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Aboriginal Literature in Canada: A Teacher's Resource Guide consists of narrative comments along with the annotated bibliographies and related readings, explanations, interpretations and suggestions for six different Aboriginal cultures. The six cultures are Mi'Kmaq, Mohawk (Six Nations), Anishnabe (Ojibway), Cree, Metis and Okanagan. The Inuit culture has a few anthologies listed.
Very few student activities are listed, which is meant to encourage teachers to find their own voice in teaching Aboriginal literatures, engage in a dialogue with these texts, and bring in their own background. The few student activities that are listed have students compare several versions of legends, investigate the role of animals in stories and translate Cree poetry.
Aboriginal Literatures in Canada contains a wealth of selected literature by Aboriginal authors, native anthologies, texts, related readings, and suggested websites. It is a well-researched and insightful resource.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Good|
Aboriginal literature presented and explained from a variety of First Nations groups.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
Satisfactory- absence of bias towards any one point of view
Good- students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
Very good- based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and take an informed position
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Satisfactory|
Hundreds of aboriginal resources listed that cover a wide range of topics including connections to homelands, colonization, genocide, the will to survive, spirits, love, culture, ecology and much more.
Teachers will need to ensure a systems-thinking approach is applied to the discussion and analysis.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
Specific pieces of literature for each First Nations group are explained and respectfully critiqued. The issue does not necessary get 'solved'.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected
|Acting on Learning||Poor/Not considered|
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
|Values Education||Poor/Not considered|
Teachers must engage students in dialogue or self-reflection in order for students to identify, to clarify and to express their opinions. By choosing literature that relates to their Canadian area, students will be more interested. More needs to be done to make the students care about the literature.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Good|
Literature recommended represents six different Canadian First Nations groups and covers a wide range of topics that foster respect for the importance of women, matrilineal and matriarchal social systems, peer acceptance, relationship with elders and much more.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Satisfactory|
Aboriginal literature has a message for a personal affinity with the Earth and non-humans, although the experience is not outdoors.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
Teachers are encouraged to focus on the First Nations group close to the school. Making the literature more relevant to the learners.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
Students will gain a strong sense of Aboriginal history and present conditions for First Nations peoples. A few pieces of literature predict and give recommendations for future generations.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
The narrative comments, along with the annotated bibliographies and related reading lists, explanations, interpretations, and suggestions, are meant to encourage teachers and students to find their own voices in teaching and learning Aboriginal literature.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
Aboriginal literature will cover a wide range of topics. It can be incorporated into a variety of health, science, ecology, geography, social studies, and, of course, English classes.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
A few student activities are suggested that encourage comparing and contrasting (e.g. legends). Teacher needs to engage students in dialogue.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
Wide range of literature including websites has been presented. Literature will inform and provoke emotions.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
|Experiential Learning||Poor/Not considered|
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Few student activities involving partner work are explained. Class discussion is strongly recommended.
|Cooperative Learning: Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Poor/Not considered|
No assessment methods for students' knowledge or skills are recommended.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
Partner work and class discussions are recommended.
|Peer Teaching: Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|Case Studies||Very Good|
First Nations groups across Canada are presented with literature that features real events.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Satisfactory|
Reading and analyzing the literature will evoke emotions in students. Bringing in a student's background and discussing issues as a class will further enhance students' understanding of the work or issue.
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|