Storytelling, Understanding of First Nations, Métis and Inuit culture by introducing them to the importance of storytelling.

Specifically, students will:

  • Listen to and then recall Inuit, Métis, or First Nations stories;
  • Identify, describe and interpret important information in these stories;
  • Create their own stories based on the formats discussed.

Subjects and Strands

This lesson plan can be used by teachers in all provincial and territorial grades 3-6 social studies classes; activities can be modified for age and ability. The main subjects are:

  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit legends, stories and culture.

These activities will also help students develop basic Writing, Interpretation/Analysis skills.

Required Equipment and Materials

  • Stories from different First Nations, Métis and Inuit groups (oral stories are best, either online or in person, but books can be substituted if necessary).
  • Using Your Memory! (PDF 1.3 Mb) hand-out
  • Computers with Adobe Flash, OR printed cards and information sheet (see printable instructions).

Set-up Instructions

  • Have the class play the Memory game either online or using the printed cards provided in the printable version.
  • After students have played the game, hold a class discussion about the methods used to play it (e.g. did they choose cards at random or in sequence?) and the various items displayed on the cards in the game. The Description Sheet has additional information on each item.
  • Begin a new discussion on the role that memory played in traditional storytelling. Note: First Nations, Métis and Inuit did not have written languages before the Contact period - all of their history and beliefs were passed from generation-to-generation through oral stories.

Activity Instructions

  1. Following a class discussion on the importance of storytelling, invite an Elder from a local First Nations, Métis or Inuit community to tell traditional stories to the class. If this is not possible, there are several online resources available. 


    From your school or local library, take out several books that recall First Nations, Métis or Inuit stories. See Appendix A for suggested books.
  2. After listening to the Elder (or reading the stories out loud to the class), hand out the Using Your Memory! (PDF 1.3 Mb) sheets. Explain that these questions are to see how much students remember from the stories they have just heard - they will not be graded on these questions. The goal of this exercise is for students to write down as much detail about the story as they can remember.
  3. After students have answered the questions, review the details of the story with the help of the class. You may find it helpful to list the following items on the chalkboard as they are mentioned by students:
    1. The names of the stories and the culture(s) they came from;
    2. The characters in each story;
    3. The lesson, message, etc. of each story.
    DISCUSS: Did the students remember every detail of the stories while they were answering the questions? What would have happened if they had waited longer to write down the information? How hard would it be to memorize all of the stories grandparents, parents and teachers have to tell them?
  4. Ask students to write their own story and illustrate it. Suggest that they use a story their grandparents of parents have told them in the past. Post the stories on a classroom wall for all to read.