Good Day! Perhaps you are here because you are a teacher of Lakota students. Perhaps you are here because you are a not a teacher of Lakota students, but would like to teach about the Lakota in a way that is culturally-authentic, interesting, and fun. Perhaps you simply typed "Lakota stories" into your favorite search engine. Here you will find Lakota stories, and much more: lessons, unit plans, and original Lakota student art.
To use this website, click on the drop-down menus above for your subject area and grade level. On each menu, you will find a set of units that, taken together, correlate to all the South Dakota state standards in science or social studies for your grade level. On each unit page, you will find a description of the unit, standards, and daily objectives. Each unit is 20-40 pages long, providing detailed lessons for each daily objective. You will need to download each unit plan to access the lessons. Use Microsoft Word to ensure proper formatting of the unit plan file.
Finally (but most importantly), some background. The Lakota are a people belonging to what is now called the Sioux nation. The Lakota dialect is related to the dialects of the Dakota and the Nakota, but pronunciations and orthographies vary. There are seven individual bands within the Lakota nation: Sicangu, Oglala, Itazipcho, Hunkpapa, Miniconjou, Sihasapa, and Oohenuhpa. The stories and lesson plans featured on this website emerge from the Rosebud Reservation in south-central South Dakota, home of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate (that is, the Burnt Thigh People). Lakota storytelling is an oral tradition, and therefore, multiple versions of each story exist even within the Sicangu Lakota Oyate. The Lakota Stories project is not meant to transmit one set of (so-called) orthodox beliefs, words, and customs. Rather, it is set up to achieve the following goals:
1. To spark an interest in cultural practices (Lakota students from non-traditional homes), to help reclaim the educational system as a place that is friendly to Lakota culture (Lakota students from traditional homes), and to impart basic Lakota philosophies (Lakota students from traditional and non-traditional homes, as well as non-Lakota students).
2. To make it easy for teachers of Lakota students to integrate Lakota culture into the classroom. The science and social studies lessons in the Lakota Stories units are standards-aligned and rigorous, and at the same time, attempt to offer multiple cultural perspectives on any given topic. This is precisely what many of teachers of Lakota students would like to do, but find difficult and time-consuming to carry out, whether or not their own first language is Lakota.
3. To make it easy for teachers of non-Lakota students to teach about Lakota culture in a way that is authentic and meaningful. ‘Nuff said.Read more about the Lakota Stories project here.