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Far Out

Apsáalooke Writing Tribal Histories Project

Subject: Language Arts

Grade: K-1

Topic: Reading

Goals: Students will learn new vocabulary, and will develop a new perspective.


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

Reading Standard 2: Students apply a range of skills and strategies to read.

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 reading students will gain additional vocabulary.

Materials: Lesson plan; Far Out, A Rodeo Horse Book, downloadable from the Northwest Indian Reading Series; paper for making new vocabulary books.

Introduction: An Apsáalooke author wrote this story about a rodeo horse named Far Out. Readers meet Far Out’s friends, both animal and human. Students will first list things they know about the rodeo; for some rural students the rodeo will be familiar. For urban students the rodeo vocabulary itself may be new. Author Henry Real Bird imparts an Apsáalooke world view in this work as well as others he has written. Teachers may also want to review his cowboy poetry.

Development: Students will activate prior knowledge of rodeo, learn group reading skills, and gain vocabulary.

Practice: Students will first list things they know about the rodeo, and then embark on reading the book as a group. Next students will read the book individually and list new vocabulary words, and then learn as they read as a group. After reading the book individually students will have gained vocabulary.

Checking for Understanding/Evaluation: Students will read the book and review new vocabulary in books.

Closure: Students will discuss what they learned--new vocabulary and what it must be like to be in the rodeo.