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Curriculum Details for
Circle of Stories

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Resource Description
Staff, Planning,
and Costs
Standards, Research, and Evaluation

Circle of Stories

A multimedia collection of documentary film, photography, artwork, and music, the Circle of Stories website celebrates Native American storytelling. Visitors can listen to four Native Americans tell their stories, explore current issues facing native cultures, view maps and photo galleries that reveal Native American heritage and influence, as well as share their own stories and feedback. In addition, the website features three interdisciplinary lesson plans designed for educators who work with teens.

Housed at PBS, Circle of Stories is an Electric Shadows project created and produced by Philomath Films, co-produced by The Cultural Conservancy, presented by ITVS Interactive, and designed and developed by Second Story Studios.

Content Focus:
Multicultural Understanding, Language Arts, Social Studies

Linkages to:
Art/Drama/Music, Science, Geography

Grades/Ages: Grades 6–12

Costs: Free
The costs shown were accurate at the time of the review. Please check the publisher's web site for current prices.

Publication Date: 2002-04

Developer Contact Information
Created and produced by Philomath Films. Website hosted by Public Broadcasting Service
2100 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202 ries

Design Overview

Circle of Stories inspires users to explore Native American culture through stories, maps, art, and other media. By offering a number of different entry points and ways to interact with the materials, the website engages one-time visitors and returning users alike. The Storytelling Gallery, Culture Gallery, and Place Names Map showcase people, readings, and media works that reveal aspects of Native American history and culture. For educators interested in facilitating a deeper learning experience on these topics, three featured lessons give step by step instructions for carrying out interdisciplinary projects. These focus on oral history, identity formation, and cultural studies and contexts. A community discussion board and additional resources are also provided.
  • Activity Types: self-directed online learning and/or facilitated hands-on activities, collaboration
  • Materials/technology required: Computer required and LCD projector desirable. Offline activities may require additional materials.
  • Program Length/Duration: Varies - exploring the website can take a single visit or multiple visits over time. Lessons are designed for 4 to 8 one-hour sessions.
  • Site Adoption: Schools, youth programs, families at home

Instructional Approach

Circle of Stories presents Native American history and culture in a variety of media and formats that are engaging for different learning styles. Young people can explore the collection of materials independently or as part of a group activity. If educators choose to implement the lessons, which are standards-based and adaptable, they will have the materials and resources to support collaborative, project-based learning experiences.

Consideration of Special Student Populations

This multimedia collection of Native American stories and artifacts holds broad appeal, but may particularly resonate with and inspire Native American youth.

Online Training for Afterschool Staff
The Afterschool Training Toolkit is available online free of charge.

The following resources can be used with the online Afterschool Training Toolkit to give you the resources you need to build fun, innovative, and academically enriching afterschool activities.