Beacon Lesson Plan Library

The Naming of a Native American

Denise Scott


After listening to and discussing many Native American legends, the students brainstorm a list of other possible Native American names. The teacher writes these on the board and gives positive reinforcement.


The student generates ideas through brainstorming, listening to text read by teacher, discussing.


These are my favorite books for this activity.

-[The Legend of the Blue Bonnet], dePaola, Tomie. New York:G.P. Putnam's Sons.
-[The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush], dePaola, Tomie. New York:G.P. Putnam's Sons.
-[Knots on a Counting Rope], Martin and Archambault. New York: Henry Holt and Company.
-[The Rough-Faced Girl], Martin, Rafe. New York: Scholastic Inc.
-[The Story of Jumping Mouse], Steptoe, John. New York: Scholastic Inc.

-The Naming of a Native American activity sheet (see associated file), 1 per student
-Pen or pencil
-White construction paper (for extension only)


1. Review books ahead of time.
2. Make one copy per student of The Naming of a Native American activity sheet. (See associated file.)

Trace an animal hide outline on a white piece of construction paper (for extension file only).


1. Read and discuss a Native American legend each day. Discuss WHY the Native American in each story was named as he/she was named.

2. After reading and discussing these legends, brainstorm other possible Native American names. Write the names on the board so that the students can see the correct spelling and punctuation.

3. Hand out the Naming of a Native American activity sheet and explain the directions. When the students finish, they turn it in for formative assessment.


As a formative assessment, the teacher provides positive reinforcement for the ideas generated by the students during the classroom brainstorming activity. The names should be nature-related words, such as Little Snow Flake or Rain Drop.
As another formative assessment, the students generate an original list of ten Native American type names based on the Native American Legends that the teacher read to them and the brainstorming activities. Collect each list and assess it for orginality and appropriateness.


Students choose five names that they like.
Students choose one name from their favorite list names.
Students create a story that illustrates the reason for their name.
Students "tear out" an animal hide.
Students recreate their story on the hide.

Attached Files

The Naming of a Native American activity sheet.     File Extension:  pdf
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