This week we did a mini unit with author, Joseph & James Brushac. We really enjoyed these Native American Folktales that teach great lessons about teasing, bragging, and keeping your promise.
How a chipmunk got it's stripes is about a bear that brags he is the best and biggest in the forest. Squirrel is sick of all the bragging and puts him up to a challenge. The squirrel asks bear if he can keep the sun from rising and of course the bear takes the challenge. The bear sings and chants all through the story the sun won't come up, ahh! She teases bear and although he doesn't eat her he scratches her and now she has stripes.
Raccoons' Last Race is a trickster tale about how the raccoon looks like he does today. The raccoon who had the longest legs of all the animals and ran the fastest. He made fun of all the other animals because he had the longest legs and could easily beat all the other animals. All the animals grew tired of hearing him brag and tease them and then raccoon has a problem and needs all the animals to help him. Will they help him? The kids were excited to find out and talk about if they would help him if they were in this situation.
Turtle's race with beaver is a traditional Abaneki fable about the importance of keeping your promise. One day the turtle wakes from hibernation to find there is a beaver living there too. The beaver creates a challenge to see whoever can win the race will live in the pond. A clever twist on the fable Turtle and the Hare has everyone on the edge of their seats.
Thirteen Moons on a turtles back is a sophisticated story about the 13 scutes on a turtle's shell and the significance with 13 different types of moons. We read about all the moons and then students enjoyed drawing thirteen things they were thankful for in their life. The students came up with many ideas including, family, friends, teachers, food, clothes, pets, their home, toys, family, etc.