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TEACHING SUGGESTIONS

In this section we provide ideas and suggestions for educators looking to deploy First Voices content in the classroom.

We're constantly adding to (and trying to improve) this page as we build more and more experience of what works with different age-groups and different demographics. If you're an educator using—or considering—First Voices we'd love to hear from you with any questions or suggestions. Don't hesitate to get in touch at info@threshdance.org. Don't be shy!

Integrating First Voices into your teaching

First Voices digital stories and their educational resources can be integrated into many subjects across educational settings. Possible subjects include: Native American studies, ELA, writing, history, social studies, theater movement/dance, music, visual art, and filmmaking.

 

First Voices digital Indigenous stories are created to be viewed by both Native and non-Native audiences to increase understanding of contemporary Native American cultures. They also convey the central role of storytelling to cultures and identity. 

Using First Voices stories in the classroom

First Voices digital stories have been selected by tribal knowledge-keepers and are created in partnership with the tribe to ensure that the story is appropriate for use in a classroom setting, and is presented in an accurate and  respectful way.

Teaching strategies anchor

What is Inquiry-Based Learning?

A lesson can—and should—be taught in many different ways, depending on your students and all other factors.

One strategy in particular that can work very effectively with First Voices content is inquiry based discussion, influenced by Visual Thinking Strategies. In the video below, First Voices Head of Education Mary Serbe walks through this strategy for discussing stories with your students and based on what they see and hear, through their unique perspectives.

Note: Each First Voices lesson can be taught in many different ways, and adapted for other grade levels. Please reach out to us at info@threshdance.org if you need assistance in assuring that the lesson is developmentally appropriate for your learners. 

Troubleshooting anchor

Technical Troubleshooting

A First Voices lesson involves a little bit of technology, but nothing too intimidating! We are in the process of preparing some videos to help with some of the technical aspects that you might have difficulty with (equipment, projection etc.).


In the meantime, we invite you to contact us on info@threshdance.org with any problems and we’ll do your best to get back to you and get you up and running! We’re keen for you to find the technical side of setting a First Voices class up as painless as possible, so that you can get on with what you do best—connecting with and inspiring your students!

How can First Voices help with Indigenous language learning?

First Voices stories are told by tribal Knowledge-Keepers in the original language. There are two tools to help students follow along:

 

  • Captions (Nakóda)—these provide a transcription of the text as it's being spoken

  • Subtitles (English)—these provide an English translation of the Nakóda narrative

 

Videos are hosted on the Vimeo platform. If you’re watching or presenting the story you can toggle between these two languages by using Vimeo’s “CC” feature (indicated by the arrow on the image below).

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The video below provides more detail on how to use the subtitles, and introduces some "prototype" language tools that we aim to have available shortly. If you'd like to talk further about the language aspect of the First Voices project, please get in touch at info@threshdance.org.

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