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The Spark Creativity Teacher Podcast | ELA

Nov 29, 2022

Featuring contemporary Indigenous voices in your ELA classroom - on your walls, in your research and writing projects, and on your shelves - can make a big difference in fighting erasure. Help your students of all backgrounds learn about Indigenous leaders, artists, and activists. 

In today's episode, I'm sharing concrete options to help. Discover the best free posters, leaders to feature in your research projects, strong contemporary titles, an easily accessible poem by our Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, and more. 

You can find the show notes at in the podcast section. While you're there, take a peek at all the free curriculum resources! 

Text ideas:

We are Water Protectors is a beautifully-illustrated children’s book to display and use in class (check out episode 148, The Power of Children’s Books for Older Kids, with Pernille Ripp, if you need some ideas for how to use picture books).

Healer of the Water Monster would be great in middle grade identity book clubs / lit circles or as a choice reading option. I’d suggest The Birchbark House as a whole class read.

#NotYourPrincess is a multi-genre anthology of many Native American women sharing photography, art, poetry, songs, and stories about their experiences. I’d recommend every high school teacher have this book available for choice reading, but also to pull short pieces from throughout the year while crafting units around various themes and essential questions.

A Snake Falls to Earth is a powerful book blending fantasy, storytelling, and environmentalism with a young Indigenous protagonist. It would make a great feature for First Chapter Friday and in high school book clubs / lit circles.

Ceremony is my rec for senior electives or A.P. classes. This is a stunning, powerful, lyrical book dealing in heavy subjects best suited for older kids.

Helpful Links: 

The Indigenous Resistance section (choose it under categories) of Amplifier Art’s Free Downloads section features the Thriving Peoples Thriving Places campaign, with dozens of posters you can print for your classroom.

From the Project 562 “About” page: “Created by Matika Wilbur, Project 562 is a multi-year national photography project dedicated to photographing over 562 federally recognized Tribes, urban Native communities, Tribes fighting for federal recognition and Indigenous role models in what is currently-known-as the United States, resulting in an unprecedented repository of imagery and oral histories that accurately portrays contemporary Native Americans. This creative, consciousness-shifting work will be widely distributed through national curricula, artistic publications, exhibitions, and online portals.”

Artist Jaime Black created The REDress Project to bring greater awareness to the many missing and murdered Indigenous women who do not get the national news spotlight other groups do.

Go Further:

Explore alllll the Episodes of The Spark Creativity Teacher Podcast.

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