Elementary Pathway 1

Office of Native Education Branding

Corresponding Videos

Long Before We Were Born, Chapters 7 and 8

Native American Stories and Science Education Connections: (Scroll down to "Native American Stories and Science Education Connections." ) Mr. Fernandes has been given permission by the tribes to tell these stories. These stories have been aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and the Environmental and Sustainability Education Standards.

Stories and Histories of Our Place

Historical Era

Time Immemorial to Present

Grade Levels K-3

Native spiritual values live in stories.
Passed verbally from generation to generation.
The stories preserve Native culture, languages,
And ways of explaining the universe.

Emil Her Many Horses
National Museum of the American Indian

STI Unit Overview

These lessons provide students with opportunities to learn about oral traditions passed down by ancestors of the First People of their home regions in Washington State and the Pacific Northwest, the Plateau, Puget Sound, and Coastal tribes. Stories and histories have been passed down orally for thousands of years by human beings through cultures, communities, and families all over the world. Oral traditions play an important role in sustaining the culture, history, and resilience of the world's first peoples. Through these stories students also learn about the plants, animals, and geography of Washington State. These lessons are designed to be integrated into any unit on salmon, water and/or watersheds. Lessons are designed to be taught in sequence, but can be taught individually as well.

Grades K/1 Overview

Oral storytelling is a form of communicating that began long before the many other means of storytelling we use today such as books, newspapers, movies, and television. These stories help us understand the history of our place and the people who came before us.

Download K/1 Grade Level Curriculum

Grades 2/3 Overview

In this 1-2 week unit, students are introduced to tribal stories of how things came to be. Sharing stories from regional Plateau and Northwest Coastal tribes, students learn about oral traditions as well as native plants and animals of their regions, and create their own stories using what they learn about the natural attributes of their place. Teachers may choose to integrate a range of state and Common Core Language Arts Standards into this unit teaching elements of a story.

Download 2/3 Grade Level Curriculum

Essential Questions

  1. How does physical geography affect Northwest Tribes' culture, economy, and where they choose to settle and trade? Grades 2/3
  2. What are the ways in which Tribes respond to the threats and outside pressure to extinguish their cultures and independence? Grades 2/3
  3. What do local tribes do to meet the challenges of reservation life; and, as sovereign nations, do to meet the economic and cultural needs of their Tribal communities? Grades K-3

Enduring Understandings

  • Storytelling is a means of communicating through speaking and telling.
  • Oral traditions have been used to transmit stories, histories, and cultural traditions through generations since the beginnings of human history in cultures everywhere.
  • By listening to traditional stories of a particular place, we learn about the cultural history and traditions of the people of that place. We can also learn about the plants and animals, geography, and climate of that region.

Learning Goals

Students will:

  • Listen to traditional stories of this region told by Roger Fernandes of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe. Mr. Fernandes has been given permission by the tribes to tell these stories. (K-3)
  • Learn about storytelling as a tradition. (K-3)
  • Learn about the cultural traditions of the people who came before us, specifically in this region. (K-3)
  • Learn about human means of communication prior to the written word and the development of other technologies. (K-3)
  • Learn about the natural history, climate and geography of this place. (K-3)
  • Compare a contemporary story told and illustrated in text to a traditional local story. (K-1)
  • Listen to and read traditional stories of how things came to be. (2-3)
  • Create their own story of how things came to be. (2-3)

Standards for Social Studies, English Language Arts, Environmental and Sustainability Education, and Social Emotional Learning

Unit Developed By

Michi Thacker