• Two old women: culturally relevant literature discussions in the 4th grade

      Starr, Georgianna B.; Martelle, Wendy; Siekmann, Sabine; Patterson, Leslie (2019-05)
      Two Old Women: Literature Discussions in the 4th Grade is a teacher action research study exploring the connections between the reading of culturally relevant texts, and the relationship between the roles of the teacher and students. As a teacher at the Alaska Native Cultural Charter School in the Anchorage School District, I strive to include culturally rich Indigenous literature in the classroom so students can experience traditional oral narratives in a written format. Our school strives to build student excellence through traditional cultural learning with a focus on Alaska Native Values, and this thematic story by Velma Wallis encompasses those traditions. In this teacher action research study, I collected data through audio recordings, video recordings, student artifacts, and a teacher journal in a span of eight weeks. These data were analyzed using the constructivist grounded theory. I found that utilizing a culturally relevant text in a western format allows students the opportunity to learn about culture, traditions, and how these continue to shape ideas and thinking today. Through this research, I found that using culturally relevant literature allowed students to access their funds of knowledge, but this process takes time and practice between teacher and students. The students stated that they loved this book and ultimately, they read some common truths about themselves and their community.