Culturally Responsive Instruction for Native American Students

Welcome to this professional learning series on culturally responsive instruction for Native American students. This series provides a framework for instruction that emphasizes experiential, active, and student-centered learning. It supports all teachers in creating culturally responsive instruction for their Native students. If you are already familiar with your students' cultures and communities, you should be ready to dive into implementing this framework. If you are not yet familiar, this series will guide you on your journey to become more knowledgeable. We do not provide lessons or curricula on particular cultures, histories, or languages. Instead we provide the pedagogical principles to support you in creating (or adjusting) lessons and curricula informed by and integrating your students' cultures. Implementing this process will pave the way for your students' to achieve success, both in and out of the classroom. 

If your role is to support teachers and advocate for Native students, this series is right for you as well. It can help you know what to look for in classroom observations, guide your feedback to teachers and schools, and inform your recommendations to improve programs for Native students.

This new series is a work in progress. It currently addresses the following questions.

  • What is culturally responsive instruction?
  • Why is it important for Native American students?
  • What does it look like for Native American students?


Let's get started!

The series of videos and tasks are presented sequentially and build on each other. Follow the steps to complete each section before moving on to the next video.

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1. The What and Why of Culturally Responsive Instruction

This section introduces culturally responsive instruction and explains why it's critical for the academic success of Native American students.


Steps to complete section:

  1. Watch the course video
  2. Click on the Journal link below to go to your course journal. This journal is a google doc. You will be prompted to make a copy of the journal file. Then answer the Exit Questions for activity 1.1. For future journal activities, you will be prompted to go to this same file, so keep note of its name and location. If you don't have a google account and would like to create one, click here.


Journal - Activity 1.1

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2. Understanding Culture and Native American Diversity

This section provides a framework for considering culture in classroom settings and explores the range of diversity among Native students.


Steps to complete section:

  1. Watch the course video
  2. Open your course journal and answer the Exit Questions for activity 1.2. Reminder: this is the google doc you created in the last activity. If you can't remember where it is, you can do a search in your google drive for "Journal for Culturally Responsive Instruction."
  3. Complete the Student Inventory - either for teachers or for those who support teachers


 Journal - Activity 1.2 | Student Inventory for TeachersStudent Inventory for those who Support Teachers

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3. Foundations for Culturally Responsive Practice

This section elaborates on the foundations for our instructional guidance in this series, including traditional Native American values, epistemologies, and educational strategies, and general principles of culturally responsive instructional practice.


Steps to complete this section:

  1. Watch the course video 
  2. Go to your journal and answer the Exit Questions for activity 1.3.
  3. Complete the inventory on culturally responsive practice - either for teachers or for those who support teachers


Journal - Activity 1.3 | Culturally Responsive Practice Inventory for TeachersCulturally Responsive Practice Inventory for those who Support Teachers




If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Barbara Jones at