The Birchbark House - Theme

Updated: 2/12/2021
The Birchbark House - Theme
You can find this storyboard in the following articles and resources:
The Birchbark House Lesson Plans

The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich

Lesson Plans by Elizabeth Pedro

In the prologue, a crew of men find a baby girl, the only survivor of a smallpox epidemic, on Spirit Island. The main story begins by introducing Omakayas as a seven year old girl living with her family: her mother, Yellow Kettle, her beautiful old sister, Angeline, and Grandma Nokomis. She also has an annoying younger brother, Pinch, a sweet baby brother Neewo, her father, Deydey, and family friend, Old Tallow.


The Birchbark House

Storyboard Text

  • Ahneen, little brothers
  • Look how big you've gotten!
  • When Omakayas and her family are near starvation, Nokomis dreams of a dear. She speaks to Deydey about this dream, who then finds the deer, killing it for food.
  • Omakayas calls the bear cubs her brothers and speaks to the mother bear, who leaves her unharmed.
  • Human and Nature Relationship
  • Omakayas speaks to the bears, asking them to teach her about their medicines.