Introduction: Ask students to explain why they find butterflies intriguing. Also ask if anyone has spent a long time watching
or chasing butterflies.
We Chased Butterflies
We chased butterflies to give us endurance
in running. After we caught one, we rubbed our hearts
with its wings, saying,
"O, Butterfly, lend me your grace and swiftness!"
That was a boy's first lesson.
Poem by Plenty-Coups, Crow
Taken from Sneve, Virgina Driving Hawk, editor. Dancing Teepee: Poems of American Indian Youth. Illustrated by Stephen
Gammell. N.Y.: Holiday House, 1989, p. 19. ISBN: 0823407241.
Extension: a) Ask students to imagine spending a morning with a butterfly. What would they learn? What would they see,
hear, smell, taste, and touch? Ask them to share their imaginary experiences through writing or drawing. b) Read other poems
about butterflies. Compare and contrast the poems.
Introduction: Show pictures of an eagle and share a few facts about the bird.
I Watched an Eagle Soar
I watched an eagle soar
high in the sky
until a cloud covered him up.
I still saw the eagle
behind my eyes.
Poem by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve
(Taken from Dancing Teepees, p. 18. Citation
is noted on this page).
Extension: a) Invite students to illustrate this poem. b) Discuss why nature is so important to Native Americans. Read
other Native American stories or poems about creatures with wings or four legs.