Developed for Navajo Language 2; recommended for Secondary grades)

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