The Curriculum of the Steiner School - Class 2

Notes and Lesson Plans

Native American Legends
updated August 19, 2023

Recorded here is my own personal collection of articles, resources, favorite links, teaching ideas, and lesson plans. It encompasses many years, from the very beginning of my experience studying and learning about Waldorf to the present time. People from all around the world visit my site and recommend it to others. Welcome!

This site records my journey. I hope my honesty is encouraging and helps break down some barriers that may prevent people from trying Waldorf methods. Because this is an ongoing site documenting my curriculum planning and ideas, some materials are more Waldorf-y than others. Please feel free to take what you like and leave the rest.

This page has helpful links and LOADS of free resources to help you plan your second grade year. Enjoy!

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Native American Legends
for Class 2

Waldorf Main Lesson Block Planning: Native American Legends

Join a community of fellow homeschoolers planning this exact same main lesson block for plenty of help and support. This course is aimed at homeschoolers who are already familiar with the Waldorf method, but would appreciate extra feedback and encouragement in planning this block.

Make friends and ask specfic questions of an experienced Waldorf homeschool teacher and consultant as you work through this inspiring, do-able, step by step course. Lifetime access. Just $30.00!

Native American Legends can be part of a Waldorf curriculum in several years, and you may sometimes find yourself wondering what block to put them in or at what age to do them.

I've seen a Native American Legends block in second grade as a part of world folktales (Live Ed does this), in third grade to go along with Housebuilding, in fourth grade as part of Local History & Geography, and in fifth grade as part of U.S. Geography (states, territories, tribal lands).

Generally, I prefer to tie in Native American Legends with third grade Housebuilding and a look at Biomes, but have done them as a stand-alone Cultural block several times (in 2016 and 2020).

FREE eBooks at the Online Waldorf Library
Excellent resource! Published Waldorf curriculum books provided here in PDF format for you to download, keep, and read... for free!

Sample Lessons and Free Curriculum

Other Helpful Links

Books to Buy

There are SO many resources for the Native American Legends block! So don't buy anything!

The best thing to do is to go to your local public library. Check in the Dewey Decimal System in 398.2 (398 is Folklore; 398.2 is Legends/Myths).

It would also be wonderful to find a local Native storyteller, if possible. Below I have listed the books I chose to use. Feel free to use the ones that speak to you. Email me to share your suggestions!

* NEW* Introducing Form Drawing with Native American Legends blog post

I first did this main lesson block in December 2016. Although it is tempting to do beautifully illustrated books which feature Native American characters like The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble or Cloud Eyes by Kathryn Lasky, I wanted actual Legends. Our list of stories was:

Native American Legends

My blog posts from teaching this topic for the first time in December 2016:

My blog posts from teaching this topic as a main lesson block in May 2020:

And my 8 blog posts from doing this block one-on-one with a tutoring client in June 2020:

If you bring in a conversation about Shelters you can use it as a bridge to third grade; you can also have a focus on Biomes and North American Geography if you are teaching a fifth grader as well.

Additional resources I recommend (remember that you can go more deeply into this in later years)

Series of Legends:

the series of Native American Legends retold by Terri Cohlene & Gloria Dominic

the Keepers series by Michael J. Caduto and Joseph Bruchac
(these books are an absolutely fantastic value because they contain a full curriculum on each topic -- such as Botany -- plus each section of activities opens with 1 or 2 Native American Legends)

Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children

    "The Coming of Gluscabi" (Abenaki - Northeast Woodland)

    "The Earth on Turtle's Back" (Onondaga - Northeast Woodland)

    "Four Worlds: The Dine Story of Creation" (Dine - Southwest)

    "Loo-Wit, The Fire-Keeper" (Nisqually - Pacific Northwest)

    "How Grandmother Spider Stole the Sun" (Muskogee - Oklahoma)

    "Tunka-Shila, Grandfather Rock" (Lakota - Great Plains)

    "Old Man Coyote and the Rock" (Pawnee - Great Plains)

    "Gluscabi and the Wind Eagle" (Abenaki - Northeast Woodlands)

    "The Hero Twins and the Swallower of Clouds" (Zuni - Southwest)

    "Koluscap and the Water Monster" (MicMac and Maliseet - Nova Scotia)

    "How Thunder and Earthquake Made Ocean" (Yurok - California)

    "Sedna, The Woman Under the Sea" (Inuit - Arctic Regions)

    "How Raven Made the Tides" (Tsimshian - Pacific Northwest)

    "How Coyote Was the Moon" (Kalispel - Idaho)

    "How Fisher Went to the Skyland" (Anishinabe - Great Lakes Region)

    "Spring Defeats Winter" (Seneca - Northeast Woodland)

    "The Coming of Corn" (Cherokee - North Carolina)

    "Manabozho and the Maple Trees" (Anishinabe - Great Lakes Region)

    "Kokopilau, The Hump-Backed Flute Player" (Hopi - Southwest)

    "How Turtle Flew South for the Winter" (Dakota - Midwest)

    "Gluscabi and the Game Animals" (Abenaki - Northeast Woodland)

    "Awi Usdi, The Little Deer" (Cherokee - North Carolina)

    "The Origin of Death" (Siksika - Montana)

    "The White Buffalo Calf Woman and the Sacred Pipe" (Lakota - Great Plains)

Keepers of the Night: Native American Stories and Nocturnal Activities for Children

    "The Birth of Light" (Yuchi - Southeast)

    "How the Bat Came to Be" (Anishinabe - Eastern Woodland)

    "Moth, The Fire Dancer" (Paiute - Great Basin)

    "Oot-Kwah-Tah, The Seven Star Dancers" (Onondaga - Eastern Woodland)

    "The Creation of the Moon" (Dine - Southwest)

    "Chipmunk and the Owl Sisters" (Okanagan - Plateau)

    "The Great Lacrosse Game" (Menominee - Eastern Woodland)

    "How Grizzly Bear Climbed the Mountain" (Shoshone - Great Basin)

Keepers of the Animals: Native American Stories and Wildlife Activities for Children

    "Silver Fox and Coyote Create Earth" (Miwok - West Coast)

    "How the People Hunted the Moose" (Cree - Subarctic)

    "How Grandmother Spider Named the Clans" (Hopi - Southwest)

    "How the Spider Symbol Came to the People" (Osage - Plains)

    "The Rabbit Dance" (Mohawk - Eastern Woodland)

    "The Deer Dance" (Yaqui - Southwest)

    "Eagle Boy" (Zuni - Southwest)

    "Turtle Races with Beaver" (Seneca - Eastern Woodland)

    "Octopus and Raven" (Nootka - Pacific Northwest)

    "How the Butterflies Came to Be" (Papago - Southwest)

    "Salmon Boy" (Haida - Pacific Northwest)

    "The Woman Who Married a Frog" (Tlingit - Pacific Northwest)

    "How Poison Came Into the World" (Choctaw - Southeast)

    "The Boy and the Rattlesnake" (Apache - Southwest)

    "The First Flute" (Lakota - Plains)

    "Manabozho and the Woodpecker" (Anishinabe - Eastern Woodland)

    "Why Coyote Has Yellow Eyes" (Hopi - Southwest)

    "The Dogs Who Saved Their Master" (Seneca - Eastern Woodland)

    "Why Possum Has a Naked Tail" (Cherokee - Southeast)

    "How the Fawn Got Its Spots" (Dakota - Plains)

    "The Alligator and the Hunter" (Cherokee - Southeast)

    "The Gift of the Whale" (Inuit-Inupiaq - Arctic)

    "The Passing of the Buffalo" (Kiowa - Plains)

Keepers of Life: Discovering Plants Through Native American Stories and Earth Activities for Children

    "The Corn Spirit" (Tuscarora - Eastern Woodland)

    "The Sky Tree" (Huron - Eastern Woodlands)

    "How Kishelemukong Made the People and the Seasons (Lenape - Eastern Woodland)

    "The Thanks to the Trees" (Seneca - Eastern Woodland)

    "The Circle of Life and the Clambake" (Wampanoag - Eastern Woodland)

    "Fallen Star's Ears" (Cheyenne - Plains)

    "Koluskap and Malsom" (Passamaquoddy - Eastern Woodland)

    "Why Some Trees Are Always Green" (Cherokee - Southeast)

    "The Bitterroot" (Salish - Plateau)

    "Indian Summer" (Penobscot - Eastern Woodland)

    "The First Basket" (Mandan - Plains)

    "Blue Dawn" (Isleta Pueblo - Southwest)

    "The Woman Who Lives in the Earth" (Chugach Inuit - Arctic)

    "Waw Giwulk: The Center of the Basket" (O'odham - Southwest)

    "How Fox Brought the Forests from the Sky" (Snoqualmie - Pacific Northwest)

    "The People of Maize" (Lacandon Maya - Middle America)

    "Waynabozho and the Wild Rice" (Anishinabe - Eastern Woodland)

    "The Buffalo Bull and the Cedar Tree" (Osage - Plains)

There are five legends in Native American Gardening: Stories, Projects, and Recipes for Families.

    "Onenha, The Corn" (Tuscarora - Northeast)

    "The Grasshopper's Song" (Zuni - Southwest)

    "The Farmer Who Wanted to Be a Jaguar" (Lacandon Maya - Middle America)

    "The Bean Woman" (Tutelo - Southeast)

    "Sharing the Corn" (Arikara - Plains)

    "Pueblo Corn Grinding Song"

Individual Stories & Collections

In Collections of Poetry

in Talking Like the Rain: A Read-to-me Book of Poems selected by X.J. and Dorothy Kennedy

    "Butterfly Song"
    Acoma, translated by Frances Densmore

in Favorite Poems Old and New: Selected for Boys and Girls selected by Helen Ferris

    "A Song of Greatness"
    Chippewa, translated by Mary Austin

    "The Locust"
    Zuni, translated by Frank Cushing

    "Little Horned Toad"
    "Little Puppy"
    "Burro with the Long Ears"
    Navajo, translated by Hilda Faunce Wetherill

    "The Grass on the Mountain"
    Paiute, translated by Mary Austin

in Poetry Speaks to Children (Book & CD) edited by Elise Paschen

    "Magic Words"
    Inuit, translated by Edward Field

    "I Rise, I Rise"
    Osage, translator unknown

in Eric Carle's Animals Animals edited by Laura Whipple

    "The Bear Stands"
    Pawnee, translator unknown

    "The Eagle"
    Papago, translator unknown

in A Child's Book of Blessings compiled by Sabrina Dearborn

    "Fire Blessing"
    Pawnee, translator unknown

    "Blessings from the Stars"
    Passamaquoddy, translator unknown

in In Every Tiny Grain of Sand: A Child's Book of Prayers and Praise edited by Reeve Lindbergh

    "I am Like a Bear"
    Pawnee, translator unknown

    "May the Sun Rise Well"
    Teton Sioux, translator unknown

    "May It Be Delightful My House"
    Navajo, translator unknown

    "The Lands Around My Dwelling"
    Inuit, translator unknown

    "Prayer to the Mountain Spirit"
    Navajo, translator unknown

    "Everything the Power of the World Does is Done in a Circle"
    Black Elk, translator unknown

    "Downy White Feathers"
    Papago, translator unknown

    "The Sun Is Slowly Departing"
    Papago, translator unknown

    "In the Great Night My Heart Will Go Out"
    Papago, translator unknown

    "We Are the Stars Which Sing"
    Passamaquoddy, translator unknown

Native American Cultural Information

    Indian Life in Pre-Columbian North America Coloring Book

    by John Green

      Northeast Asian hunters enter North America, about 12,000 B.C.

      Paleoindians attacking a trapped mammoth, about 9500 B.C.

      Later Paleoindians driving bison off a cliff, about 8000 B.C.

      Gathering berries and shellfish, about 5000 B.C.

      Men using stone tools to cold-hammer copper implements, about 3000 B.C.

      Primitive village scene in the Late Archaic

      The concentric embankments and mounds at Poverty Point, Louisiana, 1200 B.C.

      The Great Serpent Mound in Ohio, about 400 A.D.
      (an oil painting of this mound is shown in Between Earth & Sky)

      A Hopewell village with craftsmen at work

      The major mounds at Cahokia, Illinois, about 1250 A.D.

      A village scene in the Mississippian period

      Artistic products of the Norton culture, Alaska, about 500 A.D.

      Inuit hunters with kayak and dogsleds; the Thule tradition

      The ball court at Snaketown, Arizona, about 1100 A.D.

      Mogollon pithouse village in New Mexico, about 500 A.D.

      Early Anasazi pit dwellings in Colorado, about 600 A.D.

      Transitional Anasazi above-ground dwellings, about 800 A.D.

      Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon, northwestern New Mexico, about 1100 A.D.

      Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, about 1250 A.D.

      Deer hunters, Florida, 1560s

      Ceremonies before going on the warpath, Florida, 1560s

      Panning for gold, Appalachians, 1560s

      Choctaw "lacrosse" game

      Green Corn Rite of the Creek

      Natchez royal funeral

      North Carolina village, 1585

      River camp of Northeastern Algonquians

      Inside an Iroquois longhouse

      Iroquois False Face ceremony

      Huron dance to cure sickness, 1620

      The Great Lakes area: harvesting wild rice

      The Great Lakes area: a Midewiwin Society rite

      The Southern Plains: a Comanche tepee village in Texas

      The Central Plains: outdoor occupations in a village

      The Northern Plains: the Okipa ceremony of the Mandan

      The Great Basin: a Paiute encampment

      The Southwest: Hopi Snake Ceremonial

      The Southwest: scene in a kiva

      California: Chumash village scene

      Northwest Coast village scene

      The Northwest Coast: a potlatch feast

      The Subarctic: Kutchin hunters in winter

    Indian Tribes of North America Coloring Book

    by Peter Copeland

      Algonkian-speaking Indians of North Carolina in 1590

      Timucua Indians of 1591

      New England Indians of 1665

      Mohawk warriors of 1710

      Iroquois warrior of 1787

      Seneca Indians of 1800

      Seminole Indians of 1825

      Cherokees at the time of the "Trail of Tears"

      Choctaw women boiling hominy

      A Creek brave of 1834

      Athabaskan hunters of the far North in 1846

      Northern Algonkin village scene

      A Huron encampment in 1845

      Sauk and Fox warriors of 1834

      Osage Indians of 1804

      Ottawa and Chippewa warriors of 1800

      An Iowa chief and woman of 1844

      A Kansa brave of 1840

      Pawnee tribal leaders of 1865

      Indian warfare on the Great Plains

      Hidatsa Dog Soldier and Assiniboin warrior of 1830

      Cheyenne women at work

      A travois of the Northern Plains Indians

      A Comanche warrior of 1855

      Crow horsemen of 1845

      Apache hunters of 1840

      Paiute Indians of Arizona in 1855

      Navajo Indians in 1840

      Mohave Indians of 1860

      A Hopi pueblo

      Hupa Indians of Northern California

      Big Head dancers

      A chief of the southern Utes, 1867

      Nez Perce Indians, 1885

      Naskapi hunter of 1805

      Flathead Indians of 1850

      Salish bowmen

      Chilkat dancers

    North American Indian Dances and Rituals

    by Peter Copeland

      Iroquois shuffle dance

      Delaware skin dance, 1992

      Mountain sprit dancers

      Rio Grande Pueblo deer dancer

      Tewa Pueblo basket dance

      "The Song for Dead Warriors"

      Iroquois great feather dance

      Tesuque eagle dancers of the Rio Grande Pueblo

      Yaqui deer dancer

      Pueblo hoop dancer

      Rio Grande Pueblo buffalo dance

      Rio Grande Pueblo buffalo dancer and antelope dancer

      Rio Grande Pueblo blue corn maiden

      Bearer of the sun symbol, green corn dance

      Zia clown dancers

      Papago Tcirkwena dance, 1925

      Corn dance, Santa Clara Pueblo

      Koshare rainbow dancers of the Rio Grande Pueblo

      Penobscot trading dance, 1912

      Menominee war dance, 1829

      Hopi snake dance, 1898

      The ghost dance

      Cheyenne Dog Soldiers' dance

      Traditional Haida dance, 1989

      Assiniboins dressed for a dance, 1870

      Osage victory dance, 1868

      Algonquian shaman making medicine, 1749

      Iroquois medicine men

      Sauk and Fox war dance, 1808

      Hopi antelope priest and snake dance priest

      Ivory charm of the Haida people

      Chilkat dancers in old dancing costumes

      Inuit seal hunt dance

      Mandan medicine man

      Black ogre Kachina dancer

      War medicine shield

      Algonquian feast dance, 1585

      Thirteenth-century wooden mask
      (a full-color photograph of this artifact is shown in Journey to Cahokia)

    Indian Dancers Coloring Book

    by O.T. Branson

      Eagle Dancer - Pueblo Indian

      Hoop Dancer, Buffalo Dancer - Jemez Pueblo

      Deer Dancer - San Juan Pueblo

      Shalako Dancer - Zuni

      Manawichu Dancer - Papago Indian

      Night Ceremony Dancer - Pima Indian

      Chapayeka Dancer, Deer Dancer, Pascola Dancer - Yaqui Indian

      Yei Dancer, Yeibichai Dancer - Navajo

      Crown or Devil Dancer - Apache

      Circle Dancers - Nez Perce

      Sun Dancer - Plains Indians

      War Dancer, Eagle Dancer - Kiowa

      False Face Dance - Iroquois Indians

      War Dancer - Northern Cheyenne

      War Dancer - Paiute Indians

      War Dancer - Sioux

      Blanket Dance, Seal Mask Dance - Eskimo

      False Face Dance - Onondaga Indian

      Hamatsa Cannibal Bird Dance, Homatsa Dancer - Kwakiutl Indian

      Echo Mask Dancer, Medicine Mask Dancer - Salash Indian

      Dog Dancer - Hidatsa

      Quetzale Dancer - Aztec Indians

    Plains Indians Coloring Book

    by David Rickman

    Plains Apache, Cheyenne, Pawnee, Plains Cree, Sioux, Kansa, Mandan, Caddo, Tonkawa, Wichita, Assiniboine, Osage, Blackfoot, Iowa, Hidatsa, Crow, Plains Ojibway, Gros Ventre, Comanche, Arapaho, Kiowa, Omaha, Sioux, Oto-Missouri, Arikara, Blood, Ponca

    Southeast Indians Coloring Bok

    by Peter Copeland

    Woodlands Indians Coloring Book

    by Peter Copeland

    The New England Indians

    by C. Keith Wilbur

    American Indian Food

    by Linda Murray Berzok

    Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

    by Kevin Noble Maillard

    The Popcorn Book

    by Tomie dePaola
    Aztecs, Lucayan, Hu-Chunk (Winnebago), Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy), Algonquins

    Building an Igloo

    text and photographs by Ulli Steltzer

    the Native Dwellings series by Bonnie Shemie

    Journey to Cahokia: A Boy's Visit to the Great Mound City

    historical fiction by Albert Lorenz

    When Clay Sings

    by Byrd Baylor

    When the Shadbush Blooms

    by Carla Messinger

    Meet Naiche: A Native Boy from the Chesapeake Bay Area

    by by Gabrielle Tayac

    Sweetest Kulu

    by Celina Kalluk


    by Jan Bourdeau Waboose


    by Julie Flett

    Wild Berries

    by Julie Flett

    Stolen Words

    by Melanie Florence

    When We Were Alone

    by David A. Robertson

    The Star People: A Lakota Story

    by S.D. Nelson

    Greet the Dawn: The Lakota Way

    by S.D. Nelson

    Buffalo Bird Girl: A Hidatsa Story

    by S.D. Nelson

    A Boy Called Slow

    by Joseph Bruchac

    Bad River Boys: A Meeting of the Lakota Sioux with Lewis and Clark

    by Virginia Driving Haw Sneve

    Tallchief: America's Prima Ballerina

    by Maria Tallchief with Rosemary Wells

    A Kid's Guide to Native American History: More than 50 Activities

    by by Yvonne Wakim Dennis and Arlene Hirschfelder

    Grass Games & Moon Races: California Indian Games and Toys

    by Jeannine Gendar

    We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

    by Traci Sorell

    Jingle Dancer

    by Cynthia Leitich Smith

    short video about Doris Lamar-McLemore, the last speaker of Wichita (Oklahoma)
    born April 16, 1927
    sadly, she passed away on August 30, 2016

    short video about Marie Wilcox, the last fluent speaker of Wukchumni (California)
    born November 24, 1933 and still living
    this is the amazing story of her dictionary project

    short video of Navajo words (Four Corners region)
    numbers, introducing yourself, sample text

    We All Count: A Book of Cree Numbers

    by Julie Flett

    Caribou Song (bilingual in English and Cree)

    by Tomson Highway

    Zoe and the Fawn

    by Catherine Jameson
    Okanagan animal names

    The Apple Tree: A Modern Day Cherokee Story Told in English & Cherokee

    by Sandy Tharp-Thee

    Bowwow Powwow

    by Brenda Child

    American Indian Youth Literature Award website

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