ERIC Number: ED185572
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Coyote in the Classroom: The Use of American Indian Oral Tradition with Young Children.
Stories from oral tradition such as legends, myths, and fairy tales may more fully describe reality than any newscast for young children. As Bruno Bettelheim points out, stories meet the psychological need of all human children. The Yakima Indian legend "When Mosquitos Ate People" can be used in a flannel board story telling setting with young children. In the story the mosquito man is a giant whom children may see as representing adults and the coyote is small, but his cunning allows him to defeat the monster. This legend touches the child's perception of himself or herself and the relationship of the child to the world. Many stories, such as this one, deal with seeing through the eyes of different animals, altering a listener's perception and serving to round out one's personality. By placing the story in an earlier time, the problem of confusing the actions taking place in the legend with reality is removed. Traditionally the manner of story telling deals with instilling certain cultural values and concepts. American Indian stories are told in a cycle or when the time is appropriate, and constantly referred to illustrate points that the child should remember to modify his or her behavior. Indian story collections that may be used in the classroom include the "NW Indian Readers Series,""Grandfather Stories of the Navahos,""Son of Raven, Son of Deer," and "Wo Ya-Ka-Pi." (MKM)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (Atlanta, GA, November 8-11, 1979).