Teaching Students About Sitting Bull
Sitting Bull is a historic figure deserving of study and understanding. As an educator, it is essential to impart his role in American history to your students by employing different tools and resources to create a comprehensive learning experience. This article aims to provide guidance and recommendations for teaching students about Sitting Bull.
1. Teaching Background Information
Begin by providing a basic overview of Sitting Bull’s life, including his birth in the early 1830s, his status as a Hunkpapa Lakota leader, and his involvement in the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876. Discuss how he joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and eventually returned to the Standing Rock Reservation, where he was assassinated in 1890.
2. Providing Context: The Indian Wars and American Expansion
Once students have a foundational understanding of Sitting Bull’s life, place it in the larger context of the Indian Wars and American expansion during the 19th century. Discuss treaties made with Native tribes, their subsequent violations, and key events such as the Sand Creek Massacre and Wounded Knee Massacre. By giving students this broader context, they will more fully understand Sitting Bull’s significance.
3. Cultural Understanding: Life Among the Hunkpapa Lakota
Help your students gain a deeper understanding of Sitting Bull by delving into Hunkpapa Lakota culture. Examine their way of life, customs, spirituality, and impact on American history. This not only reinforces Sitting Bull’s importance but also helps students appreciate diverse cultures.
4. Incorporating Multimedia Resources
Take advantage of primary sources such as photographs, drawings, newspaper clippings, and relevant excerpts from historical books that strengthen your lessons on Sitting Bull. Additionally, incorporate videos such as documentaries or interviews that offer unique perspectives and insights into his life.
5. Encourage Students to Reflect
Prompt students to reflect on what they have learned about Sitting Bull and his life, in particular. Ask them to consider the importance of preserving Native American history and the long-lasting effects of conflict on communities.
6. Innovative Activities and Projects
Engage students by assigning projects that encourage them to explore Sitting Bull’s life and legacy creatively. This could include having students create a timeline detailing crucial events, artistic expressions depicting key moments or emotions in Sitting Bull’s life, or conducting interviews with present-day Native Americans to understand their perspectives on the past.