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  • Sarah Hudson

“Never take food from strange animals. It might be poison!”

Updated: Mar 2



How many ways can your students connect with literature?


Awasis and the World-Famous Bannock written by written Dallas Hunt and illustrated by Amanda Strong, is a great book to use with primaries!


Beyond the similarities to classic fairy tales, the story also integrates Cree vocabulary and includes the recipe to the “World-Famous Bannock."


Beyond the book, I saw that there are a few other learning opportunities to explore. So, I created a unit to do just that.


After reading the book to my class, my students (who are well rehearsed for the question I’m about to ask) began firing off connections they made to the story.


“It reminds me of Little Red Riding Hood,”

“I make biscuits with my grandma,”

“One time... I lost my lunch bag.”


One little girl also offered this advice,

“Never take food from strange animals. It might have poison in it.”

I made sure to reiterate that helpful life-hack, because you never know…


There are great reading strategies to use with this story: Problem and Solution, Connection, Visualization, What Happened After? (Extend the Story), Beginning, Middle, End, Compare and Contrast, etc.



As well, there is an opportunity to explore the Cree vocabulary, design a map retracing Awasis’ journey, and code her journey on paper.


This coding activity was added after I initially created the unit. We had a workshop presented by Science World with paper coding as the topic. A perfectly with this story!

The idea was to have the students ‘code’ Awasis’ journey to her Kohkum’s house, meeting up with the animals along the way. When I explained the activity to the class, one little boy sensing the endless possibilities to this activity blurted out, “I’m going to make Awasis fight all the animals for the ingredients.”



The activity was a hit. Awasis and the World-Famous Bannock reached a deeper level of understanding with my students due to the many opportunities they had to explore this enduring story.


PS.

As for the coding exercise, any class can easily do it, whether they have coded before or not. My students, however, have been participating in a free online tutorial called code.org. I highly recommend any teacher wanting to teach coding to their class, to sign up. It’s free, easy to register your class, can be done on laptops or Ipads and is suitable for kindergartens to Grade 12s.


PPS.

My class and I made the "World Famous Bannock" from the recipe at the back of the book. It was delicious! A must!!