Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Legends Old and New

Martha Grant
Sumter County Schools


In this activity, student teams read Native American legends from books and Web sites, write an original legend with enriched word choice and elaboration, and practice volume, pacing, stress, and pronunciation through a suede/flannel board presentation.


The student uses an effective organizational pattern and substantial support to achieve a sense of completeness or wholeness (for example, considering audience, sequencing events, choosing effective words; using specific details to clarify meaning).

The student evaluates classroom presentations according to volume, stress, pacing, and pronunciation.


-Computer with Internet access
-Handout with possible Websites
-Books of Native American legends
-Paper for writing original legends
-Suede/flannel board
-Sandpaper for backing student visuals
-Construction paper of assorted colors
-Felt tip markers, colored pencils, and/or crayons
-White school glue
-Rubric for Evaluating Legend Completeness (See Associated File)
-Presentation Style Checklist (See Associated File)
-Chalk or marker board
-Chalk or markers for board


1. Prepare handout with URL's of Websites for legends listed. (See Weblinks)
2. Schedule computer time for reading of legends.
3. Select a legend for sharing on Day 1.
4. Gather books that contain Native American legends.
5. Gather suede or flannel board, scissors, glue, sandpaper, markers, crayons, colored pencils, and construction paper.
6. Duplicate student copies of the Rubric for Evaluating Legend Completeness. (See Associated File)
7. Duplicate enough copies of the Presentation Style Checklist (See Associated File) so that students can evaluate all presenters in groups other than their own.


Prior Knowledge: Students should have prior experience with using proper volume, stress, pacing and pronunciation during oral presentations.

1. Select and read a short Native American legend to the class.

2. Ask students to brainstorm elements that make the story complete.

3. Post brainstormed responses on chalk or marker board.

4. During discussion, guide students to include that a story needs a beginning, middle, and end, details, and variety in word choice.

5. Form groups of two to three students based upon computer access and availability.

6. Let students read Native American legends from books and/or Websites.

7. Circulate as students read and engage students within individual groups with questions highlighting elements of completeness, details, and word choice.

8. Explain that students will write original legends.

9. Distribute the Rubric for Evaluating Legend Completeness (See Associated File) and discuss expectations with students.

10. Assign composition of original legend to be completed before class starts on Day 2.

1. Reconvene groups from Day 1.

2. Circulate and monitor as groups read and evaluate individual legends of students. Make sure that the group bases its evaluation on the Rubric for Evaluating Legend Completeness. (See Associated File)

3. Explain that groups need to select one legend to edit and prepare for oral presentation. Revised legends need to score at least 8 points on the rubric. Explain that all group members must present equal portions during the oral sharing of the legend.

4. Monitor as students plan the roles each will play in the oral presentation, prepare suede/flannel board visuals to illustrate main events of legend (See Associated File for directions), and practice legends.

5. Collect all students' original legends for teacher evaluation using the Rubric for Evaluating Legend Completeness. (See Associated File)

1. Have students demonstrate the positive effect that proper volume, stress, pacing, and pronunciation have upon the audience for an oral presentation.

2. Distribute copies of the Presentation Style Checklist (See Associated File) for students and teacher to use to evaluate presentation style.

3. After each presentation, allow time for oral feedback from peers on presentation style.


NOTE: This lesson assesses the elements of completeness, word choice and details. Additional lessons will be needed to assess the other elements of the benchmark.

Assessment of writing elements is based upon a 9-point rubic found in the associated file. Students earning 6 points or more on the rubric will be considered to have demonstrated satisfactory performance on this lesson. Students scoring fewer than 6 points need to work with the teacher in a small group as they review the writing elements of completeness, details, and word choice.

Evaluation of presentation style is conducted using a Yes/No Presentation Style Checklist (See Associated File) completed by peers and teacher during the presentation. Formative feedback is provided to students on style components immediately following the presentation. Students need to demonstrate all four elements on the checklist for presentations to be effective. Additional presentations will be evaluated using a similar checklist during the term to monitor progress in presentation style.


This lesson does not assess (The student reads literature by authors of various cultural and historical backgrounds), but it can be used as a resource in completing the benchmark. The lesson can be adapted for use with legends and myths from any cultural group.

Web Links

The following Weblinks will be used as students read myths from various Native American groups.
Lady Pixel Legend

Web supplement for Legends Old and New
Seminole Legend

Web supplement for Legends Old and New
Indian Legend

Web supplement for Legends Old and New
Indian Legend

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