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Teaching Idea: Using Redbud's New Art Curation Video to Explore Native Identity with Students

Blog written by: Taylor Pennewell, Executive Director, Redbud Resource Group


Looking for new ways to integrate Native voices into your classroom? Here’s a quick way to use Redbud’s education resources to facilitate conversations around identity, art, cultural erasure, and representation.


Photo: Native youth exploring Redbud Resource Group's curriculum, 2022.


1. Teach Redbud’s Intro to Native Identity Lesson from our “Ethnic Studies Support” unit, created in partnership with the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center.

  1. In this station activity, students explore the political, cultural, geographic, and historical basics of contemporary Native identity. It’s a great precursor for future lessons featuring Native story stories, novels, art, politics, current events, and more.

  2. Lesson Plan

  3. Slides


2. Watch Redbud’s video “Steps to Land Back: Middletown Art Center and Native-Curated Art Exhibits”

  1. As students watch, ask them to follow a S-I-T protocol:

  2. What is something that surprised you?

  3. What is something that interested you?

  4. What is something that troubled you?




3. Visit Middletown Art Center’s website, and click on the interactive “Earth, Sky, and Everything In Between” exhibit, under the “Exhibit” button in their toolbar.

  1. Using what they’ve learned in the “Native Identity Lesson”, have students choose 2-3 pieces of art and analyze them to answer the following questions:

  2. What do you think the artists wanted to communicate through the piece you chose?

  3. What feeling or mood do you get from this piece? What about the artwork creates that feeling or mood?

  4. Is there a major theme represented in the piece you chose? Consider what you learned about Native identity in the “Native Identity Lesson”

  5. For additional art analysis questions, visit the Terra Foundations “Common Core Questions for Discussion Artworks”.



4. At the end of these activities, have a class discussion on the following questions:

  1. What did you learn about Native identity through these activities?

  2. Why is it important for communities to represent themselves and their experiences through art?


Happy teaching!


Taylor Pennewell

Executive Director, Redbud Resource Group






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