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  • Sarah Hudson

"Don't Put Erasers Up Your Nose."

#thepencil #respectingyourbelongings #inuitstorytelling #behaviourexpectations


Do you have a lesson, idea or concept you need to teach? Chances are the Inuit may have a story for it.


A book I stumbled across is, The Pencil, written by Susan Avingaq and Maren Vsetula and illustrated by Charlene Chua which fit perfectly with my September start up.


The message is simple, take care of the things we have; a great concept and highly adaptable to self, community, local environment and global environment.


After reading the story to my primary class, we identified classroom supplies we needed to take care of. (I can't even begin to count the number of barely-used, dried glue sticks I've had to throw out.) The Pencil, covered this topic effortlessly.


Once we finished identifying school supplies, manipulatives, toys, books, furniture, (basically anything that was in eyesight) that we needed to take care of, we started brainstorming “rules” to help. The ideas varied from ‘don’t break crayons’ to ‘don’t stick Lego in the electric pencil sharpener.’ My favourite was, “Don’t put erasers up your nose.” The seriousness of this topic made this suggestion seem reasonable and the consensus of the students was that it was a good rule.


At the end of the day, the students were more conscious about taking care of their learning environment and we were able establish expectations without having it “teacher-directed.” I’d say the lesson was a success.


The lessons and response sheets supporting The Pencil, can be found at my TpT store: Infusing Indigenous Literacy.


An interesting article on the subject of Inuit child rearing, regarding story-telling and child behaviour modification, can be found with this link: How Inuit Parents Teach Kids to Control Their Anger

Enjoy!