Ballad of Sitting Bull: For Families

Lakota Wisdom & Westward Expansion




Dear Parents and Families,

Imagine: riding the Great Plains with the legendary chief of the Lakota Nation — Sitting Bull — as he fights to maintain the “Old Ways” in the face of Westward Expansion. Thanks to support from your school as well as generous assistance from foundations, corporate sponsors and many private donors, your student has embarked, or will soon, on an amazing three-week learning adventure. For an hour each day, they will immerse themselves in a world far beyond the classroom — studying, co-writing, staging and performing an inspirational one-act SPIRIT SERIES play:

Ballad of Sitting Bull

In journal entries, they will explore Four Lakota Virtues considered essential for any human being: Courage, Fortitude, Generosity and Wisdom. One of  these Virtues will also be the focus of your student’s At Home project. And we encourage you to join in! The At Home journey begins below, with heartfelt personal stories from friends of our program that celebrate these important character traits. Designed to engage and challenge, the At Home project, along with the entire SPIRIT SERIES curriculum, promotes literacy, higher-order thinking, positive core values, presentation skills, teamwork, character and self-esteem.

Follow the SERIES action on your school’s special webpage:

The success of SPIRIT SERIES depends on your engagement and support. In the next three weeks, your student may bring home other assignments and a craft project. If so, please assist them in completing these valuable tasks. You may also wish to read the play, available on this website, and discuss together the key message of Chief Sitting Bull’s life. This drama-based transformative experience promises to be of lasting significance to your student. Thank you for your active participation.

Hope to see you at the show!



  • In nearly 30 years of teaching, I have never experienced any program with such long-reaching effects as Spirit Series.
    Robin Winston4th Grade Teacher
  • “It changed my life — Spirit Series!”
    Dominika Peikos7th Grade
  • “As educators, we are fueled by those small but powerful moments when a student steps out of their comfort zone and stretches their thinking. Thank you Spirit Series!”
    — Michele KenistonPrincipal, Berwick ME
  • Spirit Series is one of the most amazing curricula I have seen in my four decades of public education.
    Janet ChapmanPrincipal, Rosewood Elementary School
  • “The process was great! Working with my Writing Buddy really helped.”
    — Keiran Rao10th Grade, San Francisco CA
  • It was an honor doing Spirit Series — I will remember it for the rest of my life!
    Maria Aguilar8th Grade

Learn with your student

Learn about us

choralmaster We live in the Old Ways, connected and bound
Led by the buffalo, led by the sun…
— ChoralMaster
Sitting Bull It Does Not Take Many Words
to Tell the Truth.
— Chief Sitting Bull
Crazy Horse A very great vision is needed,
and the one who has it must follow it
as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky.
— Crazy Horse
Black Elk Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking.
— Black Elk
Sitting Bull 2 Let us put our minds together and see
what life we can make for our children.
— Chief Sitting Bull