Annie and the Old One: Dinner in a Hogan

Curriculum Objective 6020-0201:
    Identify cultural traits and values that are inherited and acquired; i.e.,
family, religious, and cultural traditions, physical characteristics, etc.

My objective:
    The students are the learn further examples of cultural traditions that are handed down from one generation to another by listening to examples and experiencing a semi-model of a part of Navajo life.

Materials needed:
blankets (3-4) to spread on the floor of the "hogan"
five tables set in an open-ended hexagon
Knots on a Counting Rope by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault
information about
individual baking cups, one per student


1. Seat the students inside the "hogan"; boys enter and turn to the left,
girls on the right according to tradition.

2. Read the background information about hogans to students.

3. A tradition is something passed down from generation to generation

4. Building hogans is only one tradition in the Navajo culture. Weaving,
like in Annie and the Old One, is another.

5. Recipes that are passed down are another. One of the main traditional food Navajos eat is a flat, fried bread. It can be eaten with honey,
wrapped around meat, covered with toppings, etc.


6. Today we're going to try some fry bread.

7. Pass around napkins and slices of fry bread, rewarmed in microwave.

8. Students can dip in honey spooned into baking cups.

9. Once students have their bread, tell them that at night, during or after
dinner, an older member of the family would tell stories about events in
their family's past, stories that taught lessons about right and wrong,
stories that taught values and traditions.

10. Read Knots on a Counting Rope while students eat.


11. Discuss the story. How was Boy learning his history? How do we learn
about our own histories?

12. Encourage children to talk with other family members over the
Thanksgiving holiday about traditions and stories about their families'

13. If time, elicit some stories from the children or tell on of your own.


14. Mostly just by teacher observation.