Middle School Reading


The Clan of the Cave Bear: Literature Studies

Grade Level:

Grades 6-8

Subject Areas:


Technology Equipment and Skills Needed:

Lesson Overview:

This is a language arts based lesson using the novel, The Clan of the Cave Bear, by Jean Auel. The novel will provide a structure for comparing contemporary Dine life with life in prehistoric Europe. The Clan of the Cave Bear was selected because it provides rich character descriptions in varied conflict situations similar to those faced by early indigenous peoples. Guest appearances by community elders will help students compare novel themes of gender roles and clan structure with Dine culture. Elders will assist in discussion about Dine social ceremonies, (those ceremonies that are available for sharing.)

Cultural Content:

Use of elders as guest speakers who will involve the students in discussing cultural themes. Use of the Dine clan chart. Use of HyperStudio stack created on the Dine.

Other Background Information for Teacher:

Teacher could start out reading the book aloud. Students could form reading circles later where they could discuss the book as they were reading it. It may be easier for students to create their dioramas after they have read the entire book. Elders could be identified based on expertise in a certain area(s) with the help of a culture teacher or teachers from the region.