Tuesday, September 3

Race to the Sun + Navajo Mythology

Named "Holy Earth People" by their creators, the Navajos simply call themselves DinĂ© (meaing 'people') today.  Their unique creation story involves three underworlds which helped to shape the Fourth World...the earth they live upon.  The stories are about the land of the Four Corners regions in the southwest.  Navajo folklore is has been passed down for generations, typically orally, but also through artistic expression such as painting and jewelry.

Some folkloric creatures, such as skinwalkers, are rarely discussed as it's considered bad luck.  Skinwalkers are evil, supernatural creatures that have the ability to shapeshift.  They live among their people and make evil at night, when they shift into the shape of a coyote, wolf, owl, fox, or crow.  Because these evil creatures wear animal skins when they transform, the Navajo don't wear animal pelts like other Native American tribes.  They only use sheepskin and buckskin in important ceremonies.

The stories we read about in Race to the Sun have been around for thousands of years, and there are probably more that are kept within the tribe only.  The Navajo tribe is also well-known for their World War 2 Code Talkers.  Come back next week for a novel study on this topic!

For this unit, Race to the Sun is our spine read.

Access the complete unit study in the World Mythology Unit Studies Bundle!

Includes sixteen unit studies covering world mythologies. Each unit addresses a new topic, spanning ancient through modern history.
  • Each unit has introductory text, which will give the student basic background information about the topic at hand.
  • There are photographs and illustrations, and we have also included primary documents when available.
  • After this text, there are featured videos, which augment the background information and help make the topic more accessible for more visual students.
  • You will also find a short list of reading books, including a featured novel that the unit builds upon.
  • There are vocabulary words, places, and people to identify.
  • Reading comprehension, critical thinking questions, and writing assignments are included.
  • We add fun with hands-on activities and extra videos to watch that will bring the era to life.

These studies are directed toward upper grades students, but some have resources for younger students so that the whole family can work together. Our family has used unit studies as curriculum for many years, and we hope that your family will enjoy these, too!

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