Supporting First Nations/ Native American Themes in the Classroom
written by Tara Saracuse, is a compilation of stories about BC history, written from a child’s perspective. The characters are real and the stories are exciting and intriguing. You don’t have to be from British Columbia to appreciate these stories as they work well with the Island Kids unit to develop or practice reading strategies, making it a perfect language arts unit to start the year off or for anytime in between.
The unit created from Island Kids focuses on developing the reading strategies: Visualization, Summarizing, Connecting, Comparing and Contrasting, Questioning, and Predicting,
while including a First Nations’ theme throughout. Ideal grades for this unit are grade 3-6, understanding that grade threes would need a little more support, but would get great exposure and practice with these higher thinking reading strategies.
Included in this unit:
Connections to the BC Curriculum Big Ideas for Grades 3-6 in Language Arts
Connections to the BC Curriculum Big Ideas for Grade 3-5 in Social Studies
**(Outside BC, similar curricular comparisons can be made.)**
Student Response Booklet
with specific lesson pages for each story/reading strategy
A map for students to locate and record where each story takes place
A note taking page to record interesting facts about each story from the sections: "What do we know for sure?" found at the end of each chapter, that gives background information important to each story.
Assessment Rubric (please see preview picture for the detailed rubric)
More about Island Kids,
as described by Strong Nations:
“This is a history of British Columbia's island children, told in their voices, from their perspectives. Composed of twenty-two stories, Island Kids is a snapshot of a period and place in time. The topics range from quintessentially coastal experiences, like a day at the beach, to stories that deal with serious issues, such as BC's history of residential schools,
but they all remain true to the experience of the children telling the story. At the end of each chapter is a section called "What do we know for sure?" that gives the reader greater depth and context. The stories are written in a dynamic and authentic voice and are aimed at readers aged eight to twelve.
Unlike history that has either been fictionalized or told from an adult's perspective, the Courageous Kids series brings history to kids in their own words. Truly original, Kidmonton, Rocky Mountain Kids, and Island Kids strive to communicate the events and emotions of kids.”
Other First Nations units available are:
Hiawatha and the Peacemaker
Storm Boy and Frog Girl
The Rough face Girl
The Boy Who Lived With Seals
To obtain a copy of this book and others like it, I recommend checking out Strong Nations,
an online bookstore supplying indigenous and Native American books. Not only do they have an extensive selection, they provide themed book bundles for all age ranges.