Shin Chi’s Canoe – Part 2 of 2
Author: Nicola Campbell
Illustrator: Kim Lafave
Social Justice focus: Equity, FNMI
Synopsis: When they arrive at school, Shi-shi-etko reminds Shinchi, her six-year-old brother, that they can only use their English names and that they can’t speak to each other. For Shinchi, life becomes an endless cycle of church mass, school, and work, punctuated by skimpy meals. He finds solace at the river, clutching a tiny cedar canoe, a gift from his father, and dreaming of the day when the salmon return to the river — a sign that it’s almost time to return home. This poignant story about a devastating chapter in First Nations history is told at a child’s level of understanding.
Rationale: I am teaching this lesson to further student knowledge of the concept of assimilation and as an introduction to Residential Schools in Canada.
Lesson Plan: Ceilidh Stidwill
Primary/Junior/Intermediate Lesson Plan (Abbreviated Template)
Consecutive and Concurrent Programs
Unit/Topic: Equity, FNMI
Lesson: Shin Chi’s Canoe – Part 2 of 2
Curriculum Areas: Language Arts:
Grade 6 Writing 1: generate, gather, and organize ideas and information to write for an intended purpose and audience
Grade 7 Writing 1: listen in order to understand and respond appropriately in a variety of situations for a variety of purposes;
Grades 6 & 7 Oral Communication 1: listen in order to understand and respond appropriately in a variety of situations for a variety of purposes
Grades 6 & 7 Oral Communication 2: use speaking skills and strategies appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes
Grade 6 Writing 1.2: generate ideas about a potential topic and identify those most appropriate for the purpose
Grade 6 Writing 1.4 sort and classify information for their writing in a variety of ways that allow them to view information from different perspectives and make connections between ideas
Grade 6 Oral 1.2 demonstrate an understanding of appropriate listening behaviour by adapting active listening strategies to suit a variety of situations, including work in groups
Grade 6 Oral 2.2 demonstrate an increasingly sophisticated understanding of appropriate speaking behaviour in a variety of situations, including paired sharing, dialogue, and small- and large-group discussions
Grade 7 Writing 1.2: generate ideas about more challenging topics and identify those most appropriate for the purpose
Grade 7 Writing 1.4 sort and classify information for their writing in a variety of ways that allow them to view information from different perspectives and make connections between ideas
Grade 7 Oral 1.2: demonstrate an understanding of appropriate listening behaviour by adapting active listening strategies to suit a wide variety of situations, including work in groups
Grade 7 Oral 2.2: demonstrate an increasingly sophisticated understanding of appropriate speaking behaviour in a variety of situations, including paired sharing, dialogue, and small- and large-group discussions
Achievement Chart Categories:
- Knowledge: Teaching the facts of residential schools. Building knowledge about the complexities of fairness.
- Thinking: Processing information and prompts. Relating the residential school system to the lives of students.
- Communication: Discussing inequity via prompts about the fairness of the distribution of drawing tools. Prompts for reading. Writing responses and culminating discussion.
- Application: Creating an image as a class to represent inequity. Students will be prompted to engage in a free drawing period with few or many tools.
Learning Skills and Work Habits
- Responsibility and Independent Work: Each student is responsible for staying on task and completing their 3 prompts in their Literacy Journals independently.
- Collaboration: As a class we will collaborate to take up our writing responses and share ideas.
- Self-Regulation: Students will follow class rules and raise their hands to add to the conversation.
- I will understand that what happened in Residential Schools was unfair.
- I will relate my free draw to what it is like to be given less or more opportunities than a different group.
- I will learn the importance of standing up for others in times of injustice.
- I can relate my free drawing activity to what it is like to be given more or less than someone else.
- I can understand why it is important to stand up for the rights of others.
ASSESSMENT TASK /STRATEGY
- Formative: Students will be given an introduction to Residential School History and be asked to respond to prompts that promote empathy.
- Checkmark for completed writing work.
- Students are able to define equity and assimilation in basic terms. Some have participated in orange shirt day.
Learning Materials (Content)
- Voice amplifying device
- Use of iPads
Ways of Demonstrating Learning (Product)
- Allowing for extra processing time, extended timelines
- Providing gestures and cures for task chunking
Student 1: Use of iPad scribing software; Voice amplifying device for teacher;
Extra time for processing; Extended timelines
Student 2: Frequent Breaks; Extra time for processing; Gesture cues for time limits on breaks
Student 1: Pick one Prompt to respond to from the board.
Student 2: Pick one Prompt to respond to from the board.
MATERIALS / PREPARATION / SAFETY CONSIDERATION(S) FOR TEACHING
10 sheets-11 by 14 paper____
Book: Shin-Chi’s Canoe (Nicola L. Campbell)
MINDS ON (10 min)
Bring students back to the talk about assimilation and fairness. (5 minutes)
Go over equity/ Equality Assimilation
- What do we think fairness means?
- How does fairness relate to being treated equal?
- How does fairness relate to being treated equitably?
- Who can tell me what we learned about assimilation last class? What does it mean?
- What is the difference between equity and equality?
- 30 min for this part of the activity).
Separate students into 4 colours (these are their hand washing colours): Green, Orange, Pink, Yellow
- Groups will get different drawing supplies based on their colour.Green/ Pink: Pencil, Pencil Crayons and 11 by 14 sheet of paper.
- Orange/Yellow: Pencil, crumpled up piece of scrap paper.
- Students will be asked to participate in a “free drawing” exercise where they can create any drawing they like with the tools they have.
To the groups with less tools:
- What parts of your identity would you have shown if you had more tools? What did you think about the groups with more tools?
To the groups with more tools:
- Did you really need all these tools?
- How did it feel having all these fun supplies when your classmates had much less?
- How do you feel about the fairness of what you were given as tools?
- Do you think everyone was given the same opportunity?
Activity: Have students return to desks and read the Forward for Shin-Chi’s Canoe aloud to them as an introduction to Residential School: (5 min)
Close your eyes and imagine.
Imagine North America (Canada USA) without buildings, cars and electricity. You can only eat what you gather, hunt or catch. You get fresh water from the creek. Your home was built using trees and animal hides (skins and furs), or it is underground. Your people live by their own rules and take care of their families and communities. As a child, you are surrounded by the love of your family and community.
When Europeans (People from England) came to the Americas, they believed native people were Uncivilized (wild people). They pushed them off their traditional lands and onto reserves, or reservations. In the late 1800s governments decided to colonize (assimilate) native people, forcing them to adapt to the European way of life. In both Canada and the US (as well as Australia and New Zealand), laws were passed forcing children to be educated in church-run boarding schools (schools where you live away from your parents). The purpose of these schools was to sever all ties the children had to their families, cultures and traditional territories. While attending these schools the children learned European culture, religion and language. They were given European names. They learned how to grow a garden, run a farm and do carpentry. The children weren’t allowed to talk to their parents or their siblings. They weren’t allowed to speak their traditional language or practice their traditional way of life. Sometimes the children weren’t allowed to return home for many years; sometimes they never returned. Although some children had good experiences, many did not.
There were approximately 130 residential schools in Canada and about 80,000 people living today attended those schools. Although most closed in the 1970’s, the last government-owned residential school in Canada did not close until 1996. More than 100,000 Native American children were forced to attend similar schools in the United States.
In order to make up for the devastating experiences of being sent to these schools, governments around the world have tried to make amends in various ways- either through financial compensation, such as the Common Experience Payment offered to living survivors by the Canadian government or through formal apology. However nothing can make up for the tremendous loss of language, culture and family. Steadfast resistance, determination, courage, healing, strength of spirit and an overwhelming love for our children and culture are the tremendous forces that have empowered indigenous peoples around the world to overcome the profound impact that this part of history has had on them.
–Nicola I. Campbell (Forward to Shin-chi’s Canoe)
Inform class that we are going to be discussing a very difficult topic in Canada’s History for the next few classes and that topic is Canada’s Residential School System.
Proceed with Prompts 2 about the reading of the forward
Have students Pick 3 questions (35 minutes)
Write 2-3 sentences for each.
- Do you think it is fair that Aboriginal Students were given less than other students? Why?
- How do you feel about residential schools? Why?
- Do you think Aboriginal Students were given the same opportunities as other students? What is an example of the different treatment?
- Do you think residential school students got to express their identity the same way you do? Why?
- How do you think identity can be lost through assimilation?
- What would you do if you saw someone being treated unfairly?
Early finishers pick an extra question.
CONSOLIDATION AND CONNECTION (15 Minutes)
Take up questions as a group and discuss.
Make notes on the board.