Dakota People
Shaping Saskatchewan

Grade: 4

Using biographies of Whitecap Dakota people, students will use reading comprehension skills to compile facts and query information, in order to be able to create a trading card that showcases how Dakota people have shaped and continue to shape Saskatchewan.

Essential Question

How do people shape Saskatchewan?

Big Idea

Many people shape Saskatchewan including the Whitecap Dakota people.

View Complete Lesson Plan

Lesson Outline

TIME DURATION: Approximately 4 (45 minute) lessons
1. Exploring Photos
2. Understanding the Assignment
3. Learning to Read Critically for Information
4. Opportunity to learn about Dakota people and other First Nation and Métis people
5. Sharing out


Social Studies IN4.1 Analyze how First Nations and Métis people have shaped and continue to shape Saskatchewan.


English Language Arts CC4.2 Create a variety of clear representations that communicate straightforward ideas and information relevant to the topic and purpose, including short, illustrated reports, dramatizations, posters, and other visuals such as displays and drawings.


Part 1: Explore Photos


  1.  Using the 5 pictures of Dakota people, glue each picture in the middle of a piece of chart paper.
  2.  Post these pictures in various areas around the room.
  3.  Pair students up and have them view the different pictures. As they view the picture, student pairs can write their comments (using the See, Think, Wonder Strategy) answering:
    •  What do you see?
    •  What do you think?
    •  What do you wonder?
  4.  In the time given, student pairs should have an opportunity to visit at least different pictures.
  5.  Debrief with the students by telling the students the names of the different people that have been displayed, and asking students about what they saw as common features between the photos.


Part 2: Understanding the Assignment

  1.  Explain that all the pictures displayed are of Dakota people. Some of these people are from the past and some people are still living today. Many people shape Saskatchewan and during this time is an opportunity to read about First Nations people shaped or continue to help shape Saskatchewan.
  2.  Ask students about what they know about trading cards. History of Trading Cards YouTube Video gives an explanation. Ideas that can be shared to support this assignment:
    •  trading cards honour accomplishments of people
    •  used to acknowledge great men and women
    •  give brief information about the person
  3.  Explain to students they are a trade card designer for a cereal company. The company has hired you to create a trading card that explains how First Nations and Métis support Saskatchewan.

Part 3: Think Aloud Using Elements of Critical Reading

  1.  Use one of the Dakota People Information Cards to do a Think Aloud explaining the steps on how to critically read and collect information in order to be able to get information for the trading card. Here are a list of steps to follow to teach critical reading:
    • Pre-read: Show students how to familiarize themselves with a text looking at the length of the fact card, pictures, text layout, headings, references.
    • Read and Re-read: Read a portion of the Information Card twice that would have information on it for the Information Card.
    • Highlight: Show students how to choose the information off of the Information Card and highlight it.
    • Synthesize: Take the highlighted information from the Information Card and show students how to write it in your own words on the Research Organization Sheet.
    • Reflect and Plan: Show students how you would take that information and decide how you would use the information to put it on the trading card template.
  2.  Show students a list of Dakota people that an Information Card has been created on or show students the website Aboriginal Faces of Saskatchewan that could be used to create a trading card.
  3. Students choose their top 3 choices of people they would like to create a trading card on. Assign students to research certain First Nation or Métis people or allow them to choose their own person. It would be good to not have any groups researching the same person.

Part 4: Learning About First Nation or Métis Person

  1. Group students into partners based on their choices of people they would like to create a trading card on.
  2. Have students use the steps to critically read the Information Card or website and collect information to record on the organization sheet.
  3. Have students show their organization sheet before moving on to create a rough draft of the trading card.
  4. Partners complete two different final draft trading cards that has the same information but some different creative options (Example: Different fonts, types of pictures).


Part 5: Sharing Out

  1. Have partners mount the trading cards on the outside of an 8.5×11 envelope by folding the trading card around the outside of the envelope. Under each card they either post a #1 or #2.
  2. Pass the envelopes around the classroom and the partners look at each of the trading cards and discuss the merits of the two different trading cards based on the criteria that the cards are being evaluated on. Partners choose what they consider is the better trading card and mark their trading card number on the ballot and give an explanation as to why they choose that particular one. Ballots are collected in the envelopes.
  3. Once all partners have had an opportunity to put in their ballot, partner groups take back their envelope and read through the ballots to read comments and discover which of their trading cards has been chosen to be published.
  4. All trading cards can be displayed publicly where others can view and learn.



  • Depending on student ability to find information, teachers might need to provide the information that is given to each partner so there is no need to use the computer.

Materials Required

  • 8.5” X 11” ENVELOPES