The Connection Between the Story and the Teacher’s Manual
This teacher’s manual is written to accompany the separate book called Circle Boy: Bringing Black Elk‘s Storytelling to Life. This story shares the culture and history, as well as the connectedness to nature of the Oglala Lakota, by linking the imagined story of a young boy with the actual words of Black Elk from Black Elk Speaks (Neihardt, 2000). Black Elk’s quotes found at the bottom of each page in the story join Black Elk’s life with that of an imagined Native American boy.
The story, Circle Boy: Bringing Black Elk‘s Storytelling to Life is about a young Native American boy who lived long ago. We call him ‘Circle Boy’ because throughout the story he encounters and recognizes the circles found in nature and their power. He is deeply related to nature, as was Black Elk, and views the world through the connections to the circles of power. In Black Elk Speaks, Black Elk states that ‘Everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles…”.
Teachers can use the story book and the Teacher’s Manual to create differentiated learning units, which link Native American culture, history, and native science to the Next Generation Science standards (or state science standards) and the English Language Arts Common Core standards through units that are included in this manual. This allows teachers to easily support the teaching of national standards in both science and language arts within the context of Lakota history in the time of Black Elk (1863-1950), which was a time of great change for the Lakota people.