Joshuaa Allison Burbank teaching vocabulary

The CRELI staff and scholars use traditional and contemporary stories by Native American authors as the centerpiece to services.  CRELI uses a variety of resources and principles to evaluate the cultural relevance and appropriateness of the story.  Some of these can be found on the Oyate website.  The story establishes themes as the foundation for developing language and literacy curricula or literacy units.  Based on the research of culturally responsive instruction with Native American children, CRELI develops literacy unit themes and activities while mindful of four principles:

  1. Multisensory - activities that utilize and develop all senses to value holistic approaches to teaching and learning
  2. Collaborative - activities that facilitate peer partnerships to value group and community well-being over individualism
  3. Experiential - activities that are meaningful, interesting, and engaging to value everyday activities and way of life
  4. Culturally-linguistically informed - activities that are congruous to the Native American author's themes and language as well as the NA community represented in the story.  Some activities were guided by cultural resources and cultural informants to value relevance, accuracy, and respect. 

The example literacy units below were developed by CRELI student scholars as course and research projects, as well as CRELI field experience responsibilities.  They were modeled off the work of Dr. Betty Bunce and Dr. Mabel Rice's Language-Focused Curriculum (Bunce, 1995; Bunce & Rice, 2008).  These CRELI literacy units are the intellectual property of the literacy unit authors, and should not be replicated, published, or used for commercial or research purposes without the permission of the unit creator.  CRELI encourages educators and clinicians to use and borrow from these units for the sole benefit of children, no matter their cultural affiliation.  If you would like to contact one or more of the literacy unit authors, please contact CRELI staff.  

Literacy units

A boy running on flower field

Berry Magic

A wolf running on dessert

Tribes of the Southwsest

A Native American girl holding a small bag

Muskrat will be Swimming

A Native American lady sitting next to a rock

The Stone Cutter and the Navajo Maiden