Aboriginal Perspectives



Jessica Wesaquate and Andrea Rogers

Grade Level:

Three to Four

Subject Area:

Language Arts


Students will be able to express their learning through poetry.
Students will learn different forms of poetry to express learning.

Pre-requisite Knowledge:

First Nations people, introduction of the tipi


video clips, pencils, paper, overheads (poem examples)

Have students watch one of the following video clip collections: tipi raising with Elder Glen Anaquod (Saulteaux perspective) or tipi raising with Tim Haywahe (Nakota perspective). Depending on the area you are teaching in, or the location your students come from, it may be appropriate to choose one from the other. If time permits, have your students watch both of the clip collections and compare and contrast perspectives.

1 ] Free Verse Poetry:

A great place to start with poetry is teaching the free verse style. It's not a regular form of poetry because it lacks traditional rules (such as rhyme). Now that students have had the opportunity to learn about the tipi and watch the tipi raising videos, have them do a free verse of what they have learned, and feel about their new knowledge.

2 ] Acrostic Poetry:

This is a simpler form of poetry. Many of your students may have experience with this type of poetry. Again, they can use this to demonstrate how they describe the tipi or their learning experience about the tipi:

T -
I -
P -
I -

R -
A -
I -
S -
I -
N -
G -

You may ask students to use adjectives, or develop each letter into a complete sentence.

3 ] Damante Style Poetry:

contrast poem with seven lines, shaped like a diamond.

Line One: Subject or Noun
Line Two: Two adjectives describing the subject/noun
Line Three: Three words ending in –ing
Line Four: Four words about the subject/noun
Line Five: Three words ending in –ing
Line Six: Two Adjective words
Line Seven: Synonym or Antonym for the subject

After students have viewed the tipi raising videos and have been talking and learning about the tipi, have them create a damante style poem to describe the tipi or their learning about the tipi. As the teacher you can create a bulletin board to display the students' work and create awareness of the tipi.

So this lesson provides you with three types of poetry you may engage your students in as they learn about the tipi, including watching the tipi raising videos. There are a ton of more poetry techniques you can have your students explore as they learn about the tipi and teachings around the tipi.

Display their work around the classroom or on a bulletin board. This is a visual display of what they are learning about and it shows pride in their new knowledge.

You can use this approach to have students show you what they are learning in other subject areas as well.