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Category: Classroom Practice: Elementary

Small Number and the Abandoned Pit House

Source: Simon Fraser University (SFU)

Focus: Junior students

Summary: Small Number is a young boy who gets into a lot of mischief.  

It is summer time and Small Number visits his Grandpa who lives on their Nation’s traditional territory in a small village near the river.

For Small Number his Grandpa is the wisest man who has ever lived. Grandpa knows so many interesting stories and somehow they are often related to the mischief that Small Number has done or is planning to do.  

This afternoon, Grandpa is meeting with a group of elders and a visitor from a university. Every week they get together so that the visitor can record the stories that the elders tell in their mother tongue. Even though Small Number only understands a few words, he enjoys listening to his Grandpa when he speaks in the language of their people. “I’ll ask Grandpa to teach me all stories that he knows, so that one day I can tell them to my children and grandchildren,” thinks Small Number.

Teacher’s Guide: Junior Art Activities

Teacher’s Guide: Junior Art Activities

Source: Indigenous Arts and Stories

Focus: Junior students

Summary: The Power of Four

The number four is sacred for many Indigenous people. It connects humans with the natural world. For example, we have four seasons of the year and four cardinal directions. There are four stages of life: childhood, youth, adulthood and old age. The Medicine Wheel has four quadrants. Create an original piece of art that shows why the power of four is important in Indigenous cultures.

Frontier School Division Social Studies Middle Years Grades 5-8

Source: Frontier School Division

Focus: Grades 5-8

Summary: This page is the gateway to Grade 5 – 8 social studies (SS) and Native studies (NS) resources that can be integrated into the provincial Social Studies curricula. They may consist of material with an Aboriginal focus or relevant new information not available in existing texts. The inclusion of culturally-sensitive materials is based on the belief that affirmation of one’s culture and history can promote confidence and self-esteem, and lead ultimately to greater success in life. This is especially critical for Aboriginal students (defined here as Status and Non-Status Indians, Métis, and Inuit) within Frontier School Division.

Thus, one of the SS/NS Department’s main roles is the creation/acquisition of materials with an Aboriginal focus. Not only can such materials have a positive impact on Aboriginal students, they can also help non-Aboriginal students become aware of and sensitive to Aboriginal concerns.

Fine Arts

Source: Learn Alberta

Focus: Grades 1-9

Summary: These sample lesson plans support Education for Reconciliation through the inclusion of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit perspectives; treaty education; and residential schools ’ experiences, with learning outcomes identified in the current Alberta Programs of Study for Grades 1 to 9 in Fine Arts.

Each sample lesson plan includes content(s) or context(s) related to one or more of the following aspects of Education for Reconciliation:

  • diverse perspectives and ways of knowing of First Nations, Métis, or Inuit, including values, traditions, kinship, language, and ways of being;
  • understandings of the spirit and intent of treaties; or
  • residential schools’  experiences and resiliency.

Links and relevant information in Guiding Voices: A Curriculum Development Tool for Inclusion of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives throughout Curriculum and Walking Together: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum are provided to support understandings of First Nations, Métis, or Inuit ways of knowing. Both online resources are accessed through

Indigenous Arts and Stories: Teacher’s Guide: Primary Art and Writing Activities

Source: Historica Canada

Summary: Historica Canada’s Indigenous Arts & Stories contest provides an opportunity for Indigenous youth to explore their heritage and culture and aims to encourage them to create their very own work of art or piece of writing.

This learning tool has been created for students ages 6 to 12. This tool gives step-by-step directions on how to create different art and writing projects to submit to the contest. Teachers can use the guide to help choose activities for their students and to assist youth in the creative process of developing their art and writing.

Exploring Aboriginal Homes and Architecture

Source: Historica Canada

Focus: Intermediate History

Summary: Students will explore different types of First Nations and Aboriginal architecture and submit a model to a simulated architectural firm.

Students will:

  • Understand the transition of housing from pre-contact to today and the role government has played
  • Describe practices and beliefs that reflect First Peoples’ connections to the land and the natural environment
  • Compare daily life in First Peoples communities
  • Appreciate and value the cultures and traditions of First Nations people

When We Were Alone

Source: David A. Robertson, Author

Focus: Primary Students

Summary: A read-a-long book that introduces the history of Residential Schools to primary students.

Equitable Education for All

Source: Speak Truth to Power Canada, Karihwakè:ron Tim Thompson

Focus: Grades 5-12

Summary: How to use this lesson

Global and Canadian Defenders for human rights have changed societal conditions and provide inspiration for students. The overall goal of Speak Truth to Power Canada is to raise student awareness that advances in human rights come through the actions of individuals.

In this lesson plan on Equitable Education for All you will find:

  • An interview with Tim Thompson including his biography.
  • Student activities that support the theme of this lesson, including activities related to First Nations Education in Canada, Shannen’s Dream, and an opportunity for students to assess the level of Aboriginal resources in their classrooms and schools.
  • Three brief community defender profiles are provided to expand the lesson and encourage students to identify with a variety of defenders for human rights.

To support the lesson on Equitable Education for All, you will also find:

  • Sections or articles of selected legal instruments that are tied to the theme of Equitable Education for All.
  • A student activity that links the Moments in Time timeline of advancements and setbacks in human rights from a Canadian perspective.
  • You can, of course, choose to use any or all of the suggested student activities.

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