Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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the expanding canon teaching multicultural literature
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Reader Response: Pat Mora and James Welch Reader Response: Keith Gilyard and Mourning Dove Inquiry: Rudolfo Anaya and James Baldwin Inquiry: Tomás Rivera and Esmeralda Santiago Cultural Studies: Ishmael Reed and Graciela Limón Cultural Studies: N. Scott Momaday and Russell Leong Critical Pedagogy: Octavia E. Butler and Ruthanne Lum McCunn Critical Pedagogy: Abiodun Oyewole and Lawson Fusao Inada
Theory Overview Lesson Plans Teaching Strategies Authors and Literary Works Resources
Session 6 Cultural Studies: N. Scott Momaday and Russell Leong - Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan 1
Lesson Plan 2


REFLECTION - Interactive Forum

Explore two poems using four approaches.


Share your views on the discussion

Download the Session 6 Guide

Author: N. Scott Momaday
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:
  • board and/or chart paper
  • copies of The Way to Rainy Mountain
  • computers
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:
  • What is the central idea of this piece?
  • What did Momaday want us to remember about his people, his grandmother, and their traditions?
5. After students listen to the recorded reading, Samb asks them questions including:
  • How does Momaday describe Oklahoma?
  • What does he say about his grandmother?
6. Samb prompts students to compare the style and structure of various sections 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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