Card Game

Subject: Social Studies

Grade: 4-12

Topic: Language recognition

Content: After practicing the Apsáalooke names of cards, and using a cheat sheet for help, students will play a game of Go Fish using the Apsáalooke names for cards.

Goals: Students will gain recognition of other languages used daily in Montana.


Social Studies Standard 6: Students demonstrate an understanding of the impact of human interaction and cultural diversity on societies.

World Languages Standard 5: Students reinforce and increase his/her knowledge of other disciplines through world languages.

World languages Standard 9: Students apply language skills and cultural knowledge in daily life.

Essential Understanding 1: There is great diversity among the 12 tribal Nations of Montana in their languages, cultures, histories and governments. Each Nation has a distinct and unique cultural heritage that contributes to modern Montana.

Essential Understanding 2: There is great diversity among individual American Indians as identity is developed, defined and redefined by entities, organizations and people. A continuum of Indian identity, unique to each individual, ranges from assimilated to traditional. There is no generic American Indian.

Essential Understanding 3: The ideologies of Native traditional beliefs and spirituality persist into modern day life as tribal cultures, traditions, and languages are still practiced by many American Indian people and are incorporated into how tribes govern and manage their affairs. Additionally, each tribe has its own oral histories, which are as valid as written histories. These histories pre-date the “discovery” of North America.

Objectives: After completing this lesson students will have a better understanding of Apsáalooke culture and bilingual communities in Montana.

Materials: Lesson plan, decks of cards, cheat sheet for students.

Introduction: It’s been said that on any given day a Montanan can hear more than 10 languages. Eight different tribal groups speak their language. Amish and Hutterite communities across the state speak German, while several Asian communities retain their heritage and speak their native tongue, and growing Latino communities speak Spanish. In Apsáalooke country the Apsáalooke language is heard every day. While meeting with teachers in Billings when the curriculum project started educators had many requests for an Apsáalooke language lesson. This seemed like an impossible request, but it was entertained. Later it occurred to the writer that tid bits of the language would certainly provide a glimpse of the Apsáalooke. What could be simpler than a quick game of cards?

The Apsáalooke names for a deck of cards are as follows:

Development: Students will develop a sense of the diversity in Montana, and a better understanding along with additional respect for Apsáalooke language.

Practice: Students will

Checking for Understanding/Evaluation: In discussion teachers will listen for students’ understanding and appreciation of the diversity of Apsáalooke culture.

Closure: Students will write about the need to retain diversity in our state.