Chapter 5 Lesson 1" Each Word Has a Story of its Own: Story Arcs and Story Cycles

“Uinigumasuittuq/She Who Never Wants to Get Married” (1999), Alexina Kublu (Inuit, 1954– )
“Summit with Sedna, the Mother of Sea Beasts” (1993), Alootook Ipellie (Inuit, 1951–2007)
“Beaded Soles” (1997, 2004), Susan Power (Standing Rock Sioux, 1961– )
“The Devil” (1921), Zitkala-Sa (Gertrude Bonnin), (Sioux, 1876–1938)
“Coyote and the People Killer” (2004), Tania Willard (Secwepemc, 1976– )
“Language and Literature from a Pueblo Indian Perspective” (1981, 1996), Leslie Marmon Silko (Laguna Pueblo, 1948– )

The Context

The discovery in this chapter is the understanding that every person, animal, tree, word, etc., has a story. Everything has a story and every story is connected to another in some way. This chapter allows the reader to look at an Indigenous story cycle and see how its stories are similar to, different from, and connected to stories they have heard in their own lives.
Definition of story cycle:
A group of linked narratives can create an effect you can’t get from a novel or from one story alone. It’s like a series of snapshots taken over time. Part of the pleasure is turning to them again and again. The interest lies in what has happened in the interstices. —Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Chabon on the pleasure of linked narratives (

Learning Goals:
• To see how though we are all unique individuals in the class, our stories are similar and connect to one another



Assessment Focus


Have students sit in circle and ask them to journal the following questions (30 minutes):
a) What was your childhood like? 
b) Talk about an amazing experience in high school.
c) Talk about a challenging experience in high school.
d) Is there someone you would consider a mentor at school? Why? Why not?

Ability to use different writing forms to produce work (Writing–NBE3U)
Demonstrate an understanding of relationships examined in this course through classroom discussions (Relationships–NBE3U)


Students will then sit in groups of three and share as much from their answers to the questions as they would like.
Each member will speak for seven minutes at a time and the other two people in the group will actively listen to the speakers responses without responding.

O.C.: Ability to select and use the most appropriate active listening strategies when participating in a range of situations (ENG3U)


Regroup as a class and discuss the following questions:
a) What were some of the running themes throughout the responses?
b) What were the similarities?
c) Any other thoughts?

O.C.: Ability to identify the important information and ideas in oral texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, in a variety of ways


Students will review what a story arc is using the information from this link: -definition-examples.html


Teacher Reflection

Teacher will journal on the questions that were asked of the students at the beginning of the class.