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Native Words, Native Warriors

During World War I and World War II, hundreds of American Indians joined the United States armed forces and used words from their traditional Native languages as weapons. The United States military asked them to develop and use secret battle communications based on their languages. Native Words, Native Warriors tells the stories of these military heroes, also known as code talkers.

Resource Information

grades   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Assiniboine, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Chippewa, Choctaw, Comanche, Cree, Diné, Hopi, Kiowa, Menominee, Muskogee (Creek), Navajo, Oneida, Osage, Pawnee, Sac and Fox, Seminole, Sioux (Lakota and Dakota), Yankton Sioux
History, Social Studies
Eastern Woodlands, North America, Northeast, Northwest Coast, Plains, Southwest
boarding school, code talkers, culture, veteran, warrior, World War I, World War II, Native American
Essential Understandings More Close

1: American Indian Cultures
Culture is a result of human socialization. People acquire knowledge and values by interacting with other people through common language, place, and community. In the Americas, there is vast cultural diversity among more than 2,000 tribal groups. Tribes have unique cultures and ways of life that span history from time immemorial to the present day.

2: Time, Continuity, and Change
Indigenous people of the Americas shaped life in the Western Hemisphere for millennia. After contact, American Indians and the events involving them greatly influenced the histories of the European colonies and the modern nations of North, Central, and South America. Today, this influence continues to play significant roles in many aspects of political, legal, cultural, environmental, and economic issues. To understand the history and cultures of the Americas requires understanding American Indian history from Indian perspectives.

3: People, Places, and Environments
For thousands of years, indigenous people have studied, managed, honored, and thrived in their homelands. These foundations continue to influence American Indian relationships and interactions with the land today.

5: Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
American Indians have always operated and interacted within self-defined social structures that include institutions, societies, and organizations, each with specific functions. These social structures have shaped the lives and histories of American Indians through the present day.


Academic Standards More Close

Common Core State Standards

Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (High School)–National Council for the Social Studies

I. Culture.
Knowledge–That culture is an integrated whole that explains the functions and interactions of language, literature, the arts, traditions, beliefs, values, and behavior patterns.

II. Time, Continuity, and Change.
Products–Interviewing people who have participated in a recent historical event, and developing an exhibition based on those oral histories to contribute to a history museum.

III. People, Places, and Environments.
Knowledge–Factors that contribute to cooperation and conflict among peoples of the nation and world, including language, religion, and political beliefs.

V. Individuals, Groups, and Institutions.
Knowledge–The influence of individuals, groups, and institutions on people and events in historical and contemporary settings.

College, Career, & Civic Life–C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards

Evaluate how historical events and developments were shaped by unique circumstances of time and place as well as broader historical contexts.

Use questions generated about individuals and groups to assess how the significance of their actions changes over time and is shaped by the historical context.

Use questions generated about multiple historical sources to pursue further inquiry and investigate additional sources.