Dans quatre jours à peine, la jeune Shi-shi-etko devra quitter sa famille et tout ce qui lui est cher pour aller au pensionnat indien. Elle passe ses derniers jours à chérir les trésors de son univers: la lumière chatoyante du soleil, les herbes hautes, chaque pierre luisante, les têtards du ruisseau, le chant que son grand-père fredonnait en pagayant. Sa mere, son père et sa grand-mère lui transmettent tour à tour des connaissances dont ils veulent qu’elle se souvienne. Shi-shi-etko s’applique donc à emmagasiner précieusement ses souvenirs pour les preserver.
(1) Take the class outside to a location rich in nature. Using the Picture Walk strategy show the pictures in the book to the students to help them predict what is happening, what might happen next, and what the story is about.
(2) Tell the class that this is a story about the Interior Salish people. Page by page, take time to examine and explore the pictures. Discuss predictions. Draw students’ attention to making connections between what they see in the story and what they can see in the nature around them.
(3) Work your way through the pictures and record big ideas about the Interior Salish people’s culture, using a graphic such as Le sociogramme. To help guide students’ thinking use headings such as family, land, seasons, daily activities, nature/environment, and emotions in Le sociogramme.
(4) Stop on the last image of the cattle truck (la cammionnette à bestiaux) driving away. Ask students where they think it is going. Où pensez-vous que la cammionnette à bestiaux s’en va? Discuss the possibilities. Use this conversation to introduce the topic of residential schools (les pensionnats indiens) and the implications for Shi-shi-etko who is leaving everything she knows to go there.
(5) Help students further explore their background knowledge of residential schools by using the Placemat activity. Have each group decide on the 3 most important/big ideas they brainstormed to share with the class to help build a collective knowledge about residential schools that could be also be displayed.
(6) Read the story aloud to the class (this will be your first reading)
(7) Introduce the Vocabulary Self-Collection strategy to the class. Model the strategy to the class using the author, Nicola I. Campbell, preface. Nominate a word such as obtempérer and model how to respond to the following questions:
(a) Où avez-vous trouvé le mot dans le texte?
(b) Que pensez-vous est le sense du mot?
(c) Pourquoi pensez-vous que la classe devrait apprendre ce mot?
(8) Divide the class into 15 groups and assign one page of the story to each group. Using their assigned page, students will work their way through the Vocabulary Self-Collection strategy nominating 1-3 words.
(9) During team presentations, the teacher facilitates the discussion, writes the nominated words and their meanings on the board and invites the class to contribute additional clarification related to what the word means.
(10) Students will then record all nominated words and their meanings in a vocabulary notebook. Encourage the use of the Student-Generated Word List to be incorporated into the following activities and extensions.
(11) Introduce the Sensory Questions activity and support it with one or both of the following graphic organizers: Les questions qui sollicitent les sens et la pensée and/or La roue médicinale with the quadrants (spirituel, mental, émotionel et physique).
(12) Provide the following topic: Shi-shi-etko goes to residential for a year before she gets to see her family again. How do you think this will affect her well-being? Shi-shi-etko passe une année au pensionnat indien avant de revoir sa famille. Comment pensez-vous que ceci affecterait son bien-être?
(13) Ask the student to brainstorm words/phrases/descriptors and encourage them to include their new vocabulary generated from the VSC Strategy activity:
(a) What would she see?
Qu’est-ce qu’elle verrait? (la vue)
(b) What would she smell?
Qu’est-ce qu’elle sentirait? (l’odorat)
(c) What would she hear?
Qu’est-ce qu’elle entendrait? (l’ouïe)
(d) What would she feel?
Qu’est-ce qu’elle penserait ou ressentirait? (la pensée)
(e) What would she taste?
Qu’est-ce qu’elle goûterait? (le goût)
(f) How would this affect her spiritual well-being?
Comment est-ce que cette experience affecterait son bien-être spirituel?
(g) How would this affect her mental well-being?
Comment est-ce que cette experience affecterait son bien-être mental?
(h) How would this affect her emotional well-being?
Comment est-ce que cette experience affecterait son bien-être émotionnel?
(i) How would this affect her physical well-being?
Comment est-ce que cette experience affecterait son bien-être physique?
(14) Using the descriptors they have brainstormed, have students write a journal entry or a letter home, as an Interior Salish parent would be very interested in knowing how a child is feeling in each of the 4 realms (spiritual, mental, emotional, physical).
(1) Have students write an argumentative paper regarding the implementation of residential schools using a title such as: If you were in a position of power, what do you think would have been best?
(3) Make connections and create links to the science curriculum, ecosystems and habitat. Using the story to identify and compare elements such as: Biotique vs. Abiotique.
(4) Read the sequel La Pirogue de Shin-chi, the story of Shi-shi-etko going back to the residential school for her second year, this time along with her 6 year old brother Shin-chi.