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The Importance of Storytelling

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Kim Griffin

on 28 April 2014

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Transcript of The Importance of Storytelling

The Importance of Storytelling
Education on the Reservation v. State Public School System
Dropout Rates
White Students: 5%
Native Students: 13%

Violence in Schools
White Students: 10%
Native Students: 21%
Multicultural Education
"Multicultural education acknowledges that schools are essential to laying the foundation for the transformation of society and the elimination of injustice"(Gorski).
"My old folks who raised me saw themselves as citizens of the world. We see no borders. When I write I am writing to the world, not to the United States alone"(Silko).
Lesson Plan
Reservation Life
Leslie Marmon Silko
“I am of mixed-breed ancestry, but what I know is Laguna” (Silko).
Examples of Implementation
Mandated implementations of American minority literature and culture in public schools are increasing. The inclusion and acceptance of African American literature has greatly affected the development of the culture. Also, the promotion of Asian American, Jewish American, and Latin American literature, language, and culture has improved the opportunities for the minority cultures. Unfortunately, the movement is reversed for Native American culture.
Silko was born in New Mexico in 1948 to an Anglo-American mother and Mexican, Laguna Pueblo father. She attended school on a Laguna reservation until she was five and moved to a Catholic school in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Silko graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1969 and published her first collection of poetry in 1974. She was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Discovery Grant, the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities, and the Boston Globe Book Prize for non-fiction.
Native American Tribes
in New Mexico
was published originally in1981. It is a collection of short stories and poems intended to revive tribal oral traditions. The authentic stories provide readers with an honest depiction of traditional native values and morals.
21st Century Storytelling
Silko is one of the most commonly taught Native American authors in public schools, if a Native American author is represented at all. However, because she is Mexican-American, she is introduced to students less and less.
"Ethnic book ban even includes Shakespeare"
Monday, January 16, 2012

"The abolition of ethnic studies in the school district, where more than 60% of students come from Mexican-American backgrounds, has sparked a backlash since the judge announced the 13-year-old program’s termination" (Murray).
"Even local titles were cut, including “Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years,” which includes an essay by Tucson author Leslie Silko, and served as a textbook for 20 years" (Murray).
Multicultural education prepares students "for their roles and responsibilities in an interdependent world" (Victorian Essential Learning Standards).
It encourages the studied minority culture through the increase in the majority's cultural awareness.
Multiculturalism promotes self-respect and secular respect through its acknowledgment of connectivity.
African American Authors
Fredrick Douglass
Langston Hughes
Gwendolyn Brooks
Florida's Holocaust Education Mandate
"The Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg, contracted by the Florida Department of Education, invites you to use their dynamic literature-based lessons about the Holocaust, genocide and character education" (Florida Holocaust Museum).
"Teaching Trunks"
U.S. Reservation Map
Native Philosophy:Multicultural Education
“...storytelling can become a strategic weapon in the struggle for cultural and physical survival on the part of indigenous peoples, endangered as they are in the modern world, on a very fundamental level, by the cultural imperialism of the white power élite” (Johansen).
teen pregnancy
gang activity
(National Indian Education Association 2011)
Alcohol on Campus
White Students: 3%
Native Students: 21%

Student Poverty
White Students: 12%
Native Students: 33%
"Meridian School Board
votes to remove controversial
book from curriculum"
"The book makes reference to masturbation, contains profanity and has been viewed by many as anti-Christian" (Roberts).
"More than 100 people came to the board meeting, with most speaking against keeping the book" (Roberts).

"She told the story of one boy who was turned off to reading and was in summer school - a boy who was glued to his cellphone instead of doing his work. But when he got the book, he “devoured it and passed the class,” she said" (Roberts).
Bill Roberts
April 2, 2014
Gorski, Paul C. "The Challenge of Defining
"Multicultural Education"" Critical Multicultural Pavilion. EdChange Project, 14 Apr. 2010. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.
Lara, Julia. "Voices of Native Educators:
Strategies That Support Success of Native High School Students." National Indian Education Asociation (2011): 72. Web. 26 Sept. 2013.
"Leslie Marmon Silko." Poetry Foundation.
Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute, 2014. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.
"Multicultural Education. Department of
Education and Early Childhood Development. Victoria Essential Learning Standards, 28 Sept. 2013. Web. 5 Jan. 2014.
Murray, Rheanna. "Ethnic Book Ban Even
Includes Shakespeare." New York Daily News. N.p., 16 Jan. 2012. Web. 13 Dec. 2013.
Johansen, I. B. "Narrative Power in Native
American Fiction Reflections on Leslie Marmon Silko's "Storyteller"" P.O.V. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Jan. 2014.
"Statistics on Native Students." National
Indian Education Association. N.p., 2014. Web. 5 Jan. 2014.
Goal of Lesson:
Students will begin to understand the importance of oral storytelling on the survival of the Pueblo Indian culture despite the Euro-American invasion and authority.
- Students understand the basis of the Pueblo Indian culture and where they were located.

- Students will be able to analyze the stories in regards to their meaning in the Native American mind and that of the Euro Americans at the time of their invasion.

- Students will find the opposing aspects of each culture (Euro- American and Native American) and determine the threats found in each.
-Students will be able to discuss the relationship between man and nature in both cultures and its significance to other aspects of each culture.

- Students will determine the impact of the threats found between the two cultures and decide if those threats lead to the Euro Americans decision to isolate the Native Americans and attempt to dilapidate their culture.

- Students will find the significance in Silko deciding to document these oral stories in a novel for the first time. Does the collection of stories into a novel show the melding of the two cultures finally?
Student Discussion Questions
- "Long Time Ago"
Do the Native Americans blame themselves, as well as the Euro-Americans for the faults in their relationship? “It cannot be called back”
Do you believe the Native Americans predicted the future of the Euro-American? Why do you believe them when you have never been taught their culture and doubt the white man that is your culture?
The Laguna are located in western-central New Mexico.
The close proximity to Mexico allowed for many mixtures of the Native Americans and the Mexicans before the Euro-Americans saw this as a problem.
There are 13 Pueblos in the Laguna tribe.
There was no written language created for the spoken one, therefore many of the stories included in Storyteller were never written until the novel was created by Silko.
Laguna’s not only value the oral story itself, but the importance of word choice while telling a story.
Laguna Pueblo
"Long Time Ago"
"They fear
They fear the world.
They destroy what they fear."
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