Cynthia Ann Parker

6, 7, 8
Keywords & Concepts: 

In this lesson, learners read the true story of Cynthia Ann Parker who was born in a white family and raised by Native Peoples. They look for and discuss the examples of respect and disrespect for Cynthia and the Native culture she was raised in. 

PrintOne 20-minute session

The learner will:

  • read about and respond to the true story of Cynthia Ann Parker.
  • identify examples of respect and disrespect in the story.
  • copies of the story of Cynthia Ann Parker (see Bibliography)
  • group copies of the handout Parker Discussion Questions


  1. Anticipatory Set

    Tell the learners that they will read a story about a woman who was born in a white family and spent most of her life within a community of Native Peoples. The story is true, but some of the details have been lost or changed in the retelling. Some of the early retellings were altered in order to generate negative feelings about the Native Comanche culture.

  2. Share the story of Cynthia Ann Parker (see Bibliography). The story may be printed and handed out, displayed from the website, or read aloud.

  3. Distribute the Parker Discussion Questions to groups of three to five learners. Have them discuss and answer the questions in small groups.

  4. Discuss as a whole group the respect Cynthia Ann Parker was shown in her life. How can prejudice cloud the judgment of people?

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how individuals have helped others.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Discuss examples of groups denied their rights in history.