Character Development with an Indigenous Perspective

Created by Allison Green

Students will develop characters based on the character traits of the Seven Grandfather Teachings. The unit begins with a focus on the traits (Love, Wisdom, Respect, Bravery, Honesty, Humility, and Truth) and the story of elders passing on teachings to the youth. Students will use tableau, viewpoints, and movement and explore how to develop a character with a clear backstory and identity. The unit uses open, neutral scenes as a partnered task that students can use to apply their learning followed by reflection and class discussion.

The overview outlines the format of the unit (learning circle) and includes background information to successfully execute the unit in the classroom.
Additional Attachments
1: Seven Grandfather Teachings
This day introduces the Seven Grandfather Teachings. Students engage with the story, create a storyboard, and discuss as a class.
2-3: Character Traits - Seven Grandfather Teachings
These lessons move from the story into activity. Students will try interpreting, actively modelling, and practicing stepping into the character traits of Love, Wisdom, Respect, Bravery, Honesty, Humility, and Truth.
4: Symbolism and Animal Representation Using Viewpoints
Now that students have spent time understanding the literal meaning of the character traits discussed as the seven Grandfather teachings, this lesson moves into a more metaphorical representation of animals and how they relate to the teachings. The technique of Viewpoints is introduced to play and interpret this knowledge.
5: Open, Neutral Scenes
A final step can be used as an evaluation of student understanding of the character traits presented in the Seven Grandfather Teachings by approaching an Open, Neutral Scene. Students are paired and given one of the open, neutral scenes included in this unit. Neutral scenes can have dictated conflict or character traits added to them by the teacher for students, but in the most “open” sense, allow students to develop the story and create strong focused characters.

Standards Addressed

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