Dara Lea Bowser

Lesson Name:“The Last Dance”

Grade Level:12th Grade

Lesson Summary:This lesson will explore the events, which surrounded the Wounded Knee Massacre.The students will listen to Native American guest lecturers discuss the importance of ceremonies.

Instructional Objectives:

Upon completion of this lesson, the students will be able to:

1.Write a summary of Wovoka and his influence on the Ghost Dance.

2.Identify and describe in detail the following American Indian ceremonies: Ghost Dance, Wiwayan Wacipi, Hunkapi, and Hanbleceya.

3.Determine if Wounded Knee should be referred to as a massacre or battle.



2.Guest Speaker

3.Access to Computer and Library for research

Anticipatory Set:A guest speaker from a Lakota/Nakota/Dakota tribe who will speak on the importance of ceremonies in the American Indian culture.The speaker will emphasize the Ghost Dance, Wiwayan Wacipi, Hunkapi, and Hanbleceya.The students will be asked to take notes on these four ceremonies.


1.The teacher will read “Songs and Stories” from the book entitled Legends of the Mighty Sioux, by Oscar Howe.

2.The teacher will give a brief lecture on Wovoka and his influence on the Ghost Dance.The students will be asked to research additional information on Wovoka and the Ghost Dance.Upon completion of research, the students will write a poem based on the information found.

3.The teacher will lecture on the events surrounding the Wounded Knee Massacre.


1.The students will give an oral presentation of the poem they created based on their research findings.The poem must include Wovoka’s vision—return of buffalo, return of ancestors, and removal of the white man.

2.The students will be quizzed on the four ceremonies discussed by the guest speaker.The quiz will be made up of multiple choice questions one short answer question.

3.An essay test will be administered so that the students can recount the Wounded Knee Massacre.

Closure:In an effort to experience the Native American culture and the ceremonies that they practice, the class will attend a local powwow.If the class is unable to attend a powwow, the teacher will investigate the possibility of asking powwow participators if they would bring in their costumes and describe the importance of the design and color schemes.Before asking someone outside of the classroom, the teacher will ask one or all of the Native American students in their class to share traditional ceremonies, which are important to them and their family.


1.Was the speaker effective?Did he captivate the students?

2.Were the students given enough time to research and create their Wovoka poem?Did writing poems help the students understand this historical event?

3.Should the students be assessed by another means, other than tests and quizzes?