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How Man Got Fire

Build literacy skills with this fun role play activity! Students read a play script and answer key questions with followup activities


Grade Level: 3-6

MaterialsPrintable Student Handout Script

Story Preview: When humans were new to Earth, they did not possess fire. They were frightened of winters bitter cold, which caused many of them to become ill or die. When a wise Coyote outsmarts Earths selfish Fire Beings, everyone finds warmth.

More Resources

To find additional Native American folktales, visit Native American Myths, Legends & Stories to view a listing of adaptations that includes the tribal origin for each story.

Roles: Narrators 1-5 (number can be adjusted as necessary for class size), Coyote, Fire Being 1, Fire Being 2, Fire Being 3, Man 1, Man 2, Coyotes Friends, Squirrel, Chipmunk, Frog

Setting: the wilderness when Earth was new

Theme: Folktale


  • being: one that lives
  • faraway: a great distance
  • gruesome: ugly, fearful-looking
  • stumped: confused

Props: none

Follow-Up Questions:

  • Why did humans fear winter?
  • Why did Coyote want to help the humans?
  • Where did the Fire Beings live?
  • Who threw the fire to Chipmunk?
  • Who would not give up the fire?

Follow-Up Activity: Invite children to write a teepee poem about fire using this format:

  • Line 1: a noun -- the topic word
  • Line 2: two adjectives describing the topic
  • Line 3: three verbs ending in ing
  • Line 4: two short statements about the topic
  • Help students center their writings on paper so the end result is in the shape of a teepee.

Article by Susan LaBella
Education World®
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