New app teaches math to children in the Lakota language

RAPID CITY, S.D (KEVN) - Math is a language of its own, and now it can be taught in Lakota. Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation created the first fully bilingual English and Lakota math video game.

Thunder Valley Community Development Corp. created the first fully bilingual English and Lakota math video game. (KEVN)

Making Camp: Lakota is an app on both mobile devices and computer desktops designed to help teach children math, especially fourth and fifth graders.

After creating a username, children can learn math by playing a variety of games that invoke memorization

It's a key technique used to drill the curriculum according to Mary Bowman, an Oceti Sakowin teacher with the Rapid City Area School District.

Additionally, a historical video introduces each section of the game explaining cultural symbols like eagle feathers, buffalo and horses.

Bowman said according to data, culturally responsive teaching increases children's achievement levels because the children are more engaged which leads them to learn more.

"It's so important because, you know, Lakota people have lived here for centuries. And the influence that the culture has is here and great. It's good not just for Native students to learn but all kids to learn," Bowman said.

Bowman said she admires this free resource and recommends other teachers implement the app in their study plans.

See related story An app is saving the Lakota language