6th grade writing assignment in Minnesota – Common Core

This “poem” was written by a Minnesota school teacher. She handed it out with some of the words replaced by a blank line. The class was told to use their “prior knowledge” to fill in the blanks.  The students complied, and she was quite successful in teaching them What to Think.


I Am A Dakota

I am a Dakota,
I hear people crying over our land.
I see white settlers trying to convert us to Christianity.
I want white settlers to be fair
I am a brother,
I feel worried.
I touch the young children who have to fulfill our traditions.
I worry that we’re going to die with no fairness.
I cry about unfairness.
I am a Dakota,
I understand that we have no fairness.
I say that we be leaders not followers.
I dream all people live fairly.
I am a Dakota.

I Am A Newcomer
I am Alexander Ramsey,
I hear the sweet sound of Dakota leaving their homeland.
I see more land.
I want more land.
I am Alexander Ramsey,
I feel good about making more treaties.
I touch rough paper of treaties.
I worry the Dakota will get in our way.
I cry about the Dakota getting in my way.
I am Alexander Ramsey,
I understand that we want more land.
I say that we should make more treaties.
I dream that we settlers kick out the Dakota.
I am Alexander Ramsey.