Talking Circles and Oral Tradition

Talking Circles and Oral Tradition
Outcome: I3. Mi’kmaq Studies 10: Our Stories
• Students will be expected to demonstrate an understanding of the role of storytelling in
First Nations cultures and an openness to listen to the voices of First Nations peoples as
they speak of the Mi’kmaq experience.
Handout – Oral Tradition
Blank paper 11*17
Handout – Talking Circles
Article Organizer
Tell students Mi’Kmaw was an oral language. Ask – what does this mean? Use this to
spawn some discussion.
After the discussion inform them that one of the consequences of this is that stories are
passed down from generation to generation. As well, there are important messages that
need to be communicated. Part of this communication is the style in which it is done. A
main tool for communication was the talking circle. Ask students if they have ever heard
of the talking circle. Ask students for their meaning of the circle. Tell them that we will
refine this definition through out this lesson.
Give students “The Talking Circle” article and review with the class. Once read break
students into groups of 4. Call their attention to the guidelines for conduct in a talking
circle. Give each group a large piece of paper and ask them to create a poster/visual that
uses the guidelines. I will post these so collect at the end of the activity.
Tell students that once they had the tools for communication they were able to
communicate meaningful messages. These were passed down through the generations by
story tellers. The passing of messages through generations through the use of talking is
called oral tradition.
Give students the oral tradition articles and organizers. Have them read the article and
complete the organizers.
If time have students complete and pass in the formative assessments. If there is not
enough time students will need to complete them at home and bring them next class.