Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Birchbark House

The Birchbark House, by Louise Eldrich

This novel follows a year in the life of Omakayas, an Anishinabe girl of 8 winters. The girls and I used it as a read aloud book so that we could talk about new ideas together as they came up.

Throughout the book we are exposed to the many ways in which animals are used and shown respect. Many different plants and their various properties are discussed. Canadian history is reflected in the life of the village, their Deydey's (father's) work as a voyageur, and the exposure of the village to smallpox. The culture of the Ojibway comes through in the language, stories, spirituality and relationships.

The girls and I made charts to keep track of some of the many ways in which animals & plants are mentioned. There is also a poster to show the different stories and legends that are told. The story is broken into very distinct seasons which we noted for Ella's science unit.

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