Work: The Way to Rainy Mountain
Betty Tillman Samb uses a cultural studies approach to help students understand The Way to Rainy Mountain by N. Scott Momaday. She asks students to use family photographs to contextualize the familial experience of Momaday's work, and to respond through creative writing. Students then work in groups to conduct Web research on Kiowa culture.
To prepare for the lesson, view The Expanding Canon video program 6, Part I. Online review the Session 6 theory overview, strategies, information about the authors and literature, resources, and the downloadable print guide. Read The Way to Rainy Mountain -- excerpts available in the print guide.
Teachers will need the following supplies:
Standards for the English Language Arts
In advance of the lesson Betty Tillman Samb asks students to read an excerpt from The Way to Rainy Mountain. She also asks each student to bring to class photos of a grandparent or an older relative whom they can remember.
1. Samb asks each student to introduce the relative in the photo to another student.
2. Students write down memories about their relative. Several students read aloud their memories in poetry and prose.
3. Samb shares with the class a memoir she has written.
4. Samb asks students several questions to consider as they listen to a recorded reading of The Way to Rainy Mountain:
7. Samb tells the students that they will conduct Web research to learn about different aspects of Kiowa culture. She divides the class into several groups, and asks each group to focus on one aspect of Kiowa culture: religion, landscape, mythology or history.
8. Student groups take turns presenting their findings to the class, explaining how their research connects to The Way to Rainy Mountain.
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