There are many books related to Indigenous Peoples of the Caribbean that can help students better visualize and understand the people, their history, and their present. Some short picture books can be used as a whole class read-alouds, where other longer books can be used as longer novel studies. Students will create a visual plot summary of the story they have read.
The story used in this example is Taíno Tales: The Secret of the Hummingbird by Vicky Weber. It is a Taíno legend of how the hummingbird came to be. This book is written by an elementary educator who wishes to bring the culture of the Taíno people to life for children.
Here are some examples of literature that relate to the Indigenous People of the Caribbean:
Morning Girl by Michael Dorris (ages 9 - 14) is a story about a Taíno girl named Morning Girl and her brother, Star Boy and their life growing up in a tropical paradise with their people. It isn’t revealed until the end that the setting is the Bahamas in 1492 right before the arrival of Columbus and his men and the Spanish colonizers.
Encounter by Jane Yolen (ages 6-12) is the story of the Taíno people living on the island of San Salvador in 1492, when Columbus and the Spanish colonizers arrived. It is told through the eyes of a young Taíno boy who tried to warn his people about these strange visitors.
The Golden Flower: A Taíno Myth from Puerto Rico by Nina Jaffe (ages 4-9) tells the Taíno legend of how Puerto Rico came to be.
No More Grating Yuka (Taíno Ni Rahu) by Dr. Lynne A. Guitar (ages 10 and up) is about a young Taíno girl named Anani in 1489. This book is the second in a series of 10 books that take place around the time of Columbus’ invasion.
Anacaona: Golden Flower, Haiti, 1490 by Edwidge Danticat (ages 9-14) is a historical fiction story based on the life of one of the Taíno people’s last queens, Queen Anacaona. The story describes her life with the Taíno people and the devastation brought by the Spanish colonizers.
Grade Level 4-6
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual
Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative ArcsCommon Core Standards
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Objective: Summarize the story in a 3-5 cell storyboard describing the main events in the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
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