Book Nook: The Salmon and the Orca Whale in First Nations Stories

FullSizeRender-5We’ve just finished learning about the salmon and the orca whale in our on-going study of animals in The First Nations culture.  Our Teacher-Librarian, Mrs. Kennedy, has recently read and discussed some beautiful books with our classes during their Library time.  

Common themes such as learning from family members, passing on knowledge and ways, and an appreciation and respect for animals and the natural world form a basis for storytelling as part of the First People’s Principles of Learning, “Learning is embedded in memory, history, and story.”

We’ve decided to collect a variety of titles, from First Nation stories to other well loved favourites, and highlight a few of them for you.  You might wish to consider them as additions to your own home library.

Sharing Our World:  Animals of the Native Northwest Coast is beautifully illustrated and written in clear and simple language.  Each of the animals represented is described by its individual qualities.  For example, “Salmon have always been our most important food source.  We can protect salmon by keeping our rivers and oceans clean.”

Good Morning World (artwork by Paul Windsor, Haisla, Heiltsuk) is a pattern book, focusing on the beauty of our natural world and the positive energy we have from starting a brand new day.  “Good morning salmon swimming up the stream.”

More titles:

  • Waiting for Whales (Sheryl McFarlane, illustrated by Ron Lightburn)
  • Sockeye:  The Adams River (Adam Lewis)
  • Salmon Stream (Carol Reed-Jones, illustrated by Michael S. Maydak)
  • P’esk’a and the First Salmon Ceremony (Scot Ritchie)
  • Dip Netting with Dad (Willie Sellars, illustrated by Kevin Easthope)
  • Orca Chief (Roy Henry Vickers, illustrated by Robert Budd)
  • A Salmon for Salmon (Betty Waterton, illustrated by Ann Blades)

To learn more about the Bear in First Nations Art and Stories, click here.

This Week in Our Room:  March 29-April 1, 2016

Welcome back to school!  How wonderful it has been to teach the children this week, more mature than ever, and watch them quickly settle down to familiar routines like a well-oiled machine.  They were very excited to see each other, play together during Centre Time and at recess and get back into their school groove.

We had a very fun first day back on Tuesday with a school assembly right after the holidays!  We got to see Dreamrider Productions’ presentation of “H2Whoa,” an excellent play about the importance of water conversation, and brought to us by the Municipality of West Vancouver.  Our children watched and learned to be a Planet Protector, just like the heroine, Esmeralda Planet Protector, as she foils the (Water) Evaporator.  There was a lot of singing, fun and jokes as the children learned about the water cycle; the three main concepts of evaporation, condensation and precipitation; and practical ways to reduce water consumption at home.

We’ve wrapped up our Penguin Inquiry this week by reflecting on the penguin life cycle and comparing it to our own human life cycle.  Next week we will have a fun Black and White Day to celebrate!  Please wear your black and clothes on Monday and feel free to bring your stuffed penguins, or other polar animals to school.

We also squeezed in one more post-Easter project, our beautiful patterned eggs done in wax crayon and watercolour resist.


Many of you have probably noticed our beautiful recently paved playground with new painted lines for fun activities like Four Square and hop-scotch.  We’re really looking forward to more outdoor play as the weather continues to improve.


Upcoming Dates and Events

We start Badminton in PE on April 4.  Our classes will be taught Anna Rice, former Olympian and sister to our own Ridgeview teacher, Ms. Rice.  We’ve had the good fortune to be instructed by Anna in the past.  The children are going to receive excellent instruction and have lots of fun!  We will continue to have high expectations for student safety, listening and participation so that all students can learn.  Children must wear running shoes for PE days for the next two weeks.

PE for Division 15:  Tuesday and Thursday

PE for Division 16:  Monday and Friday

Wednesday, April 6, has been scheduled as the Vancouver Coastal Health finish-up day for those students who were absent, or did not have their screeners completed for Kindergarten vision, hearing and dental check.

We’re still collecting Tombola Goodie Bags for Mayfair, which takes place on Saturday, May 7 from 11 am-3 pm.  This is definitely the hottest ticket in town and we encourage all of our families to come out and support our school.  It’s really fun and the children will have a fantastic time.  Our organizers will be looking for donations for the booths soon, and we will you updated.

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