The sacred legends of the four host First Nations – the Lil’wat, Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh have been passed down from generation to generation through the Elders and are integral to the teachings and oral traditions of First Nations peoples. These stories link people to the land and to each other and pass on traditional knowledge and history. For the first time, these sacred teachings are collected in an anthology of stories willingly shared by the respected storytellers of each nation. These legends – which range from creation stories to naming stories – add to our knowledge of ourselves and each other.
(1) Ask students if they have seen the mountains in their community (image on page 80 of the People of the Land: Legends of the Four Host Nations book).
(2) Ask students where have they seen the mountains before?
(3) Ask students what have you heard about the mountains? What are they called?
(4) Write different perspectives on a chart or the board to show visually. Comment on how every student has a different understanding or experience of these mountains.
(5) Read the quote by Jo-Ann Archibald (Q’um Q’um Xiiem), Sto:lo Nation Scholar, to the students and talk about the importance and purpose of oral storytelling.
“Patience and trust are essential for preparing to listen to stories. Listening involves more than just using the auditory sense. Listening encompasses visualizing the characters and their actions and letting the emotions surface. Some say we should listen with three ears: two on our head and one in our heart” (Archibald, 1997, p. 10).
(6) Hand out story circle graphic organizer to students.
(7) Give students the option of documenting their thinking, or taking notes of the events during the reading.
(8) Give students the option of listening with their eyes closed and visualizing the events.
(9) Read aloud The Sister’s Mountain without showing the pictures
(10) Read story to the end.
(11) Break students into groups of three to support each other’s retelling. And to complete their story circle with the main events from the story.
(12) Hand out Ron Richards’ CSI: Color, Symbol, Image graphic organizer to students.
(13) Share examples of each: How does the color yellow/red/green make you feel? What does a heart shape/peace sign symbolize? When you were listening what images did you visualize?
(14) Students may require a couple periods to finish.
(15) When students have completed their CSI’s find a classmate to Think Pair Share their CSI with.
(16) Students will defend their CSI selections to their partner or with the class using Popcorn Sharing strategy from page 91 of Writing 44 Intermediate. (Shows the variety of perspectives as each CSI will be different) CSI will support students when they take home their CSI and tell the Sister’s Mountain Story to a family member.
(17) Have students share the story of the Sister’s Mountains with a family member and have the family member fill in the comment card.
(18) Cut comment card in half and send home with the student.
Create a Legend journal (7 other legends in the same book) using the similar method.