Grandma Parade

Subject: Language Arts

Grade: K-2

Topic: Reading

Content: Students will read Grandma Rides in the Parade by late Apsáalooke author Joy Yellowtail Toineeeta; students will hear about Apsáalooke family traditions.

Goals: Students will be able to identify an Apsáalooke family tradition as well as one of their own family traditions.


Speaking and Listening Standard 1: Students demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the communication process.

Literature Standard 4: Students interact with print and nonprint literary works from various cultures, ethnic groups, traditional and contemporary viewpoints written by both genders.

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

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.

Essential Understanding 6: History is a story most often related through the subjective experience of the teller. With the inclusion of more and varied voices, histories are being rediscovered and revised. History told from an Indian perspective frequently conflicts with the stories mainstream historians tell.

Objectives: After completing this lesson students will understand that all families have traditions they practice.

Materials: Lesson plan and copy of Grandmother Rides in the Parade from the Northwest Indian Reading Series downloadable from the internet.

Introduction: Instructors will read book to children and cover discussion questions. After reading the book again the students will create a collage or drawing of a family tradition in which they participate. This story is about a grandmother planning to ride in the parade at the Crow Fair. Her entire family helps her get ready for the parade.

Development: This activity will help students begin to see themselves and their family as a separate unit with distinct traditions.

Practice: After reading book together teachers will lead discussion while emphasizing that Apsáalooke people have many of their own traditions, and that many students may have similar traditions, such as spending time together as a family.

Teachers may ask the students to consider the following questions: Have you been in a parade? What does your family dress specially for?

Are there flags when you go to a parade? Why are they there? What is Crow Fair? What is different about Grandma’s name?

Following the discussion teachers can read the book again while students make a collage or drawing depicting scenes from the book as well as a family tradition they participate in with their family.

Checking for Understanding/Evaluation: Students will complete collages or drawings depicting Apsáalooke family traditions along with one of their own traditions.

Closure: Discuss with students the importance of traditions. What traditions do they participate in frequently? The Pledge of Allegiance? Manners? Respecting teachers? Etc.