Tall Paul is a local, south Minneapolis hip-hop artist from the Ojibwe tribe. We were excited to host Tall Paul at Richfield Middle School for our sixth graders, where he shared some of his songs and his life story, including teachings from the Ojibwe culture.
He was very well received by our students and teachers who had a blast clapping along to his songs, and listened attentively to his teachings. Many wanted autographs and photos with him after the assembly.
Tall Paul also helped in creating a lesson plan for our sixth grade social studies classes, centered around The Seven Grandfather Teachings of the Anishinaabe. In the Ojibwe language, Anishinaabe (pronounced uh-nish-uh-nah-bay) translates to “a person” or “a human” and Anishinaabe is, therefore, inclusive of all people. We are all Anishinaabe. This is important because it exemplifies how Native cultures place value on all people, regardless of perceived differences.
“The Seven Grandfather Teachings of the Anishinaabe are principles of character to live by,” explained Tall Paul. “Each of the seven teachings is symbolized by a different animal, so I incorporated an art activity into the lesson plan.”
After completing the unit, students learned all seven of the teachings so they are able to explain how each value is demonstrated when they treat others with kindness and respect. “It’s important for students to learn to respect and appreciate people who don’t fit into generalizations,” he explained.
Below are examples of the art projects completed by students as part of this project.