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

Teaching Strategies

1.  Students will view video clip of a Native American Choctaw wedding that is on the Resources page of this learning center (or one from a Native American Indian group of your culture or one close to your proximity) using a smart board.

  • Discuss actions of the various people involved in the ceremony.
  • Dicuss the dialogue of the various people involved in the ceremony.
  • Discuss the emotions of the various people involvede in the ceremony.
  • Discuss what makes this a traditional wedding.
  • Predict the effects the traditional wedding will have on a culture of the people.


2.  Students will research and identify the various aspects and steps in a traditional Choctaw wedding using resources identified in this learning center.


3.  Students will read and discuss Choctaw literature that depicts the marriage customs.


4.  (Specifically for Choctaw students; students in other parts of the world will want to investigate the traditional wedding customs of their locale.) Within small groups or in a whole group activity, students will develop questions for an interview of tribal elders to substantiate customs of marriage ceremonies (both traditional and modern). These questions can be compiled by the teacher on the white board as students brainstorm, or within literature groups, students can individually compile questions and then each group representative will share interview questions as the teacher charts them on a smart board.


5.  Students will be assigned to interview a tribal elder in order to obtain information on wedding ceremonies. Note: students should always conduct interviews in pairs, never alone.


6.  Conduct a discussion of the interview questions and responses. The results will be recorded by the teacher on the whiteboard. A comparison and contrast of traditional and customary ceremonies and modern ceremonies will be discuss and compiled.


7.  Students will be divided into two groups:

  • Groom/groom’s family
  • Bride/bride’s family


8.  Each group will take information gained from research, interviews, literature, and videos to create a dramatization of a traditional wedding. Role-playing will be used to prepare for the final dramatization.

  • Each group will be responsible for supplying traditional clothing, foods for the celebration, instruments, and chants for music, dances, etc.
  • After the assignment has been completed, the final dramatization will be performed. This could be performed in an assembly setting to demonstrate the traditional Native American Choctaw wedding.
  • Involve an elder as a resource person to ensure accuracy and appropriate respect.

9.  Students will create an original story, poem, or play using original characters and Choctaw wedding customs to depict a traditional wedding ceremony. The individual stages of the writing process must be evident in the finished work.


10.  Students will create an original piece of two-dimensional visual art (drawing or painting) to depict the various scenes portrayed in a traditional wedding ceremony.


 Extended Activities:

  • Students will select a Native American tribe within the region in which they live. The same classroom procedures of research and activities will be followed to complete the assignment.
  •  A comparison/contrast of various tribes' wedding customs can be undertaken.
  • A comparison/contrast of various diverse cultures and nationalities could be compiled.
  • A recipe book could be designed and filled with traditional foods that would be served at the wedding ceremony.
  • Students could learn and perform a traditional wedding dance.
  • A chant could be written, designed, and performed that might occur at a wedding ceremony. Confer with a tribal elder in undertaking this activity.