Native American Dance, Music, and Celebration Through the Choctaw Wedding

Overview and Objectives

In this Learning Center, students will develop an understanding of Choctaw dance, music, and celebration as used in the traditional Choctaw wedding.  Through this inquiry-based exploration, students will utilize print and non-print texts, storytelling, creative writing, performing arts, and visual arts. They will build on previously learned concepts to explain how customs can affect the history of a group of people. Students will read the Native American Choctaw history of weddings, interview elders, view video segments, and conduct research.

This learning center is especially relevant to Choctaw students, but with modifications can be used in any classroom.

Enduring Understandings:

  • Most human societies have developed rituals marking wedding ceremonies.
  • The study of one traditional wedding ceremony of a group can open the door to studies of the traditions of other groups and their traditional wedding ceremonies.
  • Wedding customs, ceremonies, and beliefs have changed from the past to the present.

Time required:

5 class periods based on 50 minute sessions would be required to complete this assignment.

With additional extension activities, this unit of study could extend up to several weeks.

Materials and Supplies:

  •       Smart Board
  •       Video clips of Choctaw weddings (google Choctaw Weddings and see video on Resources page of this learning center)
  •       Internet websites (see Resources page of this learning center)
  •       Researched materials on the Choctaw wedding
  •       Interview questions (these will be individually elicited by each class or literature circle)
  •       Stories of Choctaw wedding ceremonies (orignal writings to model the assignment)
  •       Script to follow the dramatization of a Choctaw wedding
  •       Props including music, traditional clothing, traditional foods, dances, etc. that would be utilized to recreate a traditional wedding ceremony

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn the cultural and social importance of the Choctaw wedding ceremony by dramatizing it in class. (Performing Arts, storytelling, language arts, cultural change, visual arts, and inquiry)