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Dakota Life: Preserving the Sioux Language South Dakota DOE - Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
(Essential Understanding 7: OSEUS7)

SDPB Dakota Life
Association on American Indian Affairs
South Dakota Public Broadcasting's Celebrating Native America Culture Page

The future survival of Sioux languages like Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota is uncertain. A group on the Lake Traverse Reservation is working to ensure its language will be alive and well. A special Scrabble game in the Sioux language has been developed. The game is part of the tribe's campaign to revitalize the Dakota Language. (tradition, Indian, Native American, culture, pictograph, winter count, elders, translate, Waubay, tribe, Enemy Swim, Dakota Scrabble)

(SDPB Air Date: 01/04/2007)

Dakota Pathways Episode 18 - Cowboys of the Open Range Dakota Pathways Resources

During the late 19th and early 20th Century, as South Dakota grew, first as a Territory and later as a State, there was a major attraction drawing people to the region, other than gold. The vast open prairies of western South Dakota were ideal for raising cattle. In the early days it was the open range, unfenced and vast, that attracted a unique breed of men: Cowboys. Even after the fencing of the plains with the invention of barbed wire, the cowboy life was to continue. This episode looks at the life of the early cowboys on the open range and shows how it helped to make us the state we are today. (chuckwagon, grass, hay, bail, barn, winter, blizzard, brand, fence, cow, graze, molasses, herd, Kyle Evans, Philip, Lemmon, Murdo, grama grass, wheat grass, cattlemen, Grand River, Moreau River, Belle Fourche River, Cheyenne River, Bad River, Native American, Indian, reservation, 1902 Roundup, water, market, Bonanza, devils rope, rodeo, wrangler, night hawk, herder, slaughter, Joseph Glidden)
Evolution of Wajaje-Cokatowela Shirts (Power Point Presentation) Power Point Presentation - Evolution of Wajaje-Cokatowela Shirts, Victor Douville, Sinte Gleska University

“Click” Evolution of Wajaje Cokatowela Shirts.pps (lower left in the table below the player) **NOTE** The presentation downloads very slowly if you choose "Open". Please select "Save", and save the PowerPoint presentation to your desktop for a quick download.

Winter Count Lessons

South Dakota DOE - Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
(Essential Understanding 6: OSEUS6)
Importance of the Winter Count (audio only) South Dakota DOE - Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
(Essential Understanding 6: OSEUS6)

Audio Only - Victor Douville, Sinte Gleska University, explains the importance of the winter count.

Winter Count Lessons

Related lesson plans and PowerPoint presentations, lower left.
Lesson Plan: Appropriation and Misappropriation of Indian Imagery - From Lakota Winter Counts to Indian Mascots Appropriation and Misappropriation of Indian Imagery: From Lakota Winter Counts to Indian Mascots - This lesson can be accessed HERE or by clicking the PDF, lower left.

This lesson was not created by the SDPB, and therefore should be attributed to the person(s) who created them. Each lesson plan identifies the developer. All of the lesson plans were created by participants at the CAIRNS Approaches to Teaching Lakota Culture workshops from 2007-2012.

South Dakota DOE - Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
(Essential Understanding 2: OSEUS2, OSEU2)
Lesson Plan: Class Winter Count South Dakota DOE - Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
(Essential Understanding 6: OSEUS6)

Winter Count Lessons

Lesson Plan: Class Winter Count

“Click” Lesson Plan and Score Sheet (lower left in the table below the player)

Background: A winter count is a pictographic record of historical/memorable events for a tiospaye (community). The pictures, which were used as mnemonic devices, are arranged in chronological order. Originally, the memorable events were recorded on rock (many paintings found on cave walls, canyons and mountains throughout the Great Plains), on buffalo hide, deer hide, cow hide, and then ledger paper and muslin (cotton fabric).

Each tiospaye designated a winter count keeper. The keeper (traditionally a man) of the winter count was the historian for the community. Elders would gather and consult with the keeper to select the most important event of the year (first snow to first snow). The keeper would then draw an image on the winter count to represent the event. The images on the winter count were used as a reminder/aide to help the keeper remember the events. The keeper (oral historian) could then explain the events in detail.

Additional background information and materials: Lesson Plan PDF - lower left

Procedure: During this lesson the students will create their own winter count image by identifying an important event that occurred in their lives during the school year. The students will present their winter count image to the class. Parents, guardians, and elders will be invited to attend the presentations. The presentation attendees and the students will choose/identify a Winter Count Keeper for the Class Winter Count. The chosen Keeper will record their image on the Class Winter Count.

Setup/Process
1. Each student will identify an important event that occurred, within the school year, in their life, at school or in the community. (Examples: State BB Championship, death of someone from the community, new school building, etc.)
2. The students will use paper or cloth to create their winter count image. (8.5”X11” – easy to scan)
3. Displaying the images for the presentations:
a. Scan/photograph the images
b. Place all of the images in one PowerPoint Presentation. (Larger poster boards could be used to make the original drawings if a PowerPoint program is not available for the presentations.)
4. Invite parents, guardians, elders, etc. to attend the presentations.
5. Have each student explain their image when it is displayed on the PowerPoint presentation. They should explain why they chose the event and how the image will help them remember the event in the future.
6. The attendees should make notes, of each winter count image, so they will be able to vote for their favorite image.
7. Each attendee should cast an anonymous vote for their favorite winter count image. Collect and tally the votes. (Traditional – not anonymous)
8. The student with the most votes will become the Winter Count Keeper for the year. They will record their image on a large Class Winter Count which should be displayed in a prominent location. Make a Class Winter Count out of a sheet or a large piece of paper. Lone Dog’s Winter Count is shown below for design ideas.
9. A new Keeper is chosen each year to add an image to the Class Winter Count.

What to expect: The students should realize that time and effort is taken to create an image that will spark the memory of the Keeper because the Keeper is responsible for providing an oral account of the images drawn. The Keeper of the winter count incorporates their personal history, artistic talent and visual interpretation of the event into their image. The attendees are the elders who help select/identify the most important event for the year
Lesson Plan: Lakota Winter Count Lakota Winter Count - This lesson can be accessed HERE or by clicking the PDF, lower left. (Additional Resources)

This lesson was not created by the SDPB, and therefore should be attributed to the person(s) who created them. Each lesson plan identifies the developer. All of the lesson plans were created by participants at the CAIRNS Approaches to Teaching Lakota Culture workshops from 2007-2012.

South Dakota DOE - Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
(Essential Understanding 5: OSEUS5, OSEU5)

Lesson Plan: Lakota Winter Counts - An Alternative View of History Lakota Winter Counts: An Alternative View of History - This lesson can be accessed HERE or by clicking the PDF, lower left. (Additional Resources)

This lesson was not created by the SDPB, and therefore should be attributed to the person(s) who created them. Each lesson plan identifies the developer. All of the lesson plans were created by participants at the CAIRNS Approaches to Teaching Lakota Culture workshops from 2007-2012.

South Dakota DOE - Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
(Essential Understanding 5: OSEUS5, OSEU5)
Lesson Plan: Oko Iyawapi, Week Count Oko Iyawapi, Week Count - This lesson can be accessed HERE or by clicking the PDF, lower left. (Additional Resources)

This lesson was not created by the SDPB, and therefore should be attributed to the person(s) who created them. Each lesson plan identifies the developer. All of the lesson plans were created by participants at the CAIRNS Approaches to Teaching Lakota Culture workshops from 2007-2012.

South Dakota DOE - Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
(Essential Understanding 5: OSEUS5, OSEU5)
Lesson Plan: The “Keeper” of the Count South Dakota DOE - Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
(Essential Understanding 6: OSEUS6)

Winter Count Lessons

Lesson Plan: The “Keeper” of the Count

“Click” Lesson Plan, Event Cards and Event Cards List (lower left in the table below the player)

Background: A winter count is a pictographic record of historical/memorable events for a tiospaye (community). The pictures, which were used as mnemonic devices, are arranged in chronological order. Originally, the memorable events were recorded on rock (many paintings found on cave walls, canyons and mountains throughout the Great Plains), on buffalo hide, deer hide, cow hide, and then ledger paper and muslin (cotton fabric).

Each tiospaye designated a winter count keeper. The keeper (traditionally a man) of the winter count was the historian for the community. Elders would gather and consult with the keeper to select the most important event of the year (first snow to first snow). The keeper would then draw an image on the winter count to represent the event. The images on the winter count were used as a reminder/aide to help the keeper remember the events. The keeper (oral historian) could then explain the events in detail.

Background information and Materials: Lesson Plan PDF - lower left

Procedure:
During this lesson the students will learn about the keeper of the winter count by completing the activity below. The students will compete in a game by drawing images of events.
Setup/Process
1. Divide the class into groups of 4-5 students.
2. One student from each group should go to the whiteboard/chalkboard. Depending on board size, only 2-3 students may be able to draw at once. Rotate through groups to accommodate board size.
3. The students are the “keepers” of the winter count. Select an event card, see step 7. The students selected to draw the event should look at the card. The students should draw a representation of the event selected.
4. The keepers have 1-2 minutes to draw the image.
5. At the end of the time period – the facilitator will go to each group and pick up one answer, written on a piece of paper, from each group. Do not allow students to yell the answers, because it is impossible to assess which group said the answer first.
6. All of the groups with the correct answer will be given a point.
7. There are 55 events (5 each, for years 2000-2010) included on the following document. (Event Cards – the events were randomly selected)
a. The following list can be printed and given to the groups if they need assistance. (Event Cards List)
b. Make additional event cards for your area. (Example: the winning of a tournament, the death of a local elder/hero, etc.)
8. Continue selecting cards and rotating through all of the students so everyone has a chance to be the keeper.
9. Visit http://wintercounts.si.edu/index.html to view original winter counts.

What to expect: The students should realize that the images drawn on traditional winter counts are not drawn in a hurry like in the game. Time and effort is taken to create an image that will spark the memory of the keeper because the keeper is responsible for providing an oral account of the images drawn. The game should reinforce the fact that the keeper of the winter count will incorporate their personal history, artistic talent and visual interpretation of the event into each image. This should be apparent by the variety of images drawn for the same event and how many of the students will not be able to identify the event drawn.
Lesson Plan: U.S. History Winter Count U.S. History Winter Count - This lesson can be accessed HERE or by clicking the PDF, lower left. (Additional Resources)

This lesson was not created by the SDPB, and therefore should be attributed to the person(s) who created them. Each lesson plan identifies the developer. All of the lesson plans were created by participants at the CAIRNS Approaches to Teaching Lakota Culture workshops from 2007-2012.

South Dakota DOE - Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
(Essential Understanding 5: OSEUS5, OSEU5)
Lesson Plan: Winter Count Winter Count - This lesson can be accessed HERE or by clicking the PDF, lower left. (Additional Resources)

This lesson was not created by the SDPB, and therefore should be attributed to the person(s) who created them. Each lesson plan identifies the developer. All of the lesson plans were created by participants at the CAIRNS Approaches to Teaching Lakota Culture workshops from 2007-2012.

South Dakota DOE - Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
(Essential Understanding 5: OSEUS5, OSEU5)
Lesson Plan: Winter Count - An Introduction Winter Count: An Introduction - This lesson can be accessed HERE or by clicking the PDF, lower left. (Additional Resources)

This lesson was not created by the SDPB, and therefore should be attributed to the person(s) who created them. Each lesson plan identifies the developer. All of the lesson plans were created by participants at the CAIRNS Approaches to Teaching Lakota Culture workshops from 2007-2012.

South Dakota DOE - Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
(Essential Understanding 5: OSEUS5, OSEU5)
Lesson Plan: Winter Count Dyes South Dakota DOE - Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
(Essential Understanding 6: OSEUS6)

Winter Count Lessons

Lesson Plan: Winter Count Dyes

“Click” Lesson Plan and Chart (lower left in the table below the player)

Background: A winter count is a pictographic record of historical/memorable events for a tiospaye (community). The pictures, which were used as mnemonic devices, are arranged in chronological order. Originally, the memorable events were recorded on rock (many paintings found on cave walls, canyons and mountains throughout the Great Plains), on buffalo hide, deer hide, cow hide, and then ledger paper and muslin (cotton fabric).

The dyes used to record the images also changed over the years. Berries, clay, plants, roots, and buffalo gall (liver bile), blood and stomach contents were a few of the materials used to draw the images. During today’s investigation we will test the quality of several natural dyes/pigments by checking for clarity and deepness.

Materials:
Variety of fruits/berries (the students should be reminded that they should never eat anything during an experiment)
- Grapes (dark)
- Cherries
- Strawberries
- Mulberries
- Blueberries
- Etc.
- Glass/ceramic bowls (enough for each fruit/berry)
- Utensils (crush the fruit)
- White cotton cloth (old sheet cut into 4”X4” swatches)
- Mild liquid dishwashing detergent
- Clock with second hand or stopwatch
- Cotton swabs (Q-Tips) or brush
- Chart
- Paper towels
- Aprons/gloves (optional)

Procedure: During this activity the students will learn about natural dyes/pigments used to draw images on winter counts. The students will crush fruits and berries and then they will use the juice/dyes produced to paint cotton swatches.

Setup/Process
1. Collect the materials.
2. Crush the fruits/berries in separate bowls (remove the large pieces, leaving the juice).
3. Cut an old white sheet into 4”X4” cotton swatches.
4. Use a brush or cotton swab to paint a 1 inch diameter circle on the cloth. Each dye should have a separate cotton swatch.
5. Wait 10 minutes and then check for clarity (sharpness – defined edge) and deepness (range from dark to light).
6. Using the chart, mark clarity and deepness for each sample. Use a scale of 1-10, 10 being the sharpest and deepest.
7. Wash each sample in a mild mixture of water and dishwashing detergent. Wash each sample for 10-15 seconds. The scrubbing force, duration and action for all of the samples should be the same.
8. Place the swatches on paper towels to dry or hang dry. Let samples dry for 5-10 minutes.
9. Using the chart, mark clarity and deepness for each sample. Use a scale of 1-10, 10 being the sharpest and deepest.

What to expect: The students should realize that natural dyes work very well. Many of the fruits/berries tested will remain in the cloth for extended periods of time. The students may have experienced staining their clothing while eating fruits/berries. The students should also conclude that winter count images are durable but they can be prone to fading/breakdown over time due to environmental influences. Winter counts need to be protected to preserve clarity and deepness.

Extension: Each student could select an additional item like ketchup, mustard or chocolate syrup to test. Also, the natural dyes could be compared to compounds like permanent marker or tee-shirt paint.
Lesson Plan: Winter Counts - Waniyetu Wowapi Winter Counts - Waniyetu Wowapi: This lesson can be accessed HERE or by clicking the PDF, lower left. (Additional Resources)

This lesson was not created by the SDPB, and therefore should be attributed to the person(s) who created them. Each lesson plan identifies the developer. All of the lesson plans were created by participants at the CAIRNS Approaches to Teaching Lakota Culture workshops from 2007-2012.

South Dakota DOE - Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
(Essential Understanding 5: OSEUS5, OSEU5)
Lesson: Waniyetu Wowapi (winter count) - Recording the Past and the Future South Dakota DOE - Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
(Essential Understanding 6: OSEUS6)

Winter Count Lessons

Lesson Plan: Winter Count - Recording the Past and the Future

“Click” Lesson Plan PDF for details and links (lower left in the table below the player)

Procedure: During this lesson the students will learn about the similarities and differences between winter counts and other methods of recording events like timelines, history books, scrapbooks, encyclopedias, journals/diaries and calendars. The students will develop a pictorial image of an upcoming event found on their family calendar. (K-5: Modify as needed for level of understanding and grade level.)

Background information and Materials: Lesson Plan PDF - lower left

Process The students will view (compare and contrast) winter counts, timelines, history books, scrapbooks, encyclopedias, journal/diaries and calendars. Then the students will bring a calendar from home and select an upcoming event. The students will select an event from the calendar and replace the text with a pictorial representation of the event.

What to expect: The students should realize that recording events on a winter count is one method of preserving history just like history books, encyclopedias, journals, timelines, etc. Important events are captured for future generations to learn about historical events. The students should also conclude that calendars are different because they are designed to record future events.
Lesson: Winter Counts (a closer look) - Power Point Presentations Lesson Plan: Winter Counts (a closer look)

“Click” Lesson Plan and PowerPoint Presentations - lower left in the table below the player (Advance through the sides slowly for the interactive to work properly) ***NOTE*** The presentations download very slowly if you choose "Open". Please select "Save", and save the PowerPoint presentations to your desktop for a quick download.

Winter Count Lessons

South Dakota DOE - Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
(Essential Understanding 6: OSEUS6)

Background: A winter count is a pictographic record of historical/memorable events for a tiospaye (community). The pictures, which were used as mnemonic devices, are arranged in chronological order. Originally, the memorable events were recorded on rock (many paintings found on cave walls, canyons and mountains throughout the Great Plains), on buffalo hide, deer hide, cow hide, and then ledger paper and muslin (cotton fabric).

Each tiospaye designated a winter count keeper. The keeper (traditionally a man) of the winter count was the historian for the community. Elders would gather and consult with the keeper to select the most important event of the year (first snow to first snow). The keeper would then draw an image on the winter count to represent the event. The images on the winter count were used as a reminder/aide to help the keeper remember the events. The keeper (oral historian) could then explain the events in detail.

Procedure: During this lesson the students will learn about the images drawn on winter counts by completing the activity below. During the activity the students will compare their own pictorial representation of an event with the original keeper of the winter count.

Setup/Process
1. Open the first PowerPoint presentation - Winter Counts (a closer look) **NOTE** The presentation downloads very slowly if you choose "Open". Please select "Save", and save the PowerPoint presentation to your desktop for a quick download.
2. The students will view textual representations of winter count images and the “Collector’s Notes” for each image.
3. The students are the “keeper(s)” of the winter count. Have the students draw their representation of the event chosen by the elders. (Option: Have 2-4 students draw their representations on the board (rotate through all of the students))
4. PowerPoint - Advance to the original image created by the keeper.
5. Compare the keeper’s representation with the students’.
6. Continue advancing through the slides. (2 PowerPoint presentations, each with 10 images)
7. Make additional slides:
a. Visit: http://wintercounts.si.edu/index.html
b. Click: Lakota Winter Counts –Online Exhibit-
c. Click: Skip Intro
d. Click: View Winter Counts
e. Click: Overview
f. Select Image
g. Click: Collect This Winter Count
h. Click: My Winter Count
i. Enter Email Address – Images will be sent to your address
8. Visit http://wintercounts.si.edu/index.html to continue looking at original winter counts.

What to expect: The students should realize that the keeper of the winter count is also a historian for the tiospaye (community). The keeper is responsible for providing an oral account of the images drawn. The images should be drawn to help spark the memory of the keeper.

The students should also realize that the keeper experienced the event, which would make recalling the memory much easier. It would be interesting to return (after a few weeks) to some of the images drawn by the students to see if they can recall the textual representations/“Collector’s Notes” of the events.
Selection of the Winter Count Keeper (audio only) South Dakota DOE - Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
(Essential Understanding 6: OSEUS6)

Audio Only - Victor Douville, Sinte Gleska University, explains how the Keeper of the winter count was selected.

Winter Count Lessons

Related lesson plans and PowerPoint presentations, lower left.
Tawapaha Olowan Wan (A Flag Song - S.D.) South Dakota DOE - Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
(Essential Understanding 6: OSEUS6)

Interpretation of Songs (Document)

Tawapaha Olowan Wan (A Flag Song - S.D.)

Each society had a song that used to honor war deeds, values and good deeds. This song was on hand and ended up becoming the SD Flag song, but historically each tiospaye had their own song.

This song is said to have come from many different areas. Many tribes use this Flag song during celebrations or social gatherings. Researched and translated by Earl Bullhead (Nica Ole).(E. Bullhead 2012)

Winter Count Lessons
Types of Winter Counts (audio only) South Dakota DOE - Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
(Essential Understanding 6: OSEUS6)

Audio Only - Victor Douville, Sinte Gleska University, explains the different types of winter count.

Winter Count Lessons

Related lesson plans and PowerPoint presentations, lower left
Waniyetu Wowapi: Winter Count (Power Point Presentation) Power Point Presentation - Waniyetu Wowapi: Winter Count, Victor Douville, Sinte Gleska University

“Click” Waniyetu Wowapi Winter Count.pps (lower left in the table below the player) **NOTE** The presentation downloads very slowly if you choose "Open". Please select "Save", and save the PowerPoint presentation to your desktop for a quick download.

Winter Count Lessons

South Dakota DOE - Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
(Essential Understanding 6: OSEUS6)
Winter Count Event (audio only) South Dakota DOE - Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
(Essential Understanding 6: OSEUS6)

Audio Only - Victor Douville, Sinte Gleska University, explains how an event is/was selected for a winter count.

Winter Count Lessons

Related lesson plans and PowerPoint presentations, lower left.
Winter Count Units - K-12 (Assessment Documents) Assessment Documents for Waniyetu Wowapi (winter count) Units: K-12

“Click” Venn Diagram, KWL Chart and Compare and Contrast Table (lower left in the table below the player)

Winter Count Lessons
Winter Count Units: K-12 South Dakota DOE - Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
(Essential Understanding 6: OSEUS6)

Waniyetu Wowapi (winter count) Units: K-12

“Click” Units Documents (lower left)

Winter Count Lessons

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Education and Outreach Department
(800) 456-0766 | Edservices@sdpb.org