There are many books related to Native Americans of the Northwest Coast that can help students to better visualize and understand the people and their rich culture. Some short picture books can be used as a whole class read-alouds where other longer books can be used as longer novel studies. In this activity, students will create a plot summary of the book using visuals and descriptions.
The book used for the example storyboard is Shi-shi-etko by Nicola I. Campbell. Shi-shi-etko is a beautifully illustrated and poignant book appropriate for Grades 2–6. It is the story about Shi-shi-etko who is about to have to leave her family and everything she knows to attend a residential school.
Residential schools in Canada and the United States ripped children away from their families in a forced effort to assimilate Native Americans into European American culture. Children were not allowed to speak their language or practice their customs and would be punished for doing so. It is estimated that between 1831-1996, hundreds of thousands of Native American children were forcibly removed from their homes by government agents and placed in residential (or “boarding”) schools that were run by the government and churches.
Former Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, issued an official apology on June 11, 2008: “Two primary objectives of the residential school system were to remove and isolate children from the influence of their homes, families, traditions and cultures, and to assimilate them into the dominant culture. These objectives were based on the assumption Aboriginal cultures and spiritual beliefs were inferior and unequal. Indeed, some sought, as it was infamously said, 'to kill the Indian in the child.' Today, we recognize that this policy of assimilation was wrong, has caused great harm, and has no place in our country.”
Grade Level 5-6
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual
Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative ArcsCommon Core Standards
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Objective: Summarize the story in a 3-5 cell storyboard describing the main events in the beginning, middle and end of the story.
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
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