Posted by Celia Brogan
We’re all so busy. We are passionate educators and want the best learning experiences for our students and there are always so many things we want to plan for them, and learn for ourselves. Finding new local texts to offer our students is something that can take a bit of time if we don’t have reliable sources to which to turn.
Well here is a source for you: The Chocolate Lily Book Awards is a reader’s choice award for young BC readers reading BC authors and illustrators. Read your way through the shortlist (or give the titles to your students) for a great snapshot of some of the best current BC books for young and middle years readers.
Even better, register your class (or ask your teacher-librarian to register your school) and vote for your favourites! What a great way to participate in our province’s reading culture.
posted by Celia Brogan
Students at times have trouble identifying with historical events, especially when those events occurred to a cultural group other than the one(s) with which they are familiar. One way to assist students to identify and begin to understand the emotional and social costs of past injustices is historical fiction.
There is a specific type of historical fiction that I have always found particularly engaging: that which tells of a protagonist who finds herself pulled back through time and experiences a series of historical events firsthand. There are a handful of great examples of this motif in YA literature: Fog Magic by Julia Sauer, Handful of Time by Kit Pearson, and The Grave by James Heneghan, to name just a few.
Today’s BC lit post adds Hannah and the Spindle Whorl and Hannah and the Salish Sea by Carol Ann Shaw to that list.
In the first book Hannah lives in present-day Cowichan Bay. On her walk through a patch of forest one day she discovers an old Salish spindle whorl and it transports her back in time where she meets Yisella, a Salish girl her own age. They become friends and it is through this friendship that Hannah witnesses a small portion of the cultural pillaging that occurred when white Europeans started spreading out along South Coastal BC.
It looks as though a third book about Hannah is coming out this fall. This is a great trilogy to incorporate into a unit learning about the history of the peoples and cultures of South Coastal BC.
This Sunday brings our first book club twitter chat about a work of fiction. Chatting about Medicine Walk will be a different experience from our previous chats about professional texts. As you finish the novel and prepare your thoughts for sharing, consider these prompts and provocations:
- How might stories have the power to heal, in both their telling and hearing?
- What is the relationship between land and place, and memory?
- Do the stories about our past need to come from our blood-relations?
- For whom is the “medicine walk,” really? Are there more multiple walks being taken?
- What other texts would you group with Medicine Walk?
- …and other thoughts or questions you have are most welcome
We are looking forward to meeting you online, or in person for those who will get together in preparation for the twitter chat.
In-person gathering: 9:30-11am, March 8th, Pleasant Beans coffee house, 39 Kingsway, Vancouver (attached to the Mount Pleasant Community Centre). Or there might be one in your community: ask around!
Twitter chat: 11am-12noon, March 8th, online, hashtag #bctelabook.
To provide more opportunities for students to practice writing, many universities instituted Writing Across the Cur riculum (WAC) programs starting in the 1980s. These programs are based on the principles that writing promotes learning, that writing is the responsibility of all content teachers, that writing should be integrated in all disciplines through out a student’s educational career, and that only by practicing authentic writing in every discipline will students learn to communicate within that discipline (The WAC Clearinghouse, 2009). These collaborative programs have filtered into K-12 secondary schools, espe ially in the last decade due to the standards movement (Brewster and Klump, 2004).