The People Of The Longhouse Storyline®

One of the "frieze's" from the Storyline. A frieze from People of the Longhouse. M. Greene

 

An image of the cover of the People Of The Longhouse Storyline Resource Book

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Introduction: It is our privilege to present The People of the Longhouse, an historical Storyline, to you. For several years we have attempted to share Native American culture with our students through Storyline, yet we have been in search of a unifying narrative. We believe the story of the People of the Longhouse, usually known as the Iroquois League, deserves a wider audience. This topic goes back in time to the founding of the confederacy of the Haudenosaunee, or the Five Nations. The current confederacy of the People of the Longhouse is known as the Six Nations, the Tuscarora Nation joining the confederacy in 1715. The topic was originally written for five classrooms, but we have offered suggestions for adapting the study to one classroom. In this Storyline students begin with the story of how the land and living things came to be as explained in the story of Skywoman. Students are grouped into clans and longhouses and take on a role in their family. They live through the cycle of seasons, learn the way of life and celebrations for their nation. When spring arrives, so do squabbles among the neighboring nations. In the summer, a new way of life, the Great Peace, is introduced by the Great Peace Maker and Hiawatha. The nations eventually agree and join together to become The People of the Longhouse, five Nations united by a common government. Prior to beginning this topic we recommend you read 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann. Mann’s extensive research paints a much richer, vibrant, and densely-populated North and South America than most of us ever imagined, let alone were taught. We hope this topic can help correct this oversight. In his book Mann convincingly dates the Haudenosaunee League to August 31, 1142, the last observable total solar eclipse visible in upper New York state prior to 1600. Only Iceland’s Althing founded in 930 A.D. predates this representative government. Therefore, the Haudenosaunee are the second oldest continuously existing representative government on the planet. Research also shows that Haudenosaunee influenced the foundation of the United States government. There are many books, websites and activities related to the Iroquois Nations. We trust that you will do your own exploring and find many supplemental materials to bring added depth to your class’ journey. Some resources, unfortunately, represent masks made by the Iroquois. It is disrespectful to show or reproduce these images commonly known as False Faces. This also applies to other masks such as those made from corn husks. It is also disrespectful to speak or represent the Peace Maker’s name. This topic came together with the help and support of many people. We wish to thank the second and third grade teachers at Highland School for their wonderful efforts to represent each of the Five Nations. We are grateful to the staff of the Iroquois Museum in Howes Cave, New York for their expertise. We are also indebted to the many American Indian nations who have influenced our learning, especially the Haudenosaunee. Furthermore, I, J.J., am thankful for my Shoshone and Cherokee ancestry, which provided much inspiration for the topic. We hope this Storyline will help build bridges of understanding and peace. J.J. Howard & Colleen Vallerga “Now we turn our thoughts to the creator, or Great Spirit, and send greetings and thanks for all the gifts of Creation. Everything we need to live a good life is here on this Mother Earth. For all the love that is still around us, we gather our minds together as one and send our choicest words of greetings and thanks to the Creator.” – Iroquois Thanksgiving Address “If England is to become a great nation, she must go to school with the Iroquois.” – Sir William Johnson, 1765

Overview: The people of the longhouse are members of the Haudenosaunee League (also know as Iroqouis). Their league has been dated back to the year 1142. The Haudenosaunee are the second oldest, continuously existing, representative government on the planet. Research shows that Haudenosaunee influenced the foundation of the United States government. The People of the Longhouse Storyline is an historical study of this Native American nation. In the Storyline, students begin with the story of how the land and living things came to be as explained in the story of Skywoman. Students are grouped into clans and longhouses and take on a role in their family. They live through the cycle of seasons, learn the way of life and celebrations for their nation. When spring arrives, so do squabbles among the neighboring nations. In the summer, a new way of life, the Great Peace, is introduced by the Great Peace Maker and Hiawatha. The nations eventually agree and join together to become The People of the Longhouse, five Nations united by a common government. The topic was originally written for five classrooms, but directions are included for adapting the study to one classroom.

Another frieze from the storyline. A frieze from People of the Longhouse.

 

Longhouse characters Longhouse characters

 

Table of Contents

People of the Longhouse: Storyline Outline

The Storyline

The Hook

Episode One: The Place

Episode Two: The People

Episode Three: Power Structure

Episode Four: Incidents

Episode Five: Yearly Rhythms

Episode Six: Harvest Moon

Episode Seven: Mid-Winter Moon

Episode Eight: Planting Moon

Episode Nine: Moon of Green Corn

Episode Ten: The Great Peace

Episode Eleven: Reflection

Appendix One: Curriculum

Appendix Two: Storyline Calendar

Appendix Three:

Sky Woman Sky Woman
  • Loop Lessons for Legend Study
  • Week One: Legend Elements
  • Week Two: Iroquois Legends
  • Weeks Three and Four: Legend Study #1
  • Weeks Five and Six: Legend Study #2
  • Week Seven: Legend Writing
  • Legend Element Template
  • Four Square Template
  • Sample Criteria
  • Sample Legends
  • Weeks Eight and Nine: Tribal Studies
  • Tribal Study Worksheets

Appendix Four:

  • Writing
  • Plant and Animal Research
  • Seasonal Rhythms

Appendix Five: Setting Visuals

Appendix Six:

  • Character Visuals/Biographies
  • Character Visuals
  • Fireside Family Biography
  • Homework: Iroquois Name
a longhouse a longhouse

Appendix Seven:

  • Turtle Calendar/Moon Phases
  • Turtle Calendar
  • Moon Phases

Appendix Eight:

  • Iroquois Resources
  • The Circle of Peace Visual
  • Iroquois Prayer for Thanksgiving
  • Haudenosaunee Policy

Appendix Nine:

  • The Great Peace
  • Sample Outline: Journey to Chief Atatarho
  • Sample Outline: The Great Peace Ceremony

Appendix Ten: Books/CDs/Websites

Appendix Eleven: Post Test

Total Number of Pages:  145

Student's used sticks to create protection fences.

Curriculum Focus

Common Core Standards are identified in each episode.

Social Sciences Geography:

  • maps
  • physical features of the land
  • physical environment
  • human life

History:

  • calendar and time sequences
  • Native American way of life

Civics & Government:

  • community rights
  • community participation
  • responsibilities

Economics/Social Science:

  • problem solving
  • contrasting view points
  • effects on people and other living things
  • responses and opinions

Longhouse Character

Science/Life Science:

  • comparing/contrasting plants and animals and the environments where they live
  • habitat/animal interdependence
  • living and nonliving resources
  • adaptations
  • life cycles of plants and animals

Earth Science:

  • seasonal weather patterns
  • sun and moon patterns of movement

Language Arts:

  • literature connection and response
  • poetry
  • fiction
  • nonfiction
  • drama
  • listening/comprehension
  • discussion
  • summarizing

Writing:

  • writing process
  • paragraphing
  • descriptive writing
  • narrative writing

Speaking and Listening: retell

Art: social, historical and cultural characteristics in a work of art

Engineering Design 

Clay characters from the storyline. Characters from People of the Longhouse. M. Greene

 

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