Begins with drumming and the re-telling of the legend ‘White Buffalo Calf Woman’ to introduce ‘Lacey,’ then moves into a discussion about the drum and what she has learned about First Nations’ culture through research. She generally reads from ‘Lacey and the African Grandmothers’ – either a tense, emotion-charged scene, or a loving scene between Lacey and her grandmother.
When she opens the floor to questions, she puts out the seed that someone should ask about how she became a writer in Grade 4. “I use personal stories and lively anecdotes to answer questions, and always a child will ask me about Grade 4, meaning I get the chance to discuss my rather unconventional development as a writer through a penpal addiction,’ she says.
In addition to the drum and smudge bowl, she brings slides to show the children the real setting for the story and the people who inspired it, with plenty of discussion on what they are seeing and things to notice.
Discussion sometimes flows into picture books, the writing process, research and/or the blending of fact and fiction.
General Activities/Curricular Ties
Art and language arts: Research; blending fact and fiction; using real places and events to inspire writing, editing process
Social studies: Global community (citizenship), First Nations’ culture
Specific Curricular Ties
Grade 3 social studies: “Connecting with the World” links to General Outcome 3.2 “Global Citizenship” — Grade 3 students will be introduced to the concepts of global citizenship and quality of life.
Grade 4 social studies: “Alberta: The Land, Histories and Stories” links to General Outcome 4.1 “Alberta: A Sense of the Land” and General Outcome 4.2 “The Stories, Histories and People of Alberta” — “cultural and geographic diversity… linkages to literature…reinforced through stories and legends.”
Grade 5 social studies: “Canada: The Land, Histories and Stories” links to General Outcome 5.2 “Histories and Stories of Ways of Life in Canada” — “…the ways of life and heritage of its diverse peoples.”
Grades K-6 language arts: May assist with teaching to General Outcome 1.1 Discover and Explore, “Express ideas and develop understanding.”