by Paul Owen Lewis
When the frogs vanish from a village on the Northwest Coast, a brave girl is called to a dangerous adventure.
Reading Strategy 6: Connect what you read with what you already know.
Reading Strategy 9: Identify and interpret literary elements in different genres.
Reading Strategy 11: Make inferences and draw conclusions.
Reading Strategy 12: Reflect and respond.
Writing Skill 2: I organize my ideas based on my purpose for writing.
(1) Ask students if they have a favorite superhero and why. Ask them if there is a super power they would like to have (e.g. flying, invisibility, reading minds). Put students into groups of three or four and discuss.
(2) Have each group complete the Super Hero Chart to show different super powers. Students brainstorm all supernatural abilities and consider how these could be used to help or harm.
(3) Explain to students that they are going to listen to a fantasy story about a girl (a Haida/Tlingit) who finds herself with unexpected abilities in a very strange world. Ask them to listen carefully and think about all the supernatural things that occur and who the heroes are in the story.
(4) Show students the cover of the book and ask them to make connections from the art and title of Frog Girl. Model a Venn Diagram and have students in small groups complete the activity.
(5) Read Frog Girl out loud. Show students the illustrations; help them understand the culturally significant elements of the story (e.g. Haida motifs, clothing).
Refer to the Author’s Notes at the back of the book. Specifically:
- Cruel behavior creates supernatural revenge
- Animals who speak
- Mysterious entrances to sprit world
- Transformation of attitude and understanding
(6) As you read the story, have students reflect and share with a partner the characteristics they see in the girl. Ask students if these characteristics are found in most heroes and if one needs these characteristics to be a hero.
(7) As a whole class, with the teacher scribing, list hero characteristics as offered by the students.
(8) Have students write a one-paragraph description of Frog Girl as a hero, based on her characteristics as identified through her actions. Students can work in small groups, with partners or independently. See Summarizing Text.
(9) Have students discuss how each heroic characteristic fits within each of the four cultural motifs described earlier.