Chapter 3 Lesson 1: How Do We Become Good Ancestors (culminating activity)

“[T]hat’s the true wonderwork, the truest realization of being a good ancestor, and one worthy of deepest gratitude: imagining beyond the wounding now into a better tomorrow, working, writing, and dreaming a future into being.” —Justice (p. 156)

Learning Goals:
• Understand what wonderworks are
• Understand what the culminating activity is
• Develop success criteria for the culminating activity




Students do stream-of-consciousness writing for 10–15 minutes on the following quote:
Black fantasist Octavia Butler answers the question of why science fiction matters to Black people:
“What good is any form of literature to Black people? What good is science fiction’s thinking about the present, the future, and the past? What good is its tendency to warn or to consider alternative ways of thinking and doing? What good is its examination of the possible effects of science and technology, or social organization and political direction? At its best, science fiction stimulates imagination and creativity. It gets reader and writer off the beaten track, off the narrow, narrow footpath of what ‘everyone’ is saying, doing, thinking—whoever ‘everyone’ happens to be this year.
“And what good is all this to Black people?” (p. 150)


Have a class discussion on the quote. Guiding questions are below:
1. What is science fiction?
2. Why would the author use a Black writer in his text on Indigenous writing?
3. What is a Black fantasist?
4. What does this quote mean?
5. Why is it important to us?
6. Why is it important in the discussion of what it means to be a good ancestor?


Using the discussion about the Octavia Butler quote, students then have a discussion on the quote below and discuss the parallels in order to understand what wonder is and why it is important in social justice work:
“Wonder changes us and changes our world. When we stop marvelling at ourselves—ourselves in the most connected and expansive sense, that is, we as individuals, as activists, as communities, as past and future ancestors, as gods, as mountains and rivers and oceans—we lose belief in our ability to heal and transform even the deepest wounds The act of bringing new life to our Indigenous stories reawakens our lands and peoples to remember the power we have always had, to feed our families and strangers, to care for the past and future. Hope is fed by our ability to apprehend and trust our storied connections, by the rush of unexplainable movement, by the unruly growing of our love and gratitude for the strange and marvellous ways we live on.” —Brian Kamaoli Kuwada (Kanaka Maoli) and Aiko Yamashiro (Japanese/Okinawan/Chamorro) (p. 153)


Students are then provided with the culminating activity, which is below, and create success criteria for it as a group.


Culminating Activity "Creating Wonderworks"

“This story deserves to be told; all stories do. Even the w aves of the sea tell a story that deserves to be read. The stories that really need to be told are those that shake the very soul of you.... This happened, even if it didn’t.” —Lee Maracle (Celia’s Song, p. 160, italics in original)
What can wonderwork do for me? More importantly, in the quest to become a good ancestor, what can my wonderwork do for those around me? These questions and others you will consider as you create your very own wonderwork. “Fantasy offers places of sanctuary from which to continue the good fight” (p. 151). This body of work you create will aim to offer that sanctuary for yourself, your classmates, and those you have yet to meet. This work will be at least four to six pages in length and should consider many of the ideas we have discussed and written about in class. You will use the five stages in the design thinking process to create your piece. The final phase in this project will be to share your story with a Grade 9 or 10 class.
FIVE STAGES IN THE DESIGN THINKING PROCESS You work in groups of four or five for the first three parts of the design process. You have two classes for the first three parts and then another two classes in which to complete your first draft.
1. Empathize Through reading a novel or through conversations in class, begin the expansion of ideas around what it truly means to be human.
2. Define What is the problem that this short story will address? What will this story rupture? What will this story marvel about?
3. Ideate How will your wonderwork heal and transform? Who will your characters be? Will you be a character? How will you demonstrate the diversity of the characters? Will they be human?
4. Prototype Write a first draft of your wonderwork and then have a peer edit it. Once your peer has edited it you will then conference with your teacher about the contents of your work.
5. Test Students will share their stories with a Grade 9 English class and a NAC10 class.