Stereotypes Around the Tipi


09 March 2010



Stereotypes Around the Tipi


Tipi Stereotypes


Social Studies

Grade Level:



Students will be able to learn traditional tipi teachings from an elder.

Students will be able to participate in classroom discussion about stereotypes.

Students will be able to decipher stereotypical ideas about the tipi from factual ideas.

Pre-requisite Knowledge:

Introduction to the tipi

*Note: This lesson should be taught well after students have an introduction and awareness of what the tipi was used for and its significance to Indian peoples.


tobacco (for elder), tipi raising videos


The best method for teaching about the tipi is to invite an elder into your classroom. Not only will your students benefit from this, but you as the educator will as well. Remember to follow traditional protocol. If you need help with this, ask your community resource person or call a local reserve band hall.


Exploring stereotypes around the tipi.

First look at what a stereotype is. You can brainstorm as a class, or split students into small groups to discuss what they know about stereotypes. As a class, or groups if you choose, create a definition of a stereotype. Tell them the dictionary description of a stereotype and look how it it similiar and different to the one that the class or the groups came up with.

Create a web on the board, have students volunteer to share stereotypes that they know or have heard about boys? Girls? I.e. boys are better at girls when it comes to sports. Remind students that this is a serious lesson, and that they can't make jokes.

Now have students look at the effects of stereotyping groups of people. You can spark the students' idea by sharing your thoughts on steretypes. This will help teach empathy.

At this point share with the students that there are many steretotypes when it comes to the tipi. For example, First Nations people now live in homes, not tipis. Have the students brainstorm things they know about the tipi. After they have created their list, look at what strikes true and what strikes as stereotypical. Have students put either a F, for fact or an S for stereotypical beside each idea as you speak about it. If both the students and teacher don't know, put a question mark and come back to it at a later time.

You can also take this time to explore tipi stereotypes in the media.


Have students hand-in their stereotype definition, along with their list of tipi ideas mark. You can mark students on their participation using a rubric or have them mark themselves.



Aboriginal Perspectives is supported by the University of Regina, the Imperial Oil Foundation, the Canadian Mathematical Society and the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences.


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