Native American Narratives
Step One: Watch & Learn
- Watch the “Introduction to Native American Narratives” lecture video, “The Black Legend, Native Americans, and Spaniards” Crash Course video, and the Reel Injun (2009) trailer.
- Take notes on the “Introduction to Native American Narratives” and “The Black Legend, Native Americans, and Spaniards” videos. You will need to apply this information.
- There will be an open-note assessment when class resumes!
Step Two: Read & Write
- Read the “Characteristics of Oral Narratives” handout, and let me know if you have any questions.
- Read the following texts:
- Consider the Reel Injun (2009) trailer and the Thought.Co article as you answer the following questions in a written reflection (150-250 words):
- Media representation refers to the ways in which the media portray particular groups, communities, experiences, ideas, or topics from a particular ideological or value perspective. In your own words, explain the significance of media representation. Why does it matter how people and topics are portrayed to the public?
- What did you know about Native American media representation before this unit? Identify at least one non-unit text (e.g. a book, movie, video game, etc.) that features Native American characters. How are these characters represented? What does this representation suggest or imply about Native Americans in general?
- Did the documentary trailer and the Thought.Co article influence your understanding of Native American media representation? Explain.
- Considering the different unit texts and their respective lessons, explain why it is important for students to read and study narratives authored by Native Americans.
- Provide textual evidence (i.e. quotes and specific details from the texts) as you complete the following tasks.
- Refer to the following unit texts: “The World on the Turtle’s Back,” Silko’s “Lullaby,” and Alexie’s “Superman and Me.” Explain how these unit texts illustrate the different “characteristics of oral narratives.” Ms. Kosinski’s recommendation: Explain how at least one of the unit texts illustrates archetypes (archetypal characters, plots, and/or themes). Then explain how one or more texts use repetition. Continue this pattern until you have accounted for all of the characteristics (archetypes, repetition, alliteration, parallelism).
- Select one of the following unit texts: “The World on the Turtle’s Back,” Silko’s “Lullaby,” and Alexie’s “Superman and Me.” How does this text portray Native Americans and/or Native American culture? (Consider: Are the characters portrayed as complex individuals or as shallow stereotypes? Are the characters humanized or dehumanized?) Explain.
Step Three: Creative Application
- First, choose a favorite story! Reflect on the texts you love. You can choose a novel, a movie, a television show, a comic book series, a video game, etc. Identify the title of your selected text.
- Archetype Analysis: Explain how your selected story illustrates at least two different archetypes.
- Remember: Archetypes are recurring character types, themes, images, and situations. Review the list of archetypes on the “Characteristics of Oral Narratives” handout. (Don’t forget to read the back as well.)
- Note: There are numerous archetypes. Feel free to conduct your own research and add to the provided list.
- If you have questions about archetypes, please email me for clarification.
- Modernizing the Oral Tradition: Transform your selected story into a set of song lyrics or a poem.
- For instance, how could you turn Star Wars or The Fault in Our Stars into a song/poem?
- Your thoughtful, well-written lyrics/poem should contain at least twelve (12) poetic lines.
- Your poem must contain repetition, alliteration, and parallelism. Highlight and label these techniques. Please make sure these devices and their labels are accurate. As always, you should revise your work.