Teacher Guide

Touching Spirit Bear Lesson Plan

Notes to the Teacher

This lesson plan assumes that most middle grade students do not have personal experience with the American justice system. Unfortunately, there are many classrooms where a significant number of students will have had family and friends go through the courts and prisons. Teachers in such classrooms should be sensitive to their students' experiences and, where appropriate, encourage students to process their feelings about this system through their work with Mikaelson's novel.

Be careful not to treat Native cultures as a monolith. Mikaelson describes a highly simplified version of Tlinglit practices; follow his lead in referring to these practices as Tlinglit rather than generally Native....

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