The Seven Teachings

In Ojibwe tradition, the Seven Teachings are the gifts of the Seven Grandfathers: Honesty, Love, Courage, Truth, Wisdom, Humility, and Respect. Following the teachings leads a person to well being and onto a good path in life.

Materials Needed


Art Materials

Activity Process


Discuss examples of each of the seven teachings. Ask students for scenarios of actions they believe illustrate each teaching.


I then displayed a book created by past students on the seven teachings. I Showed the class ways others have interpreted the teachings and talk about commonalities and differences in the examples they discussed earlier.


  1. Students will have previously reflected on each of the seven teachings in their journals.Reflection means writing about what the teaching means to the individual student.
  2. Students will choose one of the teachings to create their drawing of what they believe the teaching means to them. The poster-size drawings will allow students to work on composition of visual literacy; text to visual meanings.
  3. Students are instructed in art and media techniques such as: filling the entire space, organizing images in a compelling and deliberate manner, and the manipulation of materials.


The drawing will serve as a poster for displaying in the school, as a way to share the teachings with others. Students will also reflect on the ways they live following the 7 teachings.


Students will reflect on the teachings through their journal writings. Students will write a complete paragraph using details in their writing. Have the students do a drawing each month and this could be kept in their portfolio. They can review all drawings at the end of the year and select the best 2-3 to keep in their portfolio.

Vocabulary Words


This was done as a one time session where students selected only one teaching to draw. It would be best to have students draw one of the teachings each month. Several students selected the same teaching so not all were represented in a drawing. This could be done as a group or class project; students could be assigned the teachings. Some teachings are more difficult to draw a visual with than others. Extensions may be to provide strategies for creating posters that are useful in marketing or advertising, as an introduction to media arts and graphic design.

Grade Level

Primary Content Area

American Indian Learner Outcomes

Content Standards


Language Arts


Social Studies