Lesson Plan

Cultural Heritage: Recording a Native Language Dictionary

New Review

How do you rebuild a language that has been banned for years? A short video introduces high schoolers to Marie Wilcox, A Wukchumni Native American from Central California who, for over 20 years, worked on comprising a dictionary of the Wukchumni language. Young historians learn not about the policies behind enforced assimilation and language loss but also about the importance of preserving languages and cultural traditions.

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Ask groups to create an infographic that details information about the tribe they researched: the location of the tribal lands, the name of the tribe, and the name of its language, and includes words with translations
  • Present the lesson during November's Native American Heritage Month
Classroom Considerations
  • Requires projection equipment with internet access for the video
  • Class members need devices with internet access for their research
  • Groups watch different films about the attempts of California tribes to revitalize their languages and cultures and report their findings to the class
  • None