Native American Children's Literature Term Paper

Pages: 2 (619 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Native Americans


Teaching Native American Folklore to Children

This paper will examine Donna Norton's typology of Native American folklore and examine how this typology can be a useful pedagogical tool when approaching a diverse student body and when teaching a multicultural curriculum.

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Classifying Native American folklore into different types of tales, such as "Setting-the-World-in-Order Tales," "Family Drama Tales," "Trickster Tales," "Threshold Tales" and "Combination Tales," is not simply an effective way to introduce aspects of native culture to young children in a diverse classroom (Norton 2005: 82-87). It can also be a powerful method to draw connections between the children's own cultures and Native American mythology. For example, "Trickster Tales" are "common in folklore all over the world," perhaps the most culturally pervasive kind of tale (Norton 2005: 84). The Trickster of the Pacific North American Indians is called the Raven; another common trickster is the Coyote, and also the Rabbit. Children can read tales of these animals, and compare them with other tricksters from other cultures, such as Anasi the Spider from West Africa. Children can also examine the presence of trickster mythology in modern American media, in films and television, where vulnerable people (like animals and children) trick stronger authority figures with clever and underhanded methods. Also, a teacher might ask why certain animals, like rabbits and coyotes, have common 'trickster' appeal, as opposed to other animals. "Trickster tales are almost always placed in the 'animal tales' genre, with the trickster... identified with a particular animal. These include the mouse deer in Southeast Asia, the fox in Japan, the coyote and the spider among the North American Indians, the tortoise, rabbit (or hare) and spider in West Africa, and the mantis in Southern Africa" (Starr 1999).

TOPIC: Term Paper on Native American Children's Literature Assignment

Setting-the-World-in-Order" or origin tales are another likely point of connection between many different tales from different cultures (Norton 2005: 82). Encouraging children… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Native American Children's Literature" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Native American Children's Literature.  (2007, March 18).  Retrieved October 25, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Native American Children's Literature."  18 March 2007.  Web.  25 October 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Native American Children's Literature."  March 18, 2007.  Accessed October 25, 2021.