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Living Nations, Living Words: A Guide for Educators


In “Living Nations, Living Words,” poetry is at the forefront, and the featured poems were selected with overarching themes (place and displacement) and specific touchpoints (persistence, visibility, resistance, and acknowledgment) in mind. Still, as Joy Harjo states in the introduction to the story map: "In this map, you can begin anywhere."

The activity ideas in this section of the guide have been developed with that notion in mind, and represent possible approaches that you might take when using the “Living Nations, Living Words” project with students. On the left-side navigation panel, you can access activity ideas that use the story map or the online poetry collection, as a starting place.

“Living Nations, Living Words” has potential relevance, resonance, and application across disciplines—social studies, English and language arts, as well as science and art. Further, while elements of the project could be used with students of all ages, the activities presented here are geared toward those in grades 7 and above.

We invite and encourage you to share any ideas you have, to let us know which activities you use or adapt with your students, and to send us any other feedback. You can reach the Library’s Education team using the Ask a Librarian feature on the left side of this page.