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This richly illustrated story blends First Nation wisdom about the natural world and traditional storytelling. A young girl loses her cat "Mouser" in the forest. As she searches for Mouser she stops and looks at all of the plants and animals that she loves so much and thinks about how the forest provides food for her family. Suddenly, she discovers Mouser's collar and comes to the horrible realization that something has killed her cat. She notices the hunters in the forest such as the shrew and the spider and is saddened by all of the death surrounding her. As the young girl is comforted by her father he reminds her about the natural relationship between predators and prey. He explains how predators sometimes get a bad name, but that they are not to be feared and are a necessary part of keeping our ecosystems balanced. Everything needs to eat and students learn that in accordance with First Nations wisdom the predator prey connection is "the sacred way of the earth".
The focus on traditional ecological knowledge in this story makes it a valuable addition to lessons on First Nations culture. The book would also make a great introduction to a unit on habitats and food chains. Students could use the animal species in the books as the basis for creating their own food chains. They could predict what wiould happen to the other species in the food chain if one species was removed. Students could also select one of the animals from the book and do a research project where they investigate and write about how that animal is adapted to living in its habitat. This story is supported by an accompanying teacher's guide which can be purchased. The teacher's guide contains lessons about predator-prey relationships and food chains/webs.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.