Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup
American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
Home About Unit Index Archive Book Club Site Search
1. Native Voices   

1. Native Voices

•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
•  Timeline
•  Activities
- Overview Questions
- Video
- Author
- Context
- Creative Response
- PBL Projects

Activities: Author Activities

Chippewa Songs - Teaching Tips

Back Back to Chippewa Songs Activities
  • Play your students some of the music from the Chippewa songs in the archive. What is the tone of the music? How does it compare to the tone of the Chippewa songs in The Norton Anthology of American Literature? Using Densmore's categories as a starting point, have students create their own categories for the types of music.

  • Early musicologist Frances Densmore has this to say about the thirty love songs she recorded: "Only one was inspired by happiness. All these songs were comparatively modern. Too frequently the words contained the information that the singer intended to drown disappointment in liquor. On moonlight nights one hears wailing songs of this kind issuing from the barred windows of the agency guardhouse. Let us hope that future students of Indian music will pass them by. Weird they are, and melodious they may be, but representative of true Indian character they assuredly are not." Ask students to refute Densmore's claim. Upon what assumptions is it based? What does she mean by "true Indian character"? Why does she think that these songs would be less worth collecting?

Slideshow Tool
This tool builds multimedia presentations for classrooms or assignments. Go

An online collection of 3000 artifacts for classroom use. Go

Download PDF
Download the Instructor Guide PDF for this Unit. Go


© Annenberg Foundation 2017. All rights reserved. Legal Policy