The Earth on Turtle`s Back

The Earth on Turtle’s Back
Onondaga- Northeast Woodlands
Retold by Michael J. Caduto and
Joseph Bruchac
About the Selection
• This myth from the Onondaga people
relates a story about the creation of the
world. In this version, the Earth forms
as an offshoot of a celestial place called
Literary Analysis
• The origin myth can be seen as a
mixture of science and religion – they
explain how the world and the things in
it came to be.
• Read the first sentence. How do the
opening words of this story identify it as
an origin myth?
Reading Strategy: Recognizing
Cultural Details
• We will read the second and third
paragaphs aloud.
• Identify the cultural details or topics
that appear in this passage.
• Note the references to marriage,
childbirth, respect for age, and the role
of dreams.
Reading Strategy Questions
• What do the Chief’s words to his wife
tell you about the beliefs of the
• What does the Skyland Chief’s wife
• In Oral Literature, why might characters
have generic names like “Loon” or
Critical Reading
• In your Reading section of your
notebook, respond to the Critical
Reading Questions #1-5 on page 20.