Ideas for a Lesson Based on David Bouchard S Picture Book, I Am the Raven

Ideas for a Lesson Based on David Bouchard S Picture Book, I Am the Raven

Ideas for a lesson based on David Bouchard’s picture book, I am the Raven.

Let's look at the Big Ideas you want your students to understand. May I suggest two?

Big Idea #1: First Nations people had respect for what the other elements of nature could teach them. (They looked at animals, trees, rocks and found life lessons in them.) From Eagle they learned about the importance of having a wide view of everything. From Mouse they learned to attend to the little details.

You could ask your students to pick something in nature and learn about what it does. A tree for instance has a time for taking a rest (winter) so that it can blossom forth with vigour later on (spring). A rock may seem hard (stubborn) but can be smoothed by water. These are all teachings from nature for humans. Ask your children what they might learn from their pets that can help them be happier. Dogs seem to love their family no matter what. Cats know how to make themselves happy. Hamsters know that exercise makes them feel good. Things like that. As a class you can make a list of things in nature that can teach us good lessons.

Once you have made that chart you can ask them to think about something that they feel it would be really good for them to learn. A person who is impatient might what to learn from the tree to wait until the time is right to blossom forth or from the rock to let gentle persuasion (water) and time help them change. Your students will enjoyit, I think.

You could ask them which thing in nature they are most like (which is what the book is about). This is probably Big Idea #2: It is important to know yourself. (You can get to know yourself better by looking for something in nature that has many of your character traits.)

The storyteller wanted to see himself as Bear (a strong teacher) but found instead that he is more like Raven (a trickster, intelligent and cunning, he makes things happen that others could not.)

The chief was told by Raven that he was a trickster. You could ask the children what the trick was that the chief played on the animals. Was this a mean trick? (Critical thinking activity- getyour students to generate criteria for a mean trick vs. a well -intentioned trick.) I think it was well-intentioned because the animals got what they wanted but the humans benefited too.

It would be fun for the children to try to figure out what thing in nature they are most like and why. This is also critical thinking as they must use evidence to support their claim. It promotes emotional intelligence too as self- knowledge is important if they are to relate well to others.

There are obvious ways to integrate this with other subject areas. Language-choral reading, poetry, persuasive writing; Art – looking at First Nations art, drawing from nature. Science- life cycles of plants and animals, animal behavior. Etc.