Inquiry Design Model (IDM) Blueprint™
What Makes a Good Human Being? An Exploration of Indigenous and Personal Virtues
NDNAEU 1 “Sacred Relatives”, NDNAEU 2 “Learning & Storytelling”, NDNAEU 7 “Native Identity”
Compelling QuestionWhat experiences have I had, on my own or with my family or community, that have helped to shape my/our values?
Standards and PracticesND DPI Writing Standards
Grades 3-12 Standard W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.

ND DPI Speaking and Listening Standards
Grades 3-12 Standard SL.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade appropriate topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

ND DPI Music Standards
Grades 3-12 Anchor Standard 11: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.
Staging the QuestionHave a whole group discussion: In what ways do human beings identify and share their values concerning what a good member of our community is, does, or becomes? How do they make these ideas interesting and memorable for their children, grandchildren and future generations?
Supporting Question 1 Supporting Question 2 Supporting Question 3 
How do indigenous communities develop and share their values/teachings?What role does storytelling play in indigenous and other communities to help pass along important knowledge about being good human beings?How do I develop and share my personal values?
Formative Performance TaskFormative Performance TaskFormative Performance Task
Watch “The Seven Teachings” with Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa culture teacher Alex Decoteau (use the two other “7 Teachings” videos as needed also). Discuss as a group how the “Seven Teachings” of the Ojibwe people are similar and/or different from other lists of “teachings, values or virtues”. Then, take some time to journal individually on the “Learn From” questions associated with this interview:
1. What is my spiritual or religious affiliation? Did our Creator provide us with guidelines on how to behave? What are they?
2. In what ways does my spirituality or religion help me to live a better life?
3. What does humility mean to me? Why is it an important virtue to possess?

Each of the teachings Mr. Decoteau shared is connected with an animal familiar to the Ojibwe people (show the Seven Teachings Mural photo for them to reference). Either explore one of those animals (through research) and find connections between that animal and the value or teaching connected with it, OR look for something in YOUR natural environment (animal, plant, rock, water form, etc) and draw connections with a human value YOU and or YOUR community holds dear. Write up your findings and ideas in a 2 to 3 page essay.

Extension: Use the Listing of Virtues from Multiple Cultures table (linked below) to brainstorm and discuss virtues, values and laws from various cultural backgrounds.

(adapt to suit your learners’ level)
Hand out copies of an excerpt from “The Story of the Giants” by Joseph Marshall III to students (The Lakota Way, pp 20-23). Have them read silently to themselves. Ask for sharing of key ideas or thoughts about what they read. Partners first, then large group.

Additionally or alternatively, listen to the story as Joseph Marshall reads it. 

Share the Gladys Hawk interview “Grandmother’s Stories”. Circle up and as a whole group, discuss the “Learn From” questions associated with that interview:
1. Have I ever taken a break from electricity? From Technology? Why? What did I learn from this?
2. What stories have I heard late at night at a sleepover? Have I ever had a sleepover with a grandparent?
3. What were some of the etiquette lessons I was taught by my parents or grandparents or other adults?
4. Are there some times when I have gotten together with others to talk through a story we’ve all heard or experienced? What was most valuable about that experience? How does hearing the perspectives of others change my own understanding?

Find a story that teaches a lesson—it could come from a book, or it could be a story that has been told to you by a parent, a relative, a friend or someone else. Write (or tell) your own version of the story and what it means to you and what lessons might be learned by others. (2 to 3 pages or verbal / media presentation)

(adapt to suit your learners’ level)
Hand out lyrics and journal page from the Being Human: The Songs journal (pages 34-35) and follow along with the lyrics as the class listens to “Gifted”.

Take some time as a whole group in circle to share lines, insights, questions or reactions to the song and/or lyrics.

Together, read the songwriter’s comments, and then take a few minutes to journal in response to the guiding questions in the journal:
Theme: Thankfulness
1. What am I most thankful for?
2. How often am I mindful of this?
3. Are there things or people that I have failed to see the gift in?
4. Is it possible I’ve overlooked gifts that felt like problems or annoyances?

Come back together as a whole group to invite sharing around the idea of “Thankfulness” from their journaling time.

Explore through journaling, an experience that YOU have had that brought you a new understanding or lesson about how to live life in a better way. Develop the “story” of that experience into
• A song
• A poem
• A story
• A drawing
• A media presentation
• An essay
• Or whatever form works best for you!

Schedule several days for presentations of these projects, and conversations about the important themes, lessons and virtues that are identified.

(adapt to suit your learners’ level)
Featured SourcesFeatured SourcesFeatured Sources
“The Seven Teachings” with Alex Decoteau:
“Seven Grandfather Teachings” from Malory Graham:
“Our 7 Teachings” with Dave Courchene:
Seven Teachings Mural:
Virtues from Multiple Cultural Backgrounds table and discussion questions:
“The Lakota Way” by Joseph Marshall III:
“The Story of the Giants” as read by Joseph Marshall III: 
“Grandmother’s Stories” with Gladys Hawk:
“Gifted” A Song by Scott Simpson:
“Being Human: The Songs” Journal & Lyric Book by Scott Simpson:
Full Playlist for “Being Human: The Songs”:
SUMMATIVE PERFORMANCE TASK: Supported Claim (written/spoken) or Demonstration of Process (project-based)Develop a personal “triad” of important personal virtues for yourself. One should come from a traditional Indigenous teaching or virtue that you connected with, one should come from a story that you have read or which has been told to you, and one should be one you have developed for yourself from your own experiences. Develop an essay (or speech, art project, music composition, etc.) that shows how these three important traits can work together to support growth into becoming a better human being.
SUMMATIVE PERFORMANCE TASK: ExtensionPresent these final projects to the school or community.
Taking Informed Action / Real World ApplicationDevelop a set of shared classroom virtues/values/teachings (from the various projects of students in the classroom) to refer back to for the rest of the school year. Have a plan for how to make sure everyone is periodically reminded of them, and how each person might be able to reflect on how he or she is progressing with putting them into action.

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