A Path to Our Future: Artful Thinking, Learning, Teaching, and Research
Chapter Three: Naming Stories and Critical Literacy: A Classroom Narrative
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After the priests came among us, my great-grandmother said, She Knows the Bear became Marie. Sloping Cloud was christened Jeanne. Taking Care of the Day and Yellow Day Woman turned into Catherine. I became Margaret, but I always knew that would happen. The year they carried my great-grandmother out the western window, wrapped in red cloth and then tied into birch bark, the school finally got me. The girl who was named Center of the Sky became Margaret, then Margaret Kashpaw and then Rushes Bear. But I had already seen far back in time by then. I know who I was in relation to all who went before. Therefore, although I went to school I was not harmed, nor while I was there did I forget my language. Not Margaret. Every time I was struck or shamed for speaking Ojibwemowin, I said to myself, Here’s another word I won’t forget. I tamped it down. I took it in. I grew hard inside so that the girl named Center of the Sky could survive. (Erdrich, 2004 p. 7)
In this chapter we document the work of teacher Mary Tacheny and her fifth-grade Dual Language Learners as they create a series of activities focusing on the complex investigations of naming stories in literature, culture, and their lives.
Making language and culture visible through multicultural story literacy events is crucial for all students in school. Many students around our country have exquisitely complex stories of going and...
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