Lesson Plan

Learning About Maria Tallchief

This engaging lesson plan provides students with an opportunity to learn all about America's prima ballerina, Maria Tallchief.
View aligned standards

First and second graders get an inspiring introduction to America's first prima ballerina, Maria Tallchief. Students will practice taking notes while watching a short video and reading an autobiographical book about the Native American dancer, comparing the sources and discussing important vocabulary terms such as "prejudice" and "adversity" along the way. After learning about Maria Tallchief, children will brainstorm things they may want to be when they grow up and reflect on their interests in a drawing and writing activity.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to comprehend informational texts.
  • Students will be able to recall information from their lives to answer a question.


(5 minutes)
Note-Taking from a VideoWhat Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?Ways to Take a Stand
  • Gather the students together in a whole group.
  • Explain to the students that today they are going to learn about one of America's most famous ballerinas, Maria Tallchief.
  • Ask students to turn and talk to their elbow partners about what they know about ballet, or other famous ballerinas they have heard of (e.g., Misty Copeland).
  • Allow a few students to share their ideas with the class.