Nanih Waiya Choctaw Indian Mound

Overview and Objectives

Overview and Objectives

In this learning center students will learn the story of the creation, emergence, and migration of the Native American Choctaw people from the study the Nanih Waiya Mound located in central Mississippi. Students will read legends and myths, undertake research including individual interviews of elders, and create an original work of art as they learn to interpret how heritage and the values of an ethnic group can develop.

Main Ideas and Understanding:

1. The Nanih Waiya Mound is the spiritual center of the Choctaw Nation.

2. Before the dispersal of the various bands of Choctaws to different regions, laws were established at the Nanih Waiya Mound.

3. The ancestors of the Choctaw people emerged from the Nanih Waiya Mound.

4. Indigenous myths and legends related to the Mississippi Choctaws explain and outline the emergence, migration, and creation of the Nation.

Time required:

At least 5 class periods.

An instructor might choose to lengthen this assignment.

 Classroom materials:

  • Map of Mississippi (to be obtained by the teacher)
  • Empty timeline template for plotting the mound's history (to be drawn by the teacher)
  • Research books on the Nanih Waiya Mound (to be gathered by the teacher; refer to the Resources section of this Learning Center for titles)
  • Creation stories of the Native American Choctaw Indians (see the Resources section of this Learning Center)
  • Migrations stories of the Native American Choctaw Indians (see the Resources section of this Learning Center)
  • Smart board
  • Pictures of Nanih Waiya Mound (available in this Learning Center)
  • Newspaper clippings related to recent events at the Mound
  • Art supplies
  • Computers and Internet connectivity

Objectives:

1. Students will learn the history of the Nanih Waiya Mound by plotting its location on a map of Mississippi and plotting the various communities that exist today to determine the migration routes of tribal members from the Nanih Waiya Mound.

2. Students will research and draw a timeline of the Nanih Waiya Mound and explain its impact on the lives and migration of the Choctaw.

3. Students will read Native American origin stories from other indigenous nations and compare them with the Choctaw stories.

4. If possible, students will visit the Nanih Waiya Mound.

5. The students will develop a list of the purposes for which the Nanih Waiya Mound was used from the past to the present.

Background Information

Background Information

The Nanih Waiya Choctaw Indian Mound stands in the east central section of Winston County in the state of Mississippi. For many years the Nanih Waiya Mound served as a state park and was under the protection of the State of Mississippi. In 2008, the Nanih Waiya Mound was given back to the protection of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

Many myths and legends tell the history of the Nanih Waiya area and the creation and the emergence of the Choctaw Indians from the mound.  One legend explains that the Great Spirit created people within Nanih Waiya. These people then crawled through a hole in the ground and reached the surface of the earth. This group of people became known as the Choctaw Indians.

For a fuller version of the story, refer to Mould, Tom. Choctaw Tales. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2004, p. 8, 61-93, 154, 227, 273-275.

Teaching Strategies

Teaching Strategies

1. Introduce historical background of Nanih Waiya Mound and its importance to the indigenous Choctaw Nation.

  • Plot its location on the map of Mississippi.
  • Plot the remaining Native American Choctaw communities on the map of Mississippi: Bogue Chitto, Bogue Homa, Conehatta, Pearl River, Red Water, Standing Pine, and Tucker.
  • Research and outline the history of the Nanih Waiya Mound on a timeline identifying its importance to the Choctaw Nation from past to present.

http://www.choctaw.org/Government/Tribal%20Lands/Tribal%20Lands.html

2. Read and discuss the different myths and legends associated with the Nanih Waiya Mound. Refer to the Resources section of this Learning Center for web pages and publications that contain versions of the story, including the three essential elements of the story:

  • Those regarding the creation of the Native American Choctaw from the Nanih Waiya Mound.
  • Those relating to the emergence of the Native American Choctaw from the Nanih Waiya Mound.
  • Those associated with the migration of the Native American Choctaw from the Nanih Waiya Mound.

3. As a class, brainstorm questions that can be used to interview Choctaw elders to determine which version is best, and ways that the origin story continues to be important in Choctaw life today.

  • Small group discussions could be used to brainstorm interview questions.
  • Large group discussions could be used to compile the interview protocols that will be used by the entire class.

4. Students will share interview results from Native American elders regarding creation, emergence, and migration myths and legends related to the Nanih Waiya Mound.

5. Students will create an original poem related to the study of the Nanih Waiya Mound.

6. Choose an original art form to depict one of the Native American myths and legends of creation, emergence, or migration.

7. Students could dramatize myths and legends about the Nanih Waiya Mound and its association with the creation, emergence, or migration of the Native American Choctaw Indians.

  • Class will be divided into small groups.
  • Favorite myth or legend will be selected.
  • A dramatization of the myth or legend will be developed.
  • The dramatization will be performed to the whole group at the completion of the assignment.

Assessments

Assessments

Assessments:

1. The correctness of the plotting of the Native American Choctaw Nanih Waiya Mound will be assessed.

2. The correctness of the plotting of the 7 Native American Choctaw communities will be assessed.

  • Bogue Chitto
  • Bogue Homa
  • Conehetta
  • Pearl River
  • Red Water
  • Standing Pine
  • Tucker

3. Using the rubric provided below (or another that you devise), determine the writing of an original piece of prose.

4. Using the rubric provided below (or another that you devise), assess the quality of the original artistic depiction that was student developed.

5. Provide students with the rubric provided below (or another that you devise) to help them undertake peer review of each others' interview questions and the results of their interviews.

Poetry Rubric

 

Name:_____________________________                Date:_________________________

 

 

 

Criteria

 

4

 

 

3

 

2

 

Ideas and content

Focuses on an idea, feeling or experience.  Uses specific, concrete images.  May include poetic sound devices

 

Exceptional focus of an idea, feeling or experience.  Exceptional use of images. Includes many examples poetic sound devices

 

Adequate focus of an idea, feeling or experience. Adequate use of images. Includes some examples poetic sound devices

 

 

Inadequate focus of an idea, feeling or experience. Adequate use of images. Includes no examples poetic sound devices

 

 

Sentence Fluency

Uses lines of varying lengths and a variety of sentence structures

 

Uses a large variety of varying sentence lengths and structure.

 

Uses some variety of varying sentence lengths and structure.

 

Uses no variety of varying sentence lengths and structure.

 

Organization

Uses a logical, effective organizational strategy.

 

Uses an exceptional logical and effective organizational strategy.

 

 

Uses an adequate logical and effective organizational strategy.

 

Uses an inadequate organizational strategy.

 

Voice

Uses own unique style.  Writes honestly, as if the reader were right there.  Writes with confidence and enthusiasm.

 

 

Uses an exceptional and unique writing style.  Writes exceptionally honest, as if the reader were right there.  Writes with exceptional confidence and enthusiasm.

 

Uses an adequate writing style. Writes somewhat honestly, as if the reader were right there.  Writes with a standard amount of with confidence and enthusiasm.

 

Uses an inadequate writing style.  Does not make the reader feel a part of the text. Writes with minimal confidence and enthusiasm.

Mechanics

Grammar

Spelling

Punctuation

Capitalization

 

Text contains only a minimal number of errors

 

Text contains several errors.

 

Text contains numerous errors.

 

Total:  ______

     15

 

 

COMMENTS:

 

 

 

 

 

Transactional Writing Rubric

 

 

Name: _____________________________                  Date:________________________

 

 

Criteria

 

3

 

2

 

1

Idea Development

Develops relevant ideas.  Uses descriptive details and examples

Focuses on an idea, feeling or experience.

 

 

Relevant ideas are exceptionally developed.  Exceptional use of descriptive details and examples.  Text is exceptionally focused on an idea, feeling or experience.

 

 

Relevant ideas are adequately developed.  Adequate use of descriptive details and examples.  Text adequately focuses on an idea, feeling or experience.

 

Relevant ideas are inadequately developed.  Inadequate use of descriptive details and examples.  Text inadequately focuses on an idea, feeling or experience.

Organization

Organizes information clearly and logically.

Uses appropriate format for type of text chosen.

Originality of presentation format.

 

 

 

Text is exceptionally organized, clear and logical.  Text uses an appropriate format for type of text chosen and an original presentation format.

 

 

 

Text is adequately organized, clear and logical.  Text uses an appropriate format for type of text chosen and an original presentation format.

 

 

 

Text is inadequately organized, clear and logical.  Text uses an inappropriate format for type of text chosen.  Text contains an unoriginal format.

 

Mechanics

Grammar, Spelling

Punctuation, Capitalization

 

Text contains only a minimal number of errors

 

Text contains several errors.

 

Text contains numerous errors.

 

Total:  ______

     9

 

COMMENTS:

 

 

 

INTERVIEW RUBRIC

 

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

SCORE

Preparation before the interview.

No preparation was made.

A few questions were prepared.

An adequate number of questions, most of which relate in some way to the research focus, was prepared.

A comprehensive list of questions relating directly to research focus was prepared. 

A comprehensive list of questions and supplementary questions relating directly to research focus was prepared.  Background knowledge of the person, if known, was included.

 

Establishing rapport

No attempt was made to establish rapport with the person.

The student introduced himself and began to ask questions.

The student introduced himself, briefly mentioned the purpose of the interview and began with an easy question.

The student introduced himself, explained the purpose of the interview and began with an easy open-ended question.

The student introduced himself, explained the purpose of the interview, made eye contact, smiled encouragement, and began with an easy, open-ended question.

 

Manner

The student interrupted or hurried the person being interviewed and forgot to thank them at the end.

The student made an attempt to be polite. The student Listened, and thanked the person at the end of the interview.

The student was polite.  Tried to make eye contact and nodded encouragement occasionally.  Listened, and thanked the person at the end of the interview.

The student was polite and tried to put the person at ease with the situation.  Made some eye contact and nodded encouragement occasionally.  Listened, didn’t interrupt and thanked the person at the end of the interview.

The student was friendly and polite, putting the person at ease with the situation.  Made eye contact and nodded encouragement.  Listened, didn’t interrupt and thanked the person at the end of the interview.

 

Matter

The student asked the person a few questions.

The student asked the person a reasonable number of appropriate questions.

The student asked appropriate questions and tried to encourage the person to give more detail. 

The student asked appropriate questions, clarified comments, and encouraged the person to give more detail.  Asked some supplementary questions.

The student asked appropriate questions, rephrasing them if necessary.  Clarified comments, summarized what was said and encouraged the person to give more detail.  Asked relevant supplementary questions based on what the person said.

 

Knowledge gained

The student cannot answer questions about the person who was interviewed.

The student can answer some questions about the person who was interviewed.

The student can answer questions about the person’s views and begins to make connections between the interview and the research focus. 

The student can explain the person’s views in detail and the ways in which they relate to the research focus. 

The student can explain the person’s views in detail and the ways in which they relate to the research focus.  The student can also evaluate the significance of the interview to the project.

 

Resources

Resources

Visit the following web sites for various versions of the Choctaw origin story as it relates to the Nanih Waiya Mound. Additional information about Choctaw culture and tribal government today is also available on several of the web sites.

The best version of the Choctaw origin story is available from Mould's book, available for purchase.

http://ladymorgana.com/WiccanCollege/choctawindian/migration.htm

http://www.angelfire.com/tx/danci/origin.html

http://www.choctaw.org

http://www.choctaw.org/Government/Tribal%20Lands/Tribal%20Lands.html

http://www.sff.net/people/Rion.Wilhelm/jv_native.html

http://www.ehow.com/about_4568350_the-choctaw-indians.html

http://www.juntosociety.com/native/creationac.htm

http://mike-boucher.com/wordpress/?page_id=43

Mould, Tom. Choctaw Tales. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2004, p. 8, 61-93, 154, 227, 273-275.

Sonneborn, Liz. The Choctaw. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Company, p. 4-7.

Academic Standards

Academic Standards

National Standards

           

English Language Arts:

1. Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States; to acquire new information; and for personal fulfillment.

2. Students read a wide range of literature.

3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other reader and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and other texts.

4.  Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for a variety of purposes.

5.  Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

6.  Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions, media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and non-print texts.

7.  Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources to communicate their discoveries in ways that suite their purpose and audience.

8.  Students use a variety of technological and information resources to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.

9.  Students develop an understanding of respect for diversity in language use, patterns, and dialects across cultures, ethnic groups, geographic regions, and social roles.

12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own  purposes.

 

Geography:

1.    Students use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective.

 

Fine Arts: Visual Arts:

1b. Students intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences, and ideas.

4b. Students describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

 

Technology:

1a. Students demonstrate a sound understanding of the nature and operation of technology systems. 

1b. Students are proficient in the use of technology.

3a. Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity.

5a. Students use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources.