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Literature: "Birchbark House" by Louise Erdrich

These sites are about the book “Birchbark House,” and features a Native American family living on the frontier. The book has been compared to the “Little House” series. The main characters are part of the Ojibwe (also called Chippewa) tribe. Included are a book summary and book talk, and discussion questions. Historical information about the Ojibwe tribe and a brief video on making a birch bark canoe is provided.


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This site contains a brief biography of Louise Erdrich.
This link provides a book summary, book talk, and discussion questions. Ideas for snacks to accompany the book are provided. A list of read-alikes is given for further reading.
Use this link for a summary of "The Birchbark House" and various literacy activities to carry out with students. Additional links provide information on Native American Children's literature.
This discussion guide includes a brief summary of the story, discussions of structure and setting, characterization and events, vocabulary, and project ideas.
This study guide for "The Birchbark House" includes goals, objectives, pre-activities, and activities.
Your students will enjoy reading the illustrated book reviews of "The Birchbark House".
This site provides historical information about a faction of the Ojibwe tribe. A timeline gives highlights of historical events.
Information from the University of Minnesota explains the history and traditions of the Ojibway. While too difficult for young students, it provides good background for educators.
This brief video demonstrates harvesting birch bark for a canoe. A legend is told how the birch tree got black marks on the bark. This is part of a longer video.
EDSITEment's lesson plan over the Ojibwe culture includes links to drawings of clothing, the history of moccasins, information about birchbark, and a first-hand account of traditional sugaring methods. The site is geared for students in grades third through fifth. There is a link to a companion lesson plan, "Not 'Indians,' Many Tribes: Native American Diversity."
Read about kinship and clan relationships among the Ojibwe people
This is a series of pages covering the history of the Ojibwe and other tribes in Wisconsin. Includes information about food, religions, treaty rights, history, and contemporary issues. NOTE: The reading level is too difficult for elementary students but the page has good background information for teachers.
This activity from the Discovery Channel includes directions for making a Native American themed board game modeled after Monopoly. Students are given discussion questions and printable planning sheets to determine what elements of Native American life will be included.

Education Standards


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