In a unit on Puritans and Colonial America, in which students learn that the Puritans fled from England to pursue religious freedom, I would use the Cheyenne proverb, “Our first teacher is our own heart.” I would introduce this conversation after students have been exposed to the concept of religious freedom and ask them to tie the two ideas together through collaborative discussion. After students have identified the ways in which Puritans and other colonists listened to the “teacher in their hearts” I would also bring up the challenges that faced these colonists, and how their self-motivation helped them face these challenges with strength and fortitude.
Level: Elementary or Secondary Social Studies
Subject Area: American Literature
Author: Tiffany Heitman