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Chief Seattle’s Letter and Ecosystems are the topics in this great lesson
Language Arts, Science, Social Studies
Title – Chief Seattle’s Letter
By – Christine Singley
Subject – Social Studies, Science, Language Arts
Grade Level – 5-6
School: Meigs Magnet
Date: June 2000
Grade Level: 5-6
Duration: one-two class periods
Goals: Analyze the letter from Chief Seattle. How is this message like the information we are learning in the textbook about ecosystems?
Students will make connections between the letter written by Seattle and the content of the textbook regarding ecosystems. They will present these relationships in the form of identification of analogies or metaphors and writing their own to describe the text.
Students analyzing various text to obtain the same information helps them become discerning readers. It is good to show students how different types of written work can teach science concepts.
Useful Internet Resources:
Materials: “Chief Seattle’s Letter”, taken from: Prentice Hall Literature, Copper, 1991. There are various versions of this beautiful speech. I also like Brother Eagle, Sister Sky by Susan Jeffers.
The students have already been reading about the various ecosystems of the world from the textbook. They have read about the way that certain actions can impact the organisms within an ecosystem and upset the delicate balance. What happens in one ecosystem will impact the ecosystems connected to it.
The students are to read Seattle’s speech and identify statements to support how he obviously feels about the nature and the environment. See if students can find parallels to the text.
Step Two- Have students identify analogies used by Chief Seattle. See if students can create their own analogies or metaphors to describe the environment in much the same way as Seattle did.
You may determine how many analogies or metaphors you want the students to identify and create. I usually have students work in small groups to produce a group product. I require the students to find and write at five-ten metaphors.
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