This session begins with drumming with a First Nation’s hand drum, and the re-telling of the legend “White Buffalo Calf Woman” to immediately engage the audience, get their imaginations working, and make them eager for more.
The presentation moves to her picture books, “To the Post Office with Mama” and “To the Pool with Mama.” which are both set in rural Alberta. Interspersed with reading the stories from oversized books, she describes humorously her relationship with her mother, and her mother’s belief and encouragement that she could become anything she wanted provided she worked hard.
The presentation also describes how to find the book in a library, title page, dedication, etc, with breaks for questions (and personal anecdotes) and stretches “to let the wiggles out.”
She brings along “artifacts” from the stories and enlarged photographs of the real people and settings, and loves to answer students’ questions.
General Activities/Curricular Ties
Field trips to the local pool and/or post office, noting details on the way and how they relate to the story. Sending cards or letters to others, possibly in relation to discussions about empathy/compassion/helping others.
Social studies: Both stories can be used in the “community” units of the social studies curriculum. (Both picture books are set in Alberta.)
Possible activities: map-making, comparing map in the front cover of To the Post Office with Mama with maps the children make, following the map as the story is read.
Specific Curricular Ties
Grade 1 social studies: “Citizenship: Belonging and Connecting” links to “concept of community.” May assist with teaching to General Outcome 1.1 My World: Home, School, Community.
Grade 1 science: “the senses,” To the Pool with Mama discusses how the pool feels, smells and sounds. May assist with teaching to General Learner Expectations 1-9: Use the senses to make general and specific observations, and communicate observations orally and by producing captioned pictures, and General Learner Expectations 1-10: Describe the role of the human senses and the senses of other living things, in enabling perception and action.
Grade 2 social studies: “Communities in Canada” links to development of “concept of community through an examination of specific characteristics of communities in Canada.” May assist with teaching to General Outcome 2.1 Canada’s Dynamic Communities.
Grades K-6 language arts: May assist with teaching to General Outcome 1.1 Discover and Explore, “Express ideas and develop understanding.”