Teaching Resources

Students in class

In tandem with developing a shared reading and conversational experience for students, the One Book Program also encourages a collaborative teaching community. Learn more about the themes and experiences described in the book.

In addition to the Teaching the One Book Program Brown Bag offered by the Center for Teaching and Learning, we have collected ideas from faculty across campus to offer a launching pad to generate ideas for your courses below.

The following are a few resources to go beyond the book, including discussion questions, classroom resources, links, and cultural resources.

If you create an assignment that proves to be effective for your class and would like to share it, please send it to Hellen Lee at onebook@csus.edu. We'll post it among the resources below!

Also, please check back on this page regularly since more information will be added as materials are developed and become available.

Center for Teaching and Learning Brown Bag:

Teaching the One Book Students in class

Faculty are invited to a Brown Bag on “Teaching the One Book,” on Friday, September 12 at noon in the CTL conference room.

The Sacramento State University One Book Program has selected Sherman Alexie's Blasphemy (Grove, 2012) its 2014-2015 One Book. Alexie show­cases his many talents in the collection, where he unites fifteen beloved classics with fifteen new stories in one sweeping anthology for devoted fans and first-time readers. Included here are some of his most esteemed tales, including “What You Pawn I Will Redeem,” in which a homeless Indian man quests to win back a family heirloom; “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona,” a road-trip morality tale; “The Toughest Indian in the World,” about a night shared between a writer and a hitchhiker; and his most recent, “War Dances,” about a man grappling with sudden hearing loss in the wake of his father’s death. Alexie’s new stories are fresh and quintessential, about donkey basket­ball leagues, lethal wind turbines, a twenty-four hour Asian manicure salon, good and bad marriages, and all species of warriors in America today.

The Brown Bag will be an opportunity for faculty members to learn about and share ways to incorporate the One Book into their courses as required or recommended readings or for for extra credit assignments.

Date: Friday, September 12, 2014
Time: noon
Location: CTL Conference Room, 4th floor, University Library

September 10-October 15, 2014

DINE AND DISCUSS: Discussion Groups in the Dining Commons

Students in class

Do your students need a little extra time with the stories? Residential Life, First Year Experience, and One Book Program are joining together to provide opportunities for students to discuss this year's One Book, Blasphemy, during the dinner hour. Each week until Author Day, October 16, Hellen Lee, literature faculty in the English Department, and student volunteers will be available to discuss individual stories. There will be time at the end of the hour to discuss other stories. This is open to all students; the only cost is for dinner at the Dining Commons.

Date: Wednesdays, September 10-October 15, 2014
Time: 5.30-6.45pm

Location: Dining Commons, small meeting room

Schedule of readings:

September 10: "War Dances" and "This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona"
September 17:
"Midnight Basketball" and "Protest"

September 24: "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven" and "Night People"
October 1: "Green World" and "Indian Education"

October 8: "Gentrification" and "Whatever Happened to Frank Snake Church?"

October 15: "What You Pawn I Will Redeem" and "The Search Engine"

For more information, please contact any Residential Life Coordinator or Assistant Director of Programming at Housing and Residential Life.

Panel Discussion and Curricular Materials

Native American Repatriation: Science, Sovereignty and Human Remains

Send your students to the Author Day morning panel, which will address issues related to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), a federal law passed in 1990. Excavating Native American burial sites and collecting human remains has been questioned by Native leaders for some time, and with the implementation of NAGPRA, a process regulating the excavation of burial sites and the repatriation of human remains to Native Nations has been put in place. Recently, a development in Larkspur, California, resulted in disturbing a Coast Miwok burial site. Rather than allowing the human remains and artifacts unearthed to be retained by scientists for academic purposes, political leaders representing the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria decided to re-bury the human remains and artifacts at an undisclosed location. Panelists will provide information, knowledge and experience related to "Native American repatriation” while addressing important issues related to NAGPRA. Materials to read in advance or after the panel discussion are listed below.

Dr. Mark Basgall, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Archeological Research Center, Sacramento State University
Vanessa Esquivido-Meza (Nor Rel Muk Wintu), Graduate Student, Native American Studies, University of California, Davis
Nicole Lim (Pomo), Executive Director, The California Indian Museum and Cultural Center, Santa Rosa

Dr. Brian Baker (Bad River Chippewa), Professor of Ethnic Studies and Director of Native American Studies, Sacramento State University

Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014
Time: Noon
Location: Ballroom, University Union

Newspaper article: "Graton Rancheria Leaders: Found Remains, Artifacts at Larkspur Site a Tribal Matter," The Press Democrat, April 24, 2014
Film: Thieves of Time: Who Owns the Past? (Film is accessible with a saclink account)
Magazine article: "The Kennewick Man Finally Freed to Share His Secrets," Smithsonian, September 2014

Capital Public Radio Curriculum Outreach Project

Discovering Sherman Alexie 

Students in class

Capitol Public Radio offers a variety of teaching modules to support the Sacramento State University curriculum through radio stories and suggestions for accompanying assignments. Under the direction of Dr. Nick Burnett, Emeritus Faculty of the Communications Department, CPR "combs through the stories presented on both local and national feeds available through Capital Public Radio for content that will provide an opportunity for discussion, analysis, and application in your classes. Each module includes a link to a CapRadio story, either audio or in print, as well as suggested exercises—writing prompts, discussion questions, critical thinking opportunities, or questions for critique."

Main: Capital Public Radio Curriculum Outreach Project
Alexie page: Discovering Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie's Blasphemy
link to synopses

Story Synopses

A detailed synopsis of each short story is available for downloading. It includes plot summaries, list of main characters, and trigger warnings for potentially delicate topics.

The One Book Program would like to thank Debi Ornellas for her tremendous contributions to make these synopses possible.

Other Links and Resources

Here are a few links to get you started in developing your classes and lesson plans. If you come across other helpful links, please send them to onebook@csus.edu so that we can add them to the list!

Resources available at the University Library
  • Library Information and Resource Guide will be available soon
  • Multiple copies of the One Book are available through the University Library.

For more information

The following sites contain further information. The One Book Program does not necessarily endorse, support, or disagree with any of the sites included below. They are provided only as a point of departure for your own research as you prepare your classes.

Author's Page

Interviews and Readings


All author day events are accessible for wheelchairs and other mobility devices. The public evening lecture is accompanied by a sign language interpreter.

Blasphemy is available in accessible formats. Please contact the High Tech Center of Services to Students with Disabilities (SSWD) at 916-278-7915. Please note that SSWD is only able to give access to alternative media for the One Book under certain conditions. Students must be registered with SSWD and be approved for alternative media accommodations at the High Tech Center. The One Book must required reading material and the student will need to provide proof of purchase. For more information, please contact SSWD at sswd@csus.edu or (916) 278-6955 or (916) 278-7239 (TTY) for assistance.

The One Book is also available through the University Library. You may also purchase the book at the Hornet Bookstore and through major booksellers.