Lessons & Units :: Genre Studies: Legends 1st Grade Unit

Lesson 2: Cultural Background

Lesson Plan

The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush | 840L

The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush
Learning Goal
Explain that legends come from a specific culture.
Identify details in a legend that come from a specific culture.
Approximately 50 minutes
Necessary Materials
Provided: Unit Example Chart, Independent Practice Worksheet
Not Provided: The Legend of Indian Paintbrush by Tomie dePaola, chart paper, markers
  • Teacher Modeling

    will teach students that legends are told in many cultures. A culture is the food, activities, practices, and beliefs of a group of people. People who come from the same culture might celebrate the same holidays or practice the same religious traditions. They might eat the same foods and wear the same style of clothes. They will also tell each other the same tales or legends from their culture. I will record this on my Characteristics of Legends Chart (Example Chart is provided in Unit Teacher and Student Materials). I will identify the details of a culture in a familiar legend by looking for food, beliefs, clothing, housing, and other ways of life that are different from my own in the familiar legend (from Lesson 1), The Legend of the Bluebonnet. I will explain that this legend comes from the Comanche people, American Indians living in Texas. I will do a picture walk through of the text and point out details of Comanche culture, such as the clothing, teepees, the beliefs in many gods, the rain dancing, etc. I will think about how the food, beliefs, clothing, housing is different that my own. I will reflect that many of the details in this legend reflect the culture of the Comanche people. I will record examples of the culture and the title of the story on my chart.

  • Think Check

    Ask: "How did I identify the details of a culture in a legend?" Students should respond that you looked for details about food, beliefs, clothing, housing, and ways of life that are different from your own.

  • Guided Practice

    will read the first half of The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie dePaola and identify the cultural details in the text. For example, the shaman on page 2 is a person who is part of American Indian culture. I know this because there is not a shaman in my own culture. We will listen to the second half of The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush.

  • Independent Practice

    will illustrate and label a cultural detail in the second half of The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush. (Independent Practice Worksheet is provided.) You will share your detail with the class and explain how legends come from a specific culture. Your teacher will record the title of the story and your examples of cultural details on the chart.

Build Student Vocabulary warrior

Tier 2 Word: warrior
Contextualize the word as it is used in the story “Do not struggle, Little Gopher. Your path will not be the same as the others. They will grow up to be warriors. Your place among the People will be remembered for a different reason.”
Explain the meaning student-friendly definition) A warrior is a soldier, or a person who fights. Most of the people who Little Gopher lives with grow up to be warriors. That means that they grow up to fight other groups of people.
Students repeat the word Say the word warrior with me: warrior.
Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts Warriors need to be strong and brave. Armies need warriors to defend their countries.
Students provide examples Why do you think a warrior needs to be brave? Start by saying, “A warrior needs to be brave because ___________________.”
Students repeat the word again. What word are we talking about? warrior
Additional Vocabulary Words deeds, longed

Build Student Background Knowledge

After reading the The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush, explain that Little Gopher in the story is a member of a Native American tribe. The Native Americans have lived in the United States for hundreds of years, although they live differently today than they did in the past. There were many different Native American tribes; a tribe is a group of people or families who share the same language and customs. In Little Gopher’s tribe, they lived in teepees (show picture on first page), which looked like tents. Most of the boys in the tribe grew up to be warriors. Show students the picture from Little Gopher’s first painting (pp. 14-15) and explain that the Native Americans often hunted buffalo, which they ate for food. Although this story is a legend, some of the pictures remind readers of how real Native Americans used to live.

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

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