Chapter 3 Lesson 2

Learning Goals:
• To examine how language plays a role in social, economic, and political power on Turtle Island



Assessment Focus


Students get into groups and on chart paper respond to the following:
a) Name the stories you grew up with.
b) What was the purpose of the stories?
c) In what languages were the stories told to you? Students share with the class.

O.C.: Reflecting on Skills and Strategies: Reflect on and identify the students’ strengths as listeners and speakers, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful in oral communication situations (ENG3U)
Analyze changes that take place in Aboriginal relationships through interaction with Canadian society, as portrayed in the works of Aboriginal writers (Relationships–NBE3U)
Demonstrate an understanding of how Aboriginal writers describe cultural and spiritual relationships in their work (Relationships–NBE3U)


Have students get into groups and each groups read one story: “Aunt Parnetta’s Electric Blisters,” “Land Speaking,” or “I’m Not a Witch, I’m a Healer!”
While groups are reading these stories, ask:
a) How is language used (syntax, phonics, etc.)?
b) What are the teachings from the poems?
c) What language does the land speak? (For example, trees speak when they tell us what season it is.)
d) Students write a reflection in their journals on the story they have read.

RLS: Understanding Form and Style: Recognize a variety of text forms, text features, and stylistic elements and demonstrate understanding of how they help communicate meaning (ENG3U)
Reading for Meaning: Read and demonstrate an understanding of a variety of literary, informational, and graphic texts, using a range of strategies to construct meaning (ENG3U)


The story “Aunt Parnetta’s Electric Blisters” begins with a verse:
Some stories can be told only in winter This is not one of them Because the fridge is for Parnetta Where it’s always winter. (p. 137)
What stories do you know from your ancestors that teach a lesson? At what time of the year do you hear those stories? For example, in Mexico, during the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), it is customary to tell stories of the deceased person during November. These stories include lessons s/he has taught us, good memories, etc.
Writing Stories:
Students independently create a storybook that includes illustrations of the story they have shared in class.
Students take their first draft to their parents or grandparents and modify their story based on their families’ feedback. Students are encouraged to write the story in various languages and/or phonetically.
What words are used today from Turtle Island that derive from Indigenous languages?
For example, in Mexico “elote” (corn) derives from the Nahua word “elotl.” “Toronto” comes from the Mohawk word “Tkaronto.”

W: Developing and Organizing Content: Generate, gather, and organize ideas and information to write for an intended purpose and audience (ENG3U)
W: Using Knowledge of Form and Style: Draft and revise their writing, using a variety of literary, informational, and graphic forms and stylistic elements appropriate for the purpose and audience (ENG3U)
W: Applying Knowledge of Conventions: Use editing, proofreading, and publishing skills and strategies, and knowledge of language conventions, to correct errors, refine expression, and present their work effectively (ENG3U)
W: Reflecting on Skills and Strategies: Reflect on and identify their strengths as writers, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful at different stages in the writing process (ENG3U)

Beyond Reading

Create a padlet or a wordle, and brainstorm: Why do you think this chapter is titled “Reinventing the Enemy’s Language”? What is your understanding of the Marie Battiste (Mi’kmaw) quote on page 123 that states that language is an essential tool for ”recovering the kinds of knowledges that come from within a culture.”


Teacher Reflection

Share with students the stories that have shaped who you are.