Coyote tales are part of the Paiute oral tradition used to teach proper behavior and values from an early age. These stories are only told during the winter time. The Coyote illustrates the mischievous nature in all of us. This lesson the Paiute tale, Coyote and Duck to enhance comprehension and prediction skills of students. It also helps students become familiar with cultural storytelling and its importance in Native cultures. Students will have a brief introduction to the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah (PITU) and its location in Utah. The lesson includes a discussion about Native American regalia and explicitly addresses stereotypes.
In this lesson, students are given a description of tribal sovereignty and federal recognition specific to the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation. They will also be introduced to characteristics of a trickster tale and then write a short story to activate their prior knowledge of specific words. The whole class will then read "Coyote and Mouse Make Snow," a trickster tale shared by the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation. Students will identify the characters, problems, and solutions within the story by filling out a handout. Possible extensions tie in with the Science Core.
The Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation (UIT) tale, “Coyote and the Buffalo” is read and used to enhance comprehension skills, provide an introduction to the importance of the bison to Native people and gives examples of how choices impact consequences. An activity to explore how Indigenous peoples used different parts of the bison helps students to recognize the ingenuity and creativity of Native Americans.The Ute people tell stories about Coyote and other animals to their children. Based on Coyote’s mistakes, the elders teach children about proper behavior and positive attitudes. The lessons learned help them avoid making the same mistakes Coyote did and suffering the consequences in their own lives. According to Ute tradition, Coyote stories should only be told during the winter time.