Reading Connections

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Welcome to Reading Connections!
Our thanks to Brenda Boreham for writing these fantastic lesson plans for Strong Nations!

Click on the SUB-CATEGORY to see each reading connection category. You will find several titles that have been selected to specifically to connect with teaching reading comprehension through the use of 6 learning strategies for both fiction and non-fiction. Some of the selected titles also include a free downloadable lesson plan.

Please visit our Educators page for more information.


Just a Walk
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: Kindergarten; 1; 2;

In Just a Walk, a young boy named Chuck goes for a simple walk that turns into a day of crazy adventure. Chuck encounters animals, fish and birds that lead him on a wild journey through their various habitats.

Jordan Wheeler's whimsical rhyming will capture the young readers attention and Chuck's hilarious predicaments will keep all ages laughing for more.

Written to excite the young readers and to leave a smile on their faces.

Educator Information
Just a Walk is an adaptation of a popular oral presentation developed as an interactive performance for children.

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.00" x 8.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$10.95

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Kindness to Share from A to Z
Authors:
Peggy Snow
Todd Snow
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten;

It's never too soon to teach children the value of kindness, from "Ask someone to play with you." to "Zip a younger child's jacket." Other ideas: "Help clean up after dinner." "Read a story to a younger child." "Think before you speak. Choose kind words."

Simple words and beautifully engaging illustrations invite children to show kindness in their daily lives. Each letter, each idea is a step toward becoming more caring and compassionate...and making the world a better place.

$11.45

Out of Print
Kisimi Taimaippaktut Angirrarijarani / Only in My Hometown
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2;

The northern lights shine, women gather to eat raw caribou meat and everyone could be family in this ode to small-town life in Nunavut, written in English and Inuktitut.

Sisters Angnakuluk Friesen and Ippiksaut Friesen collaborate on this story about what it’s like to grow up in an Inuit community in Nunavut. Every line about the hometown in this book will have readers thinking about what makes their own hometowns unique. With strong social studies curriculum connections, Kisimi Taimaippaktut Angirrarijarani / ᑭᓯᒥ ᑕᐃᒪᐃᑉᐸᒃᑐᑦ ᐊᖏᕐᕋᕆᔭᕋᓂ / Only in My Hometown introduces young readers to life in the Canadian North, as well as the Inuit language and culture.

Angnakuluk’s simple text, translated into Inuktitut and written out in syllabics and transliterated roman characters, is complemented by Ippiksaut’s warm paintings of their shared hometown.

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 3-7.

Recommended for Grades K-2 for the following subject areas: English Language Arts, Social Studies.

Additional Information
24 pages | 11.00" x 8.25"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$18.95

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Lessons From Mother Earth
Artists:
Colleen Wood
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;

This gentle story demonstrates the First Nations' tradition of taking care of Mother Earth.

Tess has visited her grandmother many times without really being aware of the garden. But today when they step out the door, Tess learns that all of nature can be a garden. And if you take care of the plants that are growing, if you learn about them - understanding when they flower, when they give fruit, and when to leave them alone - you will always find something to nourish you. 

At the end of the day, Tess is grateful to Mother Earth for having such a lovely garden, and she is thankful for having such a wise grandma.

Elaine McLeod's poetic text and Colleen Wood's gentle watercolors combine to make Lessons from Mother Earth a celebration of nature and life.

Additional Information
24 pages | 8.80" x 8.80"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$9.95

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Little Bear's Vision Quest
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3; 4;

A full-colour storybook that teaches respect for others. The paintings were done by Joe Silvey (Salish). The book deals with name calling, initially showing the main character, Little Bear, as selfish and inconsiderate of other's feelings. The book is a modern First Nations legend applying the traditional method of using stories as a teaching tool. Little Bear learns to value the traditions of his ancestors and through the daily ritual of cleansing himself becomes in tune with nature. The book can be used by teachers, parents and other caring adults to teach children the value of respect. Discussion questions are included for parents and teachers.

Educator Information
Recommended Grades: 1-4.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$15.00

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Make Your Own Inuksuk
Authors:
Mary Wallace
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5;

In Make Your Own Inuksuk, clear, inspiring text and beautiful step-by-step photographs show how to create your own inuksuk and bring the beauty and magic of this ancient Inuit tradition into the classroom, home or garden. An index is also included.

Richly varied yet intrinsically connected, the titles in the Wow Canada! library celebrate different aspects of the country. Together, they weave a tale as diverse and exciting as Canada itself.

Reviews
"Once in a while, a very special book that quietly communicates a sense of wonder, beauty and spiritual connectedness comes along. This is such a book." -School Library Journal

Educator Information
Age 8 and up.

Additional Information
32 pages | 7.62" x 9.84"

Authentic Canadian Content
$11.95

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Meet Tom Longboat
Authors:
Elizabeth MacLeod
Artists:
Mike Deas
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5;

Meet Tom Longboat, the Onondaga runner who broke world records... on his own terms!

On April 19, 1907, a hundred thousand people lined up to watch the eighth running of the Boston Marathon. At the start of the race, more than one hundred runners surged forward, and at the end, Tom Longboat won it in a record-breaking four minutes, forty-six seconds. He became the most famous runner in the world, yet faced scrutiny and criticism of every part of his life, from his revolutionary training techniques to his Indigenous heritage.

This picture book will introduce young readers to a brave and fascinating man whose legacy as Canada’s foremost distance runner continues to be recognized to this day.  

This new biography series features accessible text, full-colour illustrations, with historical notes and timelines that provide even more information on Tom Longboat’s background and incredible accomplishments.

Educator Information
Recommended ages: 6-10.

Themes/Key Ideas: Biography, Sports, Canada, Indigenous Canadians, Social Topics, Prejudice & Racism.

Additional Information
32 pages

Authentic Canadian Content
$16.99

Quantity:
Morning On The Lake
Artists:
Karen Reczuch
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;
Grade Levels: Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3; 4;

A young boy and his grandfather set out in a birchbark canoe early one spring morning. Under the patient and gentle guidance of his grandfather, the boy gradually comes to respect the ways of nature and to understand his own place in the world.

In the first of three linked stories, a young boy and his grandfather set out in a birchbark canoe early one spring morning. Together, they discover the peaceful beauty of the lake. In the second story, the sun rises high in the summer sky as they climb a rocky cliff for a bird's-eye view of the land. And, finally, as an autumn night descends, they venture into the woods. Under the patient and gentle guidance of his grandfather, the boy gradually comes to respect the ways of nature and to understand his own place in the world.

Reviews
"Filled with lessons of love and respect for Mother Earth, this book is packed with many Ojibway cultural references for young readers. Noshen and his grandfather, Mishomis, set off in a birchbark canoe, climb a mountain and stand off a pack of wolves - all in one day. Noshen learns that he is brother to the wolves and need not be afraid of any animal he meets in the woods. Karen Reczuch's illustrations of many culturally-relevant objects like beadwork designs and Mishomis' moccasins make this book something to be treasured." —Aboriginal Voices

"From the first words of Morning on the Lake, it's evident the author has an abundance of love and respect for the force of nature in all its magnificence. And, as we follow the young native protagonist and his grandfather, the call of the wild sounds ever more clear. Early one morning, the boy and his grandfather set off in their canoe and are rewarded with a rare glimpse of a family of loons. Later that day, they climb to the top of a hill and have an encounter with a bald eagle. And in the still night, the boy comes face to face with a pack of wolves. In this boy's traditional world, nature is given very human qualities which can set the heart a-thumping as well as soothe the spirit. Karen Reczuch's tranquil illustrations lovingly portray the relationship between man and his surroundings." —Children's Book News

Additional Information
32 pages | 10.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$7.95

Quantity:
Ocean Champions: A Journey into Seas of Plastic
Authors:
Michelle Mech
Artists:
Ian Fry
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7;

Empowering children to help save our oceans.

With nine million tons of plastic debris entering the oceans every year from the land - the equivalent of one large garbage truck full every minute - plastic in our oceans is a problem so devastating and colossal that it is easy to give up in despair, feeling there is no way to make a real difference.  But Ocean Champions - A Journey into Seas of Plastic not only communicates this huge environmental problem to young children in an entertaining and educational story; it also empowers them to make a difference by influencing the adults in their lives and by taking action to become champions for our oceans.  

Ocean Champions is beautifully illustrated and tells a tale of two children, Kai and Morgan, who are playing on a beach and befriend Botley, a plastic bottle who is afraid of being washed into the ocean. They soon discover a dolphin tangled in fishing net and call a rescue centre for help. The rescuers arrive in the super submersible, Spirit, and thus begins a journey of discovery about the devastating effects that plastic debris is having on marine animals, either through external entanglement that injures, traps, and often drowns them or through plastic ingestion, which causes suffering and often death.  Along the way they learn more about ocean plastic and also why our oceans are so important. 

The story presents the sad facts in a way that doesn't overwhelm.  The child characters learn and accept and then go on to do something about plastic in our oceans, inspiring readers to also become agents of change.  (Gulf Islands Driftwood Newspaper, 2017)

Reviews
"This book is a must-read for today’s action-minded students. By showing the dark side of plastic pollution in the oceans, and then identifying solutions that we can all adopt, it provides a practical and positive story that empowers us to protect ocean life." - Dr. Peter S. Ross, Director of the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Pollution Research Program

"As a life-long artist and naturalist, it is safe for me to say that this book about a journey into seas of plastic is an excellent work. The illustrations are clean and lively, and the story is forceful and focused. The message is vitally important for all ages; from uninformed kids to thoughtless industrialists ... prevention is better than cleanup." - Robert Bateman, Canadian naturalist and painter

Educator Information
"The Oceans Champions story is a valuable learning tool for elementary school students as it teaches them about their relationship with the oceans as part of their natural environment. Reading and discussing the story contributes to the development of social responsibility, communication, and critical thinking. Related individual or group actions further enable advancement of these skills." - Janet Hoag, Coordinator K-5, SD 64 Gulf Islands, Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada

The book's appendix contains related individual actions and student projects as well as other information, and the Ocean Champions website (oceanchampions.ca) contains teaching aids which include many student activities.

Recommended for grades K-7.

Additional Information
40 pages | 9.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
$13.95

Quantity:
Raven And Eagle
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Salish; Coast Salish;
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1;

Raven learns a powerful lesson from his friend, Eagle. Learn and understand from others, but most importantly, be yourself!

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$9.95

Quantity:
Relatives With Roots
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5;

Relatives With Roots: A Story About Métis Women’s Connection to the Land is a heartfelt story about a Métis grandmother who takes her granddaughter out into the bush to teach her how to pick traditional medicines. As the granddaughter learns the traditional beliefs and stories about how the Métis people use the plants for food and medicine, she feels happy to be a Métis child with access to such wonderful cultural knowledge. This charming and vibrant book introduces young readers to key concepts in the traditional Métis worldview while focusing on the special relationship between a young Métis girl and her grandmother. Relatives With Roots is the second in a series of children’s books relating to traditional Métis values by Leah Marie Dorion. The first book, The Giving Tree: A Retelling of a Traditional Métis Story, was nominated in 2010 for a Willow Award in the Shining Willow category.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$15.00

Quantity:
Ribbon Rescue
Authors:
Robert N. Munsch
Artists:
Eugenie Fernandes
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;

Everyone is late for the wedding and nothing is going right. But Jillian and her incredible, wonderful ribbon dress can fix almost anything: the groom's shoelaces, the bride's unruly hair, the guests' gift ...she even helps keep the best man
from losing the ring. But now Jillian's dress is a mess — who is going to fix it for her? Children will delight in reading the story and spotting the frogs hidden throughout the book!
This story was first told to Jillian, a Mohawk girl who came to a storytelling wearing her brand-new traditional ribbon dress.

Authentic Canadian Content
$7.99

Quantity:
Secret of the Dance
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6;

"Many years ago, when the world and I were younger, my family defied the government."
A boy will never forget witnessing a forbidden Potlatch.
In 1935, a nine-year-old boy's family held a forbidden Potlatch in faraway Kingcome Inlet. Watl'kina slipped from his bed to bear witness. In the Big House masked figures danced by firelight to the beat of the drum. And there, he saw a figure he knew. Aboriginal elder Alfred Scow and award-winning author Andrea Spalding collaborate to tell the story, to tell the secret of the dance.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$10.95

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Shannen and the Dream for a School
Authors:
Janet Wilson
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 5; 6; 7; 8; 9;

In 2012-2013 Shannen and the Dream for a School was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.

All children have the right to a school.

This is the true story of Shannen Koostachin and the people of Attawapiskat, a Cree community in Northern Ontario, who have been fighting for a new school since 1979, when a fuel spill contaminated their original school building.

It is 2008, and thirteen-year-old Shannen and the other students at J.R. Nakogee Elementary are tired of attending class in portables that smell and don’t keep out the freezing cold winter air. They make a YouTube video describing the poor conditions, and their plea for a decent school gains them attention and support from community leaders and children across the country. Inspired, the students decide to turn their grade-eight class trip into a visit to Ottawa, to speak to the Canadian government. Once there, Shannen speaks passionately to the politicians about the need to give Native children the opportunity to succeed. The following summer, Shannen is nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize. Her passion and that of the other students makes politicians stand up and take notice, and becomes a rallying point for the community and for the country.

Shannen will never see her dream fulfilled. Tragically, she was killed in a car crash in 2010. Her family, friends, and supporters are continuing to fight and to honor her memory as they work for equality for children in communities everywhere.

Authentic Canadian Content
$14.95

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Shi-shi-etko
Artists:
Kim LaFave
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10;

In just four days young Shi-shi-etko will have to leave her family and all that she knows to attend residential school.

She spends her last days at home treasuring the beauty of her world -- the dancing sunlight, the tall grass, each shiny rock, the tadpoles in the creek, her grandfather's paddle song. Her mother, father and grandmother, each in turn, share valuable teachings that they want her to remember. And so Shi-shi-etko carefully gathers her memories for safekeeping.

Richly hued illustrations complement this gently moving and poetic account of a child who finds solace all around her, even though she is on the verge of great loss -- a loss that native people have endured for generations because of the residential schools system.

This gentle story of a child on the verge of great loss was selected as the Aboriginal Children’s Book of the Year.

Awards

  • Winner of the Anskohk Aboriginal Children's Book of the Year Award. 

Educator Information
Recommended Grades: 2-10.

Recommended Authentic First Peoples resource K-9.

This illustrated children's story is recommended for English First Peoples Grades 10 for units pertaining to childhood through Indigenous writers' eyes and the exploration of residential schools and reconciliation through children's literature.

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.50" x 8.13" 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$18.95

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