Native American Heritage Month is November.
No study of American history is complete without looking at the experiences, culture, and contributions of this land’s original inhabitants.
A rich classroom library includes stories from every community, and authors from those communities.
With this in mind, I recommend The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. I discovered Erdrich’s work in college and absolutely fell in love. I have read a number of her works and each one has been phenomenal.
I introduced some of Erdrich’s work in my 4th grade class, and even brought my personal books that my students borrowed, and they enjoyed them as well.
My desire to include a story that allowed for important discussion and reflection on colonization, and a different lens of American history, led me to create a book study on The Birchbark House.
This book is categorized as realistic fiction. The story touches on culture, language, and family. It is a great book to discuss colonization, cultural assimilation, and loss. It is also a great story to discuss strength and community.
My product, a complete novel unit, can begin in November and take you through winter break. This product includes vocabulary, comprehension questions, and added exercises for each chapter. There are even background building and extension activities suggested for this unit; it provides the opportunity for a depth and breadth of learning.
As with the Spider and the Fly, even if the product is not what you need, or what you want for your classroom right now, I recommend reading this book and any other work by Erdrich, it is truly worth the read.