Informational texts and literature to accompany Sherman Alexie's The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
First published in 1993, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven is a collection of 24 short stories that follow protagonists Victor Joseph and Thomas Build-the-Fire (among others) through life on the Spokane Indian Reservation. With brutal honesty, Alexie paints a picture of lives on a reservation including drugs and alcohol, Indian heroes, sports, government housing, storytelling, and more. Following its release, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for Best First Book of Fiction and remains a prominent read in classrooms around the United States.
Additional Reading Practice
- Aborigines Today (Grades 6-8; CCSS.CCRA.R.8)
- Destroying a Culture (Grades 9-10; CCSS.CCRA.R.4)
- My Song Is "My Weapon" (Grades 9-10; CCSS.CCRA.R.8)
- Race and College Admissions (Grades 11-12; CCSS.CCRA.R.1)
- Talking Turkey About the Real First Thanksgiving (Grades 11-12; CCSS.CCRA.R.5)
- Study of Recent Popular Movies Finds Minorities Are Under-Represented (Grades 11-12; CCSS.CCRA.R.1)
Applied Reading and Writing Lessons
- Poetry: Ode to a Pair of Socks (Grade 7; CCSS.RL.7.4; CCSS.W.7.1)
- Who Are We? New Dialogue on Mixed Race (Grade 8; CCSS.RI.8.4; CCSS.W.8.1)
- The Recession's Unexpected Gift: Reviving Multigenerational Living (Grade 9; CCSS.RI.9-10.2; CCSS.W.9-10.1)
- The Stories That Bind Us (Grade 11; CCSS.RI.11-12.2; CCSS.W.11-12.1)
- Multiday Informational Text: excerpt from "Notes of A Native Son" (Grade 12; CCSS.RI.11-12.2; CCSS.W.11-12.1)
- A Superhero Who Looks Like My Son (Grade 12; CCSS.RI.11-12.4; CCSS.W.11-12.1)
- Poetry: I Dwell in Possibility (657) and Tell All the Truth but Tell It Slant (1129) (Grade 12; CCSS.RL.11-12.4; CCSS.W.11-12.1)
Differentiated Lesson Sets for Grades 4-12
- Communities: How do poets use language to help their communities understand and appreciate their experiences and values in ways no one else can?
- Cultural Perception: How is our identity defined by how others perceive us?
- Cultural Memoirs: How does culture help shape the people we become?
- Family History: How do family history and traditions contribute to your identity?