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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.


Mouse Celebrates the Winter Solstice
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10;

It is winter. The land lies still, quiet and stark beneath a blanket of snow. The tiny footprints of a mouse can be seen in the light of the moon.

"Wrapped in the quiet, and there in the bleak, there stood a wise mouse, preparing to speak."

The words that mouse chose were from many years past. She spoke them into the cold night air. So begins the enchanting story of a very special Winter Solstice celebration.

Kwakwaka’wakw author Terri Mack and Tsimshian artist Bill Helin have collaborated to bring us this story of strength, friendship and celebration. The lyrical text and engaging illustrations will appeal to readers of all ages.

Author's note:
Gila'kasla!
I spent a year writing and rewriting this poem to be sure to convey the message clearly to my audience. It was important to me that the poem reflect the importance of us all joining together to find the sacredness in celebration, the joy of belonging within a greater community and the voice of determination inside of each of us. Inspired by Indigenous Peoples rising, healing and joining together I hope that this poem inspires our youth to be strong and determined in all their future goals.
~Terri Mack

Additional Information
24 pages | 9" x 12" | ISBN: 9781771740555

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$14.95

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

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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

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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

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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

Quantity:
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.

Authenticity Note: This book has received the Authentic Indigenous Text label as it is written by Janet Wilson with the participation and support of members of the Attawapiskat community.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$14.95

Quantity:
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.

Curriculum Connections: Indigenous Studies, Visual Arts, Science, Health.

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

Quantity:
Shin-chi's Canoe
Artists:
Kim LaFave
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10;

This moving sequel to the award-winning Shi-shi-etko tells the story of two children's experience at residential school. Shi-shi-etko is about to return for her second year, but this time her six-year-old brother, Shin-chi, is going, too. As they begin their journey in the back of a cattle truck, Shi-shi-etko takes it upon herself to tell her little brother all the things he must remember: the trees, the mountains, the rivers and the tug of the salmon when he and his dad pull in the fishing nets. Shin-chi knows he won't see his family again until the sockeye salmon return in the summertime.

When they arrive at school, Shi-shi-etko gives him a tiny cedar canoe, a gift from their father. The children's time is filled with going to mass, school for half the day, and work the other half. The girls cook, clean and sew, while the boys work in the fields, in the woodshop and at the forge. Shin-chi is forever hungry and lonely, but, finally, the salmon swim up the river and the children return home for a joyful family reunion.

Educator Information
Recommended Grades: 2-10.

Recommended Authentic First Peoples K-9 resource.

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
40 pages | 8.50" x 8.13"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$18.95

Quantity:
Smelly Socks
Authors:
Robert N. Munsch
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;

Tina's new socks are so wonderful she vows to wear them every day! But they begin to smell really, really bad because Tina will not take them off – even to be washed. The kids finally drag Tina down to the river and make her wash those stinky socks, driving away all the fish with the nasty odour! Tina's mom gets her a new shirt as a reward for finally getting her socks clean. A shirt Tina loves so much, she vows never, ever to take it off!

Authentic Canadian Content
$7.99

Quantity:
Storm Boy
Authors:
Paul Owen Lewis
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Haida; Tlingit;
Grade Levels: Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3; 4; 5;

A young native boy is tossed from his canoe into a great mystery in Storm Boy. Finding himself in the land of a strange and giant people, he must discover who these beings are and explore their intentions. Storm Boy follows the rich mythic traditions of the Haida, Tlingit, and other Native peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, whose stories often tell of individuals cast mysteriously into parallel worlds inhabited by animals in human form.

Visit Paul Owen Lweis's gallery and website here: https://paulowenlewis.com/gallery

 

 

Authentic Canadian Content
$9.95

Quantity:
Strong Stories Coast Salish: Taking Care of Our Mother Earth
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 2; 3; 4;

In this Coast Salish story, it is explained how each family played a traditional role in taking care of our Mother Earth. From controlled burning to ethical hunting and fishing practices, the Coast Salish people were, and still are, taught by their elders to respect Mother Earth.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Available as an iBook
$8.50

Quantity:
Strong Stories Coast Salish: Taking Care of Our Mother Earth 6-Pack
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 2; 3; 4;

In this Coast Salish story, it is explained how each family played a traditional role in taking care of our Mother Earth. From controlled burning to ethical hunting and fishing practices, the Coast Salish people were, and still are, taught by their elders to respect Mother Earth.

Educator Information
This is a 6-Pack Bundle, which contains 6 copies of Taking Care of Our Mother Earth.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$51.00

Quantity:
Strong Stories Kanyen’keha:ka: The Game
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 2; 3; 4;

The animals and the birds are getting ready for a game of lacrosse. Bat would love to play but neither team wants him because he is different than them. This Kanyen'kehà:ka (Gan-yeh-ga-ha-ga) story is about how we all have a special talent that we must respect in others. The book also includes information about lacrosse. The Kanyen'kehà:ka is one of Six Nations that together are the Haudenosaunee.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
Available as an iBook
$8.50

Quantity:
Strong Stories Kanyen’keha:ka: The Game 6-Pack
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 2; 3; 4;

The animals and the birds are getting ready for a game of lacrosse. Bat would love to play but neither team wants him because he is different than them. This Kanyen'kehà:ka (Gan-yeh-ga-ha-ga) story is about how we all have a special talent that we must respect in others. The book also includes information about lacrosse. The Kanyen'kehà:ka is one of Six Nations that together are the Haudenosaunee.

Educator Information
This is a 6-Pack Bundle, which contains 6 copies of The Game.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$51.00

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