Teaching Social Studies Reaction # 3
This Land is My Land, a children’s book written by George Littlechild. It is a vivid textual and visual illustration of the suffering endured by the Native Americans in their struggle to survive in a post-Columbus society and culture.
I would recommend using this book in social studies lessons. The reason is that it clearly communicates the intended message in an uncomplicated yet vivid manner that children can easily understand. It explains the interplay between the Native American’s culture and the white man’s culture through the text and pictures. The uncomplicated and chronological way in which the author relates the story makes the book ideal for a social studies class.
In the TEKS, the book falls into two social studies strands: Culture and History. At the beginning of the story the author says, “The people of the plains Cree were in the unusual habit of following the buffalo and in the winter they would make camp along the rivers. This was the norm during the summer and spring season” This depicts the culture of the Native Americans at that date. The history aspect of the book is evident in the chronological manner in which the author explains the life of the Indians before appearance of Columbus on their land. It also narrates the coming of Columbus and the white man and the impact of white settlers on the Native American Community.
The book can be immensely helpful in teaching cultural values of the Native Americans. This book will help in appreciating their existence and boosting unity between them and the rest of the people.
George Littlechild is a world renowned illustrator and author who is from Alberta at the Hobbema Reserve. Other books written by him include We Are All Related: A celebration of the Cultural Heritage and Four Circles: Soaring Visions.
Littlechild, George. This Land is My Land. Emeryville: Children’s Book Press, 1993. Print.
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