Literacy Resources

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A New Vision: Guiding Aboriginal Literacy
Format: Paperback
  • A New Vision Guiding Aboriginal Literacy is the follow-up to Vision Guiding Native Literacy that was published over a dozen years ago. This book will explore themes and criteria for best practices that many have found contribute to success in literacy for Aboriginal learners across Canada. It highlights some unique definitions of Aboriginal literacy that have been developed by different groups and projects across Canada.

    By providing examples of successful literacy initiatives and factors that have contributed to their success, other literacy workers can use this information to start a new literacy program in their own community or try new tactics within an existing program.


Activating the Heart: Storytelling, Knowledge Sharing, and Relationships
Format: Paperback
  • Activating the Heart is an exploration of storytelling as a tool for knowledge production and sharing to build new connections between people and their histories, environments, and cultural geographies. The collection pays particular attention to the significance of storytelling in Indigenous knowledge frameworks and extends into other ways of knowing in works where scholars have embraced narrative and story as a part of their research approach.

    In the first section, Storytelling to Understand, authors draw on both theoretical and empirical work to examine storytelling as a way of knowing. In the second section, Storytelling to Share, authors demonstrate the power of stories to share knowledge and convey significant lessons, as well as to engage different audiences in knowledge exchange. The third section, Storytelling to Create, contains three poems and a short story that engage with storytelling as a means to produce or create knowledge, particularly through explorations of relationship to place.

    The result is an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural dialogue that yields important insights in terms of qualitative research methods, language and literacy, policy-making, human–environment relationships, and healing. This book is intended for scholars, artists, activists, policymakers, and practitioners who are interested in storytelling as a method for teaching, cross-cultural understanding, community engagement, and knowledge exchange.

    Educator Information
    This book would be useful for the following subjects: Indigenous Studies, Literary Criticism, Creative Writing, and Social Science.

    Additional Information
    220 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

    Edited by Julia Christensen, Christopher Cox and Lisa Szabo-Jones.

Authentic Canadian Content

Coming Soon
Becoming Scientists
Format: Paperback
  • Inquiry-based teaching in diverse classrooms, grades 3-5

    Good science starts with a question. This book offers a look into real classrooms where teachers use inquiry science to engage students in seeking answers the same ways real scientists do — they design experiments, make predictions, observe and describe, offer and test explanations, and share their conjectures with others. This practical book shows teachers how to:

    build on students' experiences, background knowledge, and readiness
    manage a diverse classroom during inquiry science exploration
    faciliatate science discussions
    deepen their own science content knowledge


Books as Bridges
Author: Jane Baskwill
Format: Paperback
  • Books as Bridges

    Using text to connect to home and school literacy and learning

    This remarkable book explores the many advantages of using "touchstone" books to consider four key aspects of literacy predictable structures, nonfiction, comprehension, and imagination and language play. Each of these aspects is described in terms of a series of strategies, which are highlighted by their use with specific touchstone books, and supported by lists of related books to consider.

    Based on convincing research that parents play a vital role in raising a reader, Books as Bridges offers an effective and efficient way to use texts, including children`s picture books, to help create a common reading experience for the class that can be extended to the home. Numerous reproducibles and send-home materials, as well as suggestions for supporting families for whom English is not the first language, complement this timely resource.


Catching Readers Before They Fall
Format: Paperback
  • Supporting readers who struggle, K-6

    Essential reading for anyone and everyone who works with struggling readers, this book contains a wealth of strategies, resources, and teaching ideas. Through examples from both adults and children, the authors explain and describe the complicated network of strategies that is always working in the minds of proficient readers -- strategies that struggling readers must learn in order to construct their own reading processes. From word-solving and prompting methods, to modeling and teaching strategies, to practical answers for parents, Catching Readers provides a picture of what it both looks and sounds like to help a child who struggles.


Cultivating Readers
Format: Paperback
  • 6 essential steps to foster the will to read

    Introducing a 6-step approach for cultivating and growing complete readers who have the will to read! You'll learn how to help your students understand the value of reading, intimately know who they are as readers, and receive joy and pleasure from text. From sharing your reading life to getting to know your students to modelling the habits of a reader, you will find strategies to use to set the foundation for a classroom of enthusiastic readers. Powerful classroom anecdotes and ready-to-use reproducible activities support this highly readable book.

Authentic Canadian Content

Echoes of Our Dakota Ancestors
Traditional Territory: Dakota
Format: Paperback
  • Enjoy imakhmakhap woyakapi (enjoyments that are told) in Dakota. Each chapter in this charmingly illustrated booklet focuses on a month of the year, with stories, poems and songs in the Dakota language. Doris Pratt, a long time language teacher and material developer, shares this Dakota collection to help students learn and practice the language.

    Educator Information
    This book is written in the Dakota language. It is useful as a total Dakota language program or can be used to supplement any Dakota language course. It is suitable for adult language courses. Included in the appendices are explanations of the Dakota language and a prayer by Hector Bunn.


Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writing By and About Indigenous Peoples
Format: Paperback
  • Elements of Indigenous Style offers Indigenous writers and editors—and everyone creating works about Indigenous Peoples—the first published guide to common questions and issues of style and process. Everyone working in words or other media needs to read this important new reference, and to keep it nearby while they’re working.

    This guide features:

    • Twenty-two succinct style principles.
    • Advice on culturally appropriate publishing practices, including how to collaborate with Indigenous Peoples, when and how to seek the advice of Elders, and how to respect Indigenous Oral Traditions and Traditional Knowledge.
    • Terminology to use and to avoid.
    • Advice on specific editing issues, such as biased language, capitalization, and quoting from historical sources and archives.
    • Case studies of projects that illustrate best practices.

    "Style is fraught with politics, especially when writing about Indigenous Peoples. Now, writers, academics, journalists, publishers, and students can breathe a sigh of relief. Reach for this essential Indigenous style guide, not only when searching for the right word, but when seeking guidance on the importance of relationships and trust." - Duncan McCue, CBC Radio Host and author of The Shoe Boy

    "Elements of Indigenous Style is a beautiful beginning, a gathering place and a cultivator of both discussion and growth. Younging’s work clears the ground, drafts the blueprints and starts the framing out on the house that we need for our stories. At the same time, Younging manages to write both solid and grounded guidelines while leaving malleability in the architecture so that the ideas can grow and evolve. And we are all invited to share, discuss, add to, and cultivate this important work." - Cherie Dimaline, author and winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award

    Educator Information
    This book would be useful for the following courses and/or areas of studies: Indigenous Studies, Canadian Literature, Language Arts, English, Media Studies, Education, Journalism, Editing and Proofreading, Social Science/Ethnic Studies, and Composition and Creative Writing.

    Additional Information
    168 pages | 5.50" x 7.50"

Authentic Canadian Content

Empowering the Spirit II: Native Literacy Curriculum
Author: Mary Elliott
Format: Paperback
  • Our most popular literacy curriculum has been updated with the most recent literacy research and includes more cultural support for teachers and practitioners. The 30 lesson plans have been reconstructed using the medicine wheel as a guide and organized by Ontario Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) levels.

    When using the medicine wheel, it is important to begin in the east (basic skill lessons) and work clockwise around to the north (advanced skill levels). This allows learners to walk a path that advances both their literacy skills and their personal growth, because it may renew teachings they have already received or give them new teachings for life. It will offer the learner an opportunity to develop positive self-esteem, a sense of identity, respect for Aboriginal ways, and strong ties to family and community.

    When teachers create an environment of respect, learners become teachers and role models. When teachers create an atmosphere characterized by the freedom to explore ideas, learners turn into leaders.


Feathers of Freedom
Author: Sharon Bannon
Format: Paperback
  • Reading and writing are tools that can empower your mind and your life. They can help you become independent and self-reliant. The learning materials in Feathers of Freedom consist of legends and their teachings. There are also short biographies of some dynamic Aboriginal people that have helped to make our lives better.

    Good writing skills help you to convey your thoughts much clearer and will give more meaning to your writing.

    Embracing the holistic approach to literacy, this workbook incorporates spiritual teachings with reading and writing fundamentals and exercises.

    This literacy workbook focuses on issues and concerns that may be relevant to Aboriginal inmates and parolees of correctional institutions.


First Nations Full Day Kindergarten
Format: Paperback
  • Over 300 pages of cultural components to complement traditional kindergarten skills and concepts:
    PROGRAM BACKGROUND, Budget Categories, Integrating First Nations Studies, Cognitive Education Method, Activities, Skills and Goals, Monthly Rhythms, Sample Week, Sample Daily Routines. THEMES: Longhouse - Autumn & Winter, Longhouse - Spring and Summer, Salmon, Bears, Planning a Potlatch, Christmas Festival, Cedar, Canoes, Weaving, Drama, plus cultural materials support themes. Factual background information for teachers to read or share with students.


For the Love of Reading Books to Build Lifelong Readers
Author: David Bouchard
Format: Paperback
  • What should we read to our children? Four experts share their favorite books.
    In For the Love of Reading, David Bouchard has teamed up with literacy experts Sally Bender, Anne Letain, and Lucie Poulin-Mackey to give lists of books to inspire us and our children. Whether you are a parent, a teacher, an administrator, an auntie, a grandpa or Mum's best friend, in For the Love of Reading you will find books to strike your fancy and the fancies of all the children in your life. Each author provides lists of books for all ages, as well as lists of seasonal books, resources, favorite strategies to encourage reading and those strategies to avoid. Lucie Poulin-Mackey's lists are of books in French. Indices are provided by author and title.

    David Bouchard has been a tireless champion of literacy for many years. A non-reader until adulthood, he fell in love with children's books one day when he was asked to read a chapter of a novel aloud.

    Sally Bender is a teacher-librarian who writes a book review column for the Brandon Sun. She brought the children's book section to her local teachers' supply store, Total Teacher, where she worked for several years.

    Anne Letain is a teacher-librarian, a consultant and the host of the website, The Reading Registry (

    Lucie Poulin-Mackey has been a teacher for almost twenty years. Lucie is now a literacy specialist for her French school board.

    2005 CCBC Our Choice


From Oral to Written: A Celebration of Indigenous Literature in Canada, 1980-2010
Author: Tomson Highway
Traditional Territory: Cree
Format: Paperback
  • Aboriginal Canadians tell their own stories, about their own people, in their own voice, from their own perspective.

    If as recently as forty years ago there was no recognizable body of work by Canadian writers, as recently as thirty years ago there was no Native literature in this country. Perhaps a few books had made a dent on the national consciousness: The Unjust Society by Harold Cardinal, Halfbreed by Maria Campbell, and the poetry of Pauline Johnson and even Louis Riel. Now, three decades later, Native people have a literature that paints them in colours that are psychologically complex and sophisticated. They have a literature that validates their existence, that gives them dignity, that tells them that they and their culture, their ideas, their languages, are important if not downright essential to the long-term survival of the planet.

    Tomson Highway’s From Oral to Written is a study of Native literature published in Canada between 1980 and 2010, a catalogue of amazing books that sparked the embers of a dormant voice. In the early 1980s, that voice rose up to overcome the major obstacle Native people have as writers: they are not able to write in their own Native languages, but have to write in the languages of the colonizer, languages that simply cannot capture the magic of Native mythology, the wild insanity of Trickster thinking. From Oral to Written is the story of the Native literary tradition, written – in multiple Aboriginal languages, in French, and in English – by a brave, committed, hard-working, and inspired community of exceptional individuals – from the Haida Nation on Haida Gwaii to the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island.

    Leading Aboriginal author Tomson Highway surveys the first wave of Native writers published in Canada, highlighting the most gifted authors and the best stories they have told, offering non-Native readers access to reconciliation and understanding, and at the same time engendering among Native readers pride in a stellar body of work.


    “We gratefully acknowledge the work of those artists who have come before, and those that continue, building bridges across our cultures through their authentic words. Tomson Highway’s readings each demonstrate that within our stories, we pass along our teachings and we build upon the strength inside each one of us. We are arriving. Back to our lands, back to our stories, back to our truths, unwrapping old words and sharing wisdom. We, are coming home.”
    —Terri Mack, Strong Nations

    “A rich compilation of Indigenous literature that will be a gift for Canadian school curriculums, also well suited for those Canadians in search of understanding and reconciliation. More importantly this book is what Indigenous people need because, like me, they will discover their lives in the many stories. If I had this as a teenager, I would have understood that I was not alone in the darkness I lived. I would have seen that others found a way out. Bravo, Tomson Highway!”
    ―Bev Sellars, author of They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School and Price Paid: The Fight for First Nations Survival



Grand Conversations
Author: Faye Brownlie
Format: Paperback
  • Grand Conversations, Thoughtful Responses: A Unique Approach to Literature Circles

    Grand Conversations, Thoughtful Responses provides the key to helping your students become enthusiastic, confident readers. In the author's unique approach to Literature Circles, no roles are used and no limits are set on the amount students read. Students choose their books from an appropriate prearranged set, are engaged in meaningful conversations about their books with their peers, keep response journals, and work bi-weekly on a whole-class comprehension strategy. In this resource, you will find: " steps for establishing Literature Circles in your classroom, " strategies and ideas for building purposeful discussion groups, " practical techniques that help students select books, " comprehensive book lists, " tips and criteria to help students write insightful personal responses, " suggestions for assessing and evaluating student work in Literature Circles.


Guided Listening
Author: Lisa Donohue
Format: Paperback
  • A framework for using read-aloud and other oral language experiences to build reading comprehension skills and help readers record, share, value, and interpret ideas

    This comprehensive guide offers a framework for using read-aloud and other oral language experiences to build reading comprehension skills and help students record, share, value, and interpret ideas. These organizational tools free students to listen more attentively; organize their responses; and watch for subtle clues, such as body language, that are an important part of listening. The book is organized around common reading strategies, including making inferences and predictions, making connections, visualizing, asking questions, and synthesizing. Tools to complement these strategies include reproducible graphic organizers, rubrics, forms for recording student progress, and numerous worksheets.


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