Contemporary Voices in Secondary

Ideas for the English and NBE Classroom

Resources for Your Consideration

Big image
Check out this SMORE for texts to explore with your students.

Lesson Idea #1

Title: Sacred and Commercial Tobacco - A First Nations Understanding

Which of the Seven Essential Understandings connected in this lesson:

Community – Connection to Family

Ancestral Knowledge – Connection to Spirit

Traditional Knowledge – Practices and Protocols

Land – Connection to the Natural World

Cultural Unity and Diversity

Aboriginal Title & Treaty Rights

Interconnectedness of all Things

Learning Goals

By the end of this lesson, students need to know, understand, honour, and/or be able to do the following:

  • Need to know the difference between sacred tobacco and commercial tobacco and Indigenous manufactured tobacco
  • Need to understand the significance of tobacco to Indigenous peoples
  • Need to understand that the conflict among Indigenous People and with the Federal Government over the commercialization of tobacco cigarettes
  • Need to be able to explain to a non-Indigenous person the protocols of giving and receiving sacred tobacco
  • Need to be able to identify stereotypes and bias about Indigenous manufactured tobacco

Beishgo Asehmaa/Tobacco First

Minds On

Big image

Share Circle Poem

Explain that we are using a simple talking circle focused on a topic with teacher as facilitator.


  1. What traditions have been passed down to you by your grandparents or the elders in your life?
  2. How do these traditions conflict with the teachings about life that you have received from your parents, school, society?
  3. Teacher shares example: Reminds class that different viewpoints and life experiences are welcome and to be treated with respect when shared in the circle. Listening is the most important practice of the circle. .
  4. For example: My Great-Grandmother always had a jigsaw puzzle set out on a card-table. It was an activity we could do together or I could work on it alone while she was busy. It kept my mind and hands occupied. Recently, I’ve started doing jigsaw puzzles again. I find it very relaxing to focus on that one activity that engages my mind.
  5. Sharing moves round the circle clockwise
  6. At the end, it is not necessary for the teacher to summarize.
  7. Give students time to reflect on what they shared/heard in their journals


  • Teacher projects Conflict Triangle and engages students in a review of how Kookum taught Raven about offering Tobacco and how Raven, rather than steal his mother’s cigarette, but wanting to honour his Kookum’s teachings offered cherios instead.
  • Teacher asks students to what they have learned from their teacher’s about tobacco.
  • What about from advertizements? PSA’s.
  • Distribute the copied Ads (3 different ads) photo. Explain that Raven might have been exposed to these types of advertisements in his community. His mother might smoke this kind of Aboriginal Manufactured Cigarettes.
  • Distribute the Handout, Posing Questions to Evaluate Perspectives and Bias
  • Set up home groups of 4, each person selecting a quadrant of questions to focus their analysis. Invite students to meet with the people in other groups who selected the same focus quadrant. Focus groups will have 2 -4 students depending on size of class.
  • Give the focus groups time analyze the advertisement; they should record any questions that arise as they complete their analysis. 5 min. teacher circulates
  • The focus groups members return to their home groups and share their findings.
  • Now the group uses a question frame to create Text to World questions to guide inquiry.
  • Record these questions on poster paper
  • The class then examines the questions that have been raised and evaluates the questions for potential to guide inquiry.
  • Exit card:

    What are two good inquiry questions that arose from your analysis.


Using exit cards, teacher will facilitate an inquiry lesson to deepen student understanding about Traditional tobacco and the tension within Indigenous communities caused by the use of Commercial tobacco, especially that which is manufactured by Indigneous communities.

Big image

Lesson Idea #2

Title: Traditional Knowledge and One Person's Journey to Heal

Big image
Big image

Connections to Components of Adolescent Literacy

CRITICAL LITERACY: refers to students critically analyzing and evaluating the meaning of text as it relates to issues of equity, power, and social justice to inform a critical stance, response and/or action.

METACOGNITION: refers to students taking active control over their thinking processes so that they understand themselves as learners, they understand a given task, and they understand a variety of strategies and how to use them in a variety of situations.

QUESTIONING: refers to students' curiosity, exploration, and inquiry to evoke, expose, and extend their thinking for the purpose of deeper understanding.

Learning Goals

By the end of this lesson, students need to know, understand, honour, and/ or be able to do the following:

  • that Indian Residential Schools had a profoundly negative impact on not only those who attended, but also their extended families and relationships long after the fact
  • differentiate between describing what they see or read and drawing inferences and forming conclusions
  • there is an underlying symbolism and significance to the details of First Nations clothing and dance that is not always evident - building understanding is a personal journey that is enhanced through knowledgeable mentors
  • analyze how the author has used structure, conventions of film, symbolism, etc. to convey a message for a specific purpose and audience


  • Students should have a familiarity with documentaries and terminology related to film (e.g. camera angle and movement terminology)
  • It might be helpful to have some awareness of Indian Residential Schools and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Familiarity with working norms that will allow all voices to be heard and honoured in academic conversations

Minds On


Underline 3 or 4 words or phrases from James Buffin's quotation that resonate with you
Big image


Thinking Routine: See-Think-Wonder

Thinking Routine from Making Thinking Visible, Ritchart, Church, Morrison

Model See-Think-Wonder

Big image

Jingle Dress - First Dance trailer from James Buffin

Jingle Dress - First Dance trailer


Day 2

Scene Analysis and Questioning

On day 2, look more closely at how film devices are used to convey author's message, including:

  • Transitions between images and scenes
  • Use of sound - dialogue, narrative voice, music, sound effects
  • Camera movement and angle
  • Use of symbolism - nature, journey symbols, First Nations symbolism, etc. How are these used and depicted?
  • Structure - where does the film start and end and what is included and where
  • Perspective - whose voice is included and whose is missing; how does perspective shift or stay the same
  • Use of stock footage, pictures, documents, etc.

For the draft of the lesson above and handouts

Follow this link. Scroll down to the bottom left side of the home page.

English Curriculum Expectations



By the end of this course, students will:

1. Listening to Understand: listen in order to understand and respond appropriately in a variety of situations for a variety of purposes;

2. Speaking to Communicate: use speaking skills and strategies appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes;


1. Listening to Understand

Students will:

Using Active Listening Strategies

1.2 select and use the most appropriate active listening strategies when participating in a range of situations

Demonstrating Understanding of Content

1.4 identify the important information and ideas in oral texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, in a variety of ways

2. Speaking to Communicate


2.1 communicate orally for a range of purposes, using language appropriate for the intended audience

Diction and Devices

2.4 use appropriate words, phrases, and terminology, and a variety of stylistic devices, to effectively communicate their meaning and engage their intended audience

Non-Verbal Cues

2.6 identify a variety of non-verbal cues, including facial expressions, gestures, and eye contact, and use them effectively to help convey their meaning and with sensitivity to audience needs and cultural differences



By the end of this course students will:

2. Understanding Form and Style: recognize a variety of text forms, text features, and stylistic elements and demonstrate understanding of how they help communicate meaning;


2. Understanding Form and Style

Students will:

Text Forms

2.1 identify a variety of characteristics of literary, informational, and graphic text forms and explain how they help communicate meaning

Text Features

2.2 identify a variety of text features and explain how they help communicate meaning

Elements of Style

2.3 identify a variety of elements of style in texts and explain how they help communicate meaning and enhance the effectiveness of the texts



By the end of this course, students will:

1. Understanding Media Texts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of media texts;

2. Understanding Media Forms, Conventions, and Techniques: identify some media forms and explain how the conventions and techniques associated with them are used to create meaning


1. Understanding Media Texts

Students will:

Interpreting Messages

1.2 interpret media texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, identifying and explaining the overt and implied messages they convey

Evaluating Texts

1.3 evaluate how effectively information, ideas, themes, issues, and opinions are communicated in media texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, and decide whether the texts achieve their intended purpose

Audience Responses

1.4 explain why the same media text might prompt different responses from different audiences

Critical Literacy

1.5 identify the perspectives and/or biases evident in media texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, and comment on any questions they may raise about beliefs, values, identity, and power

Conventions and Techniques

2.2 identify conventions and/or techniques used in a variety of media forms and explain how they convey meaning and influence their audience