American Indian Stories, Legends, and Other Writingsby Zitkala-Sa
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Enrichment ActivitiesQuestions for Discussion
Consider the following questions in light of what you have just read.
1. What have you learned about the history and practice of genocide in America?
2. How do religion and culture influence people's behavior?
3. In what ways does racism affect the lives of both the oppressor and the oppressed?
4. What is the relationship of reading and knowledge to freedom?
5. What do you suppose were the difficulties of a Native American woman in writing for a white audience at the turn of the twentieth century?
6. How does Zitkala-Sa's work merge literary art with protest? Is it a successful merger?
Legends and Fairy Tales
"Old Indian Legends" introduces Sioux traditions, including Iktomi the trickster, Iya the glutton, and animal characters of the Sioux world. While these legends may at first seem odd and alien to the reader, they are similar to some European fairy tales. Compare and contrast a Sioux legend and a traditional fairy tale.
Several of the "American Indian Stories" are mostly autobiographical. Research the true facts of Zitkala-Sa's life and show how they are reflected in the stories.
Images of Zitkala-Sa
In the last years of the 19th century, Zitkala-Sa was becoming well-known as a performer, writer, musician, and advocate of Native Americans. She was included in Harper's Bazaar's 1900 list of "Persons Who Interest Us," and was often photographed. These photographs often reveal the photographer's own prejudices and pre-formed ideas about Native American women. Perform an image search for Zitkala-Sa on the Web and discuss the different identities that are portrayed. Which image(s) do you feel come closest to an accurate portrayal, and why?
Grade Levels: 8 and Up
"Native American Experience: Zitkala-Sa" is a self-study course that makes use of an online text, "Impressions of an Indian Childhood."
Zitkala-Sa Online Forum
Links to Zitkala-Sa biography, pictures, portraits, and/or directory searches.
Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month
May is Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month! Don't overlook this opportunity to study and enjoy activities about the history and culture of Asian-Pacific American communities.
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May Calendar of Events
May is full of holidays and events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Children's Book Week (5/13-19), Biographers Day (5/16), and Memorial Day (5/27). Plus, celebrate Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month, Clean Air Month, and Physical Fitness & Sports Month all May long!
Common Core Lessons & Resources
Is your school district adopting the Common Core? Work these new standards into your curriculum with our reading, writing, speaking, social studies, and math lessons and activities. Each piece of content incorporates the Common Core State Standards into the activity or lesson.