Teacher's Guide for Cobblestone: Sioux
EDITOR'S NOTE (page 2)
1. What area of the United States did the Sioux once occupy?
"THE ALLIES" (page 4)
2. How did they gather food? Were they warlike? What were their religious beliefs?
3. What changes came in the nineteenth century?
4. Why is it important for all people to continue learning from the Sioux and to help them preserve their culture?
1. Before whites came to North America, where did the Sioux live? What did they call themselves?
THE SEVEN LAKOTA COUNCIL FIRES (page 9)
2. What three tribes formed a confederation? What did the names mean?
3. Why don't we have much information about the early Dakotas' history?
4. Where do our first written accounts come from?
5. What was the Dakotas' most sacred site?
6. How would you describe the everyday life of Dakota men and women?
7. How did the arrival of the French fur trappers change their lives? How did the French help the Ojibwas, the traditional enemies of the Dakotas?
8. As the Sioux were forced to moved west, they acquired something that would change their way of life. What was it? What was it called in their native language? How did it change their life?
9. What were the divisions of the tribes, and what areas did they occupy?
10. What was their greatest prize? From what tribe was it taken?
11. What were winter counts?
12. What is the legend of the sacred pipe? What does it have to do with the Sacred Pipestone Quarry?
List the seven tribes of the Teton Sioux and tell how they got their names.
WORDS OF THE GRANDFATHERS (page 12)
1. What do "words of the grandfathers" refer to, and what do they tell Native Americans?
WHITE BUFFALO CALF WOMAN (page 14)
2. How are stories revealed to Native Americans? What supernatural force brings the stories?
3. Describe the Sioux vision of the earth and the universe.
4. To whom do the Sioux pray? What other things have mysterious powers?
5. What are creation myths, and what do people learn from them? What other creation myths do you know? Your librarian should be able to help you find some.
1. What does wakan mean?
GROWING UP ON THE PLAINS (page 18)
2. How did the Sioux know that this woman dressed in white was wakan?
3. What was her gift to the Sioux? What was her message to the men, women, and children of the tribe?
4. As she left, she took on four different animal forms. What were they, and which is the most sacred to the Sioux?
1. Describe how infants were carried by the Sioux.
COUNTING COUP (page 21)
2. How were children treated by the tribe? What are our attitudes toward child raising today?
3. What would your life be like if you were raised a Sioux? How was training and education different for boys and girls? How does our society today raise boys and girls differently?
4. What role did visions play in becoming an adult? Can you think of events in today's world that mark the change from childhood to adulthood?
Why was a coup feather important to a young brave? If you were a young brave, what things might you have done to count coup on your enemy?
TATANKA (page 25)
1. What does tatanka mean?
BUFFALO HUNT (page 26)
2. What did the young man discover when he entered the cave? Assume that you are one of the four braves the chief sent back to the cave. Write a brief account of what you discovered.
3. In this myth, what did the cave give the Native Americans, and why was this so important?
1. What were the jobs of men, women, and boys in preparation for the hunt?
SITTING BULL (page 32)
2. How old was the young man when he went on his first hunt? Do you think you would be ready for that much responsibility at that age? Can you think of anything in our culture that would compare in danger or responsibility to what was asked of the Indian youth?
3. Assume the role of the young Indian brave and write the story of your adventure that would be told at every campfire in the village.
4. What were the many uses made of the buffalo that Yellow Bird killed?
5. What did this kill mark for the young man?
1. When and where was Sitting Bull born? To what tribe of the Sioux Nation did he belong?
THE BATTLE OF LITTLE BIGHORN (page 34)
2. How did Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer violate the Fort Laramie Treaty?
3. How did the order by the secretary of the interior in December 1875 lead to the Battle of Little Bighorn?
4. The article says that in the end the Plains Indians were the ones who lost at Little Bighorn. How could this be when Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse destroyed Custer's entire force?
5. What happened to Sitting Bull when he finally surrendered five years later?
6. How was Sitting Bull convinced to travel with Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show? How did he feel about performing? Why did he finally quit?
7. How did the Ghost Dance religion lead to Sitting Bull's death? Why do you think the government reacted the way it did?
1. Who led the Seventh Cavalry? What did the Sioux call him?
DREAM CATCHERS (page 38)
2. Imagine that you are a newspaper reporter viewing the battle from a distance. Write a brief description for your paper. Then write an editorial about the battle, sympathizing with either the Army or the Native Americans. What do you think the general attitude in the United States was at that time?
What is the function of a dream catcher, and how is it supposed to work?
GHOST SHIRTS (page 40)
1. What did the Sioux believe about ghost shirts?
WOUNDED KNEE (page 42)
2. List the changes and problems faced by the Sioux as a result of the reservation system. Put yourself in their place and explain what the Ghost Dance would mean to you.
3. How were ghost shirts made and decorated?
4. What happened at Wounded Knee that shattered the Indians' belief in the ghost shirts?
1. What did the Native Americans think the Ghost Dance religion would do?
COYOTE, SPIDER MAN, AND THE ROCK (page 44)
2. What was the makeup of the group that Big Foot was leading to the Pine Ridge Reservation? Why had they left the Cheyenne River Reservation?
3. How did the fighting start? How many Indians were killed?
4. What group took control of the village of Wounded Knee in 1973? Why did they do this, and what did they accomplish?
1. Most legends teach a lesson. What do you think the lesson of this legend is?
REMEMBRANCES OF CRAZY HORSE (page 47)
2. Think of a lesson you would like to teach to someone younger and write a story that conveys this point.
1. Why did the elders want their stories written down?
DANCES WITH HISTORY (page 50)
2. If you were one of Crazy Horse's tribe, in what positive ways would you describe him to encourage others to join you?
3. Describe Crazy Horse's great victory against the U.S. Army.
4. How did the Army convince him to go to Fort Robinson? How was he treated, and what happened to him? What do you feel about the way the Army handled his capture?
1. Why was Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse ideal for the part of Smiles A Lot in the movie Dances With Wolves? How does he hope this film will change the image of his people? How has Hollywood usually presented Indians?
FROM THE ARCHIVES
2. How far can Nathan trace his family or heritage?
3. What is his father's position in the tribe? What are the Seven Sacred Ceremonies of the Lakotas that he conducts?
4. Shannon County, where many of the Indian actors in Dances With Wolves live, is a very poor county. List some of the statistics that are reported in the article about the living conditions on the reservation. How does this compare with where you live? Do you agree with Nathan that his generation can overcome these things? If so, what help will he and his friends need?
5. As extra credit, you might want to rent the video Dances With Wolves. View it and write a paper describing your reactions to it.
Be sure to check "From the Archives" on page 57 for related title suggestions. You also may want to check the following issues:
The Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804 - 1806 (September 1980),
Frederic Remington: His Life and Art (November 1982),
Folklore: Stories and More (July 1983),
The Cherokee Indians (February 1984),
The Eskimos of Alaska (November 1985),
Diné: The People of the Navajo Nation (July 1989),
Joseph, a Chief of the Nez Perce (September 1990),
Indians of the Northwest Coast (November 1992),
The Cultures of Pre-Columbian North America (April 1993),
Indians of the Northeast Coast (November 1994).