In this Canadian classic, you will read about an Ojibwa brother and sister, 11-year old Sajo and 14-year-old Shapian, and their adorable pet beavers, Chilawee and Chikanee.
One spring day, Sajo's father rescues two baby beavers from an otter attack and brings them home to their village. After one of the beavers must be traded for food, Sajo and Shapian set off to see if they can buy him back. Travelling by canoe and by train, they face various challenges on their trip to the City. They employ skills they have learned from their Ojibwa elders, and are also helped by a Missionary, American tourists, and an Irish policeman. Written in the style of old-fashioned classics like ‘Heidi’, this original tale by the renowned British-Canadian conservationist known as ‘Grey Owl’ is both informative and touching. Rich and reportedly accurate descriptions of the Eastern Canadian wilderness provide the backdrop to a story of caring people who triumph in their efforts to reunite two baby beavers with their family and finally return them to the wilderness. Illustrations by the author and a glossary of Ojibwa terms are of further interest.
The book is divided into 23 chapters. Write your own definitions, answer reading comprehension questions, and research 22 topics (ranging from how otters and beavers hunt and eat, to how elevators and steamboats work). For each of these activities, you may go into great detail, or just scratch the surface – the material is adaptable to different students.
Enjoy a trip into the past with a sincere story-teller and lovable characters!
Research topics: Jacques Cartier, Ojibwa tea, beaver dams and lodges, how otters hunt, feeding human food to wildlife, Ojibwa/European trade, what beavers eat in the wild, what instinct is, the Hudson’s Bay Company, birch bark canoes, what ‘portage’ means, forest fires, steamboats, who are the Ojibwa, Native American spiritual beliefs, animals in zoos versus in the wild, travelling by train in Canada (in the past), how elevators work, the importance of saying thank you, what bannock is, autumn around the world, how dangerous wolves really are.