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Morning Girl and the Early Explorers
Kelly Hoover, Heather Kelley, Michelle Whitlow
DeLaura Middle School and Satellite High School
Brevard County, Florida
Caribbean Diversity Brevard Public Schools
Title: Morning Girl and the Early Explorers; point of view and perspective
Overview: Students will study the exploration and colonization of the New World from
varying perspectives. The novel to be read in conjunction is Morning Girl, the story of a
Taino child experiencing life before the arrival of the explorers. The disciplines
incorporated into the lesson are Language Arts, Social Studies, World Languages and
Time Required: 2 weeks
SS: 8th Grade U.S. History
LA: 8th and 9th Grade Language Arts
WL: Spanish I & II
Fine Arts: Middle and Senior Art Students
SS: internet access, Old World maps, textbook, Columbus' online diary
LA: Morning Girl by Michael Dorris
WL: Internet access and art supplies
Fine Arts: internet access, www.haititec.com, Juan Luis Guerra y 440 CD.
SS: early explorers, geography, beginnings of slavery, timeline
LA: point of view, perspective, author's purpose
WL: vocabulary, cultural awareness, diversity
Lesson objectives and SSS:
SS: SS.8.A.1.7: View historic events through the eyes of those who were there as shown
in their art, writings, music, and artifacts.
SS.8.A.2.1: Compare the relationships among the British, French, Spanish, and Dutch in
their struggle for colonization of North America.
SS.8.A.1.3: Analyze current events relevant to American History topics through a variety
of electronic and print media resources.
LA: LA. 184.108.40.206 The student will organize information to show understanding or
relationships among facts, ideas, and events (e.g., representing key points within text
through charting, mapping, paraphrasing, summarizing, or comparing/contrasting);
LA.220.127.116.11: The student will identify and analyze the characteristics of a variety of types
of text (e.g., reference works, reports, technical manuals, newspapers, magazines,
biographies, periodicals, procedures, instructions, practical and functional texts)
LA18.104.22.168: The student will locate various literary devices (e.g., sound, meter, figurative
and descriptive language), graphics, and structure and analyze how they contribute to
mood and meaning in poetry;
LA22.214.171.124: The student will identify and analyze universal themes and symbols across
genres and historical periods, and explain their significance;
WL: FL.C.1.3: the student reinforces and furthers knowledge of other disciplines
through foreign language
FL.C.2.3: the student acquires information in perspectives that are available only through
the foreign language and within the target culture
VA.C.1.4: Understand how social, cultural, ecological, economic, religious and political
conditions influence the function, meaning, and execution of works of art.
VA.C.1.4: Understands how recognized artists recorded, affected, or influenced change
in a historical, cultural or religious context.
SS: students will utilize the textbook and various online resources to complete a
beginning mini unit on geography in preparation for the introduction of the unit on the
Early Explorers. Students will use timelines, Old World maps, explorer's navigational
maps, online Christopher Columbus journal entries, online resources for indigenous
peoples/culture specific to the Taino and Caribbean cultures. Students use
www.TimeRime.com to create timelines as well as www.earth.google.com to look at the
geography of the Caribbean.
LA: students will read Morning Girl in exploration of the point of view of the conquered
indigenous peoples. Students will write journals from multiple perspectives using RAFT
strategies. Students will create an alternate ending to the story post studies in US
History. This alternative ending could be shared through a Wiki (www.wikispaces.com)
or through TypeWithme (www.typewithme.com) or Google Docs
WL: Students will create a simple picture book utilizing appropriate vocabulary words
from the unit. Students will also create a diary from the perspective of one of the
characters from Morning Girl in the target language. Students will listen to Spanish
language music relating to the struggle of the island peoples and write a summary of what
the song is about.
FA: students will view and respond to the work of a local Haitian painter using the "you
ought to be in pictures" strategy. Students will have the opportunity to speak with the
artist and hear first-hand about his experiences in Haiti and subsequent immigration to
the US. A podcast of the interview could be created or a VoiceThread page could be
created for comment.
SS: students will create a VoiceThread presentation depicting the events that took place
beginning with Columbus' arrival in the Bahamas through the colonization of the
Caribbean Islands. Timelines, maps and primary source documents are required
LA: students will create social networking "pages" for each of the characters in the novel
demonstrating each one's perspective on the events that transpired throughout novel.
WL: students will create an imaginary autobiography in the target language from the
point of view of a Taino person.
FA: students will create questions for the artist about his experiences, life in Haiti,
reasons for immigration and how his art expresses his heritage.
Additional comments and/or instructions:
For background information on Taino culture for either reading Morning Girl for
LA or for the SS timeline:
http ://www.hartford-hwp. com/archives/41/013.html
http://history-world.org/christopherdocs.htm (Columbus' diary entries)
Juan Luis Guerra Areito is his sixth album and was released on 1992. The last track on
the album, "Naboria daca, mayanimacana," is sung in Arawak, the language of the
Taino language site: http://www.cariblanguage.org/Taino.html