Terms and Process
Time: One Period
The students will gain an understanding of the role that oral tradition plays in First Nations culture.
Introduction: Setting the stage
Invite students to sit in the Talking Circle (North point of the Medicine Wheel).
Elicit what, when, why they had been asked to sit in a circle (campfires, storytelling).
Introduce Talking Circle by explaining how, why and what are the expectations of a Talking Circle. See Appendix A for more information.
Present the Talking Stick and discuss how it might be used.
Explain that Drums were the music of Mother Earth.
Discuss oral tradition. What is the purpose of oral tradition? Define myth, legend, fable and folktale.
Provide students with some information about myths, legends and folktales. Define them as applied to the culture of First Nations people.
Have students listen to a First Nations storyteller.
Discussion to activate students' prior knowledge.
Introduce THE BIG QUESTION: Is storytelling the art of knowledge?
Assessment and Evaluation
With a partner have students compose three questions they have about storytelling
in First Nations communities.
Have students present questions to the Circle. Record questions.
Teacher Preparation / Materials / Planning Notes
Set up the class in a circle with drum music in the background.
Obtain the First Nations music (drum or flute).
Prepare the Talking Circle information rules, expectations, etc.
Have a Talking Stick/Stone or other natural article.
Read the story, "Mi'Kmaq Women Who Married Star Husbands".
Make appropriate teaching/learning notes. Notice that the story has a break.
Photocopy the story for each member of class.
Questions to be researched:
What is the oral tradition?
• What role does the oral tradition play in First Nations culture?
• Who is the author of the folklore passed on through oral tradition?
• Did the stories ever change?
• What is the difference between a myth, legend, fable and folktale?
• Do different cultural areas have different stories?
Audio of First Nations storytellers can be found online at the following sites:
Other Aboriginal Stories can be found at the following sites:
Native American tales at Eldrbarry's Raven Tales:
Creation Stories from Around the World at Myth*ing Links:
Native American creation stories: