NS/CB “People of the First Light”

Lesson Activities & Lesson Plans

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Secondary Social Studies

NS/CB “People of the First Light” Mural - Lesson Activity

Artist Statement: “This piece was inspired by the Wampanoag tribe of the Massachusetts territory before the European colonization. Now more than ever, it's important to remember that the majority of this country is composed of immigrants, and these tribes were here before America was even an idea. We hope to help empower them & to pay homage to a culture that was said to be "erased" that is still very much alive.” - NS/CB
Watch this video to learn about the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe and answer the questions below:

5. The name Wampanoag means “People of the White Light” or “People of the First Light.” Take a close look at the mural above and list some of the aspects of culture and symbolism that you see:

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Have you seen any of the murals in Lynn before?
Does studying the murals make you want to go and see them in person?
Do you think having murals in the city makes it special?
Did the mural(s), the symbolism, or the artist’s story make you think about your life and experiences?
If you have any questions or need assistance, email admin@beyond-walls.org
Secondary Social Studies

NS/CB “People of the First Light” Mural - Lesson Plan


Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher led) with diverse partners on discipline-specific topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.


• Identify the impacts of colonization on Native American tribes in Massachusetts

• Analyze aspects of culture and symbolism present within the mural

• Vocabulary: symbol, symbolism, homage, pathogens, colonization


  1. Pre Teach vocabulary: homage, pathogens, colonization; review symbol and symbolism

  2. Activate background knowledge: class discussion/brainstorm what students know about Native American tribes who live in present day Massachusetts

  3. Read biography

  4. Watch video on Wampanoag tribe and answer questions

  5. Evaluate the various aspects of cultural in their mural (individually, in partners, or groups)