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FNSS Curriculum Integration Project Click here to download this lesson.
Marji Basso (MS-Word format.)

Grade: 2/3
Lesson 1: Community and Leadership
Time: 45 minutes

Topic: Community Leadership

Rationale: To listen to an Okanagan Legend, discuss aspects of community leadership, and evaluate characteristics of leadership roles.

Materials and Resources

  • Okanagan Indian Legend of "Turtle" (printed, contained with lesson)
  • Sort and Match vocabulary words and definitions
  • Reflective journal

Vocabulary/Definitions (Included in Material)

  • Animal people
  • Muskrat
  • Chief
  • Community
  • Slaves

Main Concepts

  • Community Co-operation and Leadership

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • To be able to describe ways members of a community meet one another's needs.

Planned Learning Activities

  1. (10 min) Do sort and match vocabulary activity with vocabulary words and meanings as whole group. Make predictions of what the story might be about.
  2. (10 min) Read Okanagan Indian Legend "Turtle". Ask who is the "chief" in the classroom, their family, school, and community. Review definition of community again.
  3. (10 min) Play a co-operative game in the classroom i.e. "all tied up" (big circle, students join hands, go over/under hands and feet without letting go of each other to make "human knot". Undo the "knot" to make a big circle again without letting go of hands). Discuss who were the "chiefs" in the game. What made them a good "chief"?
  4. (15 min) In reflective journal, write what makes a good chief. Share thoughts and ideas of a good chief orally with the class.


  • Criteria
  • Check understanding in reflective journal
  • Oral discussion


  • Class election - children vote who would make a good classroom "chief" and why.

Integrated Opportunities

  • Art: Draw a picture of an animal leader they would like to be and why.
  • Language Arts: Re-tell the legend with puppets (finger/paper bag)
  • Language Arts: Write a letter to a character in the legend giving them advice or comments to their problem/situation.

Resources Used and Supplementary Materials Available

  1. "I Walk With My Family" - Grade 2 Teacher Guide - Okanagan Indian Curriculum Project
  2. Okanagan Indian Legend of "Turtle" - Teacher/Student Resource Guide adapted by Okanagan Indian Curriculum Project
  3. Slide presentations:
    "Okanagan Nations - Past and Present" (7 minutes)
    "Field Trip to the Penticton Indian Reserve" (15 minutes)

Okanagan Indian Legend of "Turtle"
Eagle was very fast. He raced all the animal people and beat them. Even Fox and Wolf lost. All the animal people that lost the race became Eagle's slaves. Eagle was Chief.

Turtle lived with his partner Muskrat. They were free because they were the only ones who did not race Eagle. They knew they could not run very fast.

One night Turtle dreamed. He was told, "You must race Eagle tomorrow to free the animal people. They must be free when the people-to-be come".

In the morning Turtle told Muskrat, "Get up! Go for a swim! Get Ready! We must race Eagle."

"You can't beat him, Turtle!!! You can't beat him. He flies fast," said Muskrat. "I know. All our people lost. But my dream told me to race and win," Turtle replied.

Together they went to Eagle's amp. Turtle told Eagle, "I will race you tomorrow." "Alright, Turtle. Tomorrow we will race when the sun comes up. If you win, the people are yours," Eagle answered.

"Yes," Turtle agreed.

"But if I win, Turtle, I will keep you here. You are betting your life on this race."

As Turtle crawled away, all the animal people laughed. They did not think they would ever be free.

The next day Turtle met Eagle to race him. Eagle told him, "Choose your place, Turtle. I will race you any distance."

"Anyplace?" Turtle asked. Eagle replied, "Our people hear me, anyplace, Turtle." Quickly Turtle said, "Then carry me up in the air, Eagle. I will tell you when to drop me. From there we will race. Whoever reaches the ground first, wins."

Eagle was worried. Eagle took Turtle high up. When Turtle yelled, "Let go!!!" Eagle dropped him. He fell like a rock. Eagle tried to catch him. Turtle stuck out his head, "E-e-eeeee!!! Hurry, Eagle! I will beat you!"

Then Turtle pulled in his head and fell faster.

The animal people watched. They shouted for Turtle. Muskrat jumped around and his tail whipped in the air.His partner was winning!!!! Eagle was close! He thought, "Turtle will hit the ground like a rock!"

Turtle did, but he stood up and told the animal people, "I am Chief. You are free. Go where you like, animal people. Anywhere!!!"

The animal people scattered. They would tell the people-to-be about the first races.

Turtle spoke to Eagle, "You know, I can't always beat you, Eagle. But I dreamed, and I learned how to beat you. I will not take your speed. You will always be the fastest one. You will catch what you want to eat. When the people-to-be come, they will dream too, and they will learn from their dreams. Just as I did."

Sort and Match Vocabulary - Lesson 1
(Note: in the downloadable Word document, these are layed-out as cards to be cut out. Some things don't translate well to HTML.)
Animal People A community who lived on the earth and were preparing the earth for the arrival of the Indian people.
Muskrat A small furry animal.
Chief The person who acts as the leader.
Community A group of people who live in the same area and follow the same rules.

Summative Criteria

Criteria Ratings Comments
Student demonstrates an understanding of the important ideas about the topic (through interaction and activities) 4 3 2 1  
Examples, ideas, and detail were demonstrated which indicate a deeper understanding of the topic 4 3 2 1  
Useful, accurate and relevant information is included in the journal entry 4 3 2 1  
Journal entry is clear and easy to follow 4 3 2 1  
Group participation and cooperation 4 3 2 1