Grade Two Thematic Unit: Additional Activities and Resources

Additional Activities for the Thematic Grade Two Unit

  • Partner with a school in a different territory, if you are in the city find a school in a First Nation community or vice-versa. Undergo this unit simultaneously, e-mail updates to the partnered school. You can also visit each other’s communities to look at how water is dealt with in each community. This would fit well with the grade two curriculums which acknowledge the need to look at other types of communities.


  • Research First Nations people who have had something to say regarding water issues: James Bay Cree, Split Lake Cree, Yellow Quill First Nation, Sandy Lake Cree, etc. Water is a very hot topic in Aboriginal communities. Aboriginal people often view themselves as protectors of Mother Earth and the environment. As an add on to this unit perhaps you would like to explore other Canadian Aboriginal issues such as the Oka Crisis which occurred in 1990 and provided Aboriginal people with a springboard for their concerns in the media. Oka began because the sacred pines were about to be cut down and traditional burial grounds were to be moved to make way for a golf course. This event changed Aboriginal concerns because now everybody knew how Canada was treating its Aboriginal people.


  • Author and develop a play regarding the Water Spirit and issues around it in modern and historical times. This play could be used to showcase in your school to showcase the environmental concerns.

Arrange to attend a First Nation ceremony that has water in it; Sweat Lodge, Fasting, Feasts. Meet with local First Nation/Métis/Aboriginal Elders to arrange for a culture day in the country. Ceremonies are conducted throughout the spring and summer and are often passed by word of mouth. For example, Maple Creek’s Nekaneet First Nation held a Medicine Gathering for four years which provided mainstream population with an opportunity to experience a number of Aboriginal ceremonies. This ceremony has since been moved and now one can contact Nekaneet First Nation at:

Nekaneet First Nation, P.O. Box 548, Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, S0N 1N0

Ph.: (306) 662–3660

Fax: (306) 662–4160

to find out when and where the ceremony will take place for the year

  • Invite in a speaker/activist on First Nation and Aboriginal water issues. If you live in a small community, you may be able to contact someone at the health centre in a reserve close to you. It is best to do this face to face rather than over the phone. Ask to speak to someone regarding water issues on their First Nation. Explain what you are doing and why you are doing it. Offer tobacco to the person and then provide them with an honorarium and gift upon completion of their presentation. Please consider mileage when giving an honorarium. The going rate for a presenter honorarium is about $50 -$75. The going rate for an Elder is $100 -$250, depending on the time spent and whether or not they had to prepare for the presentation. Tobacco must always be exchanged and gifts must be offered. If you are not Aboriginal yourself, it is suggested that you go through an Aboriginal person or elder’s helper to secure an elder for your presentation. Be sure to provide the elder with the information about what you wish them to discuss in a question format at least one week before the presentation. Many elders do not drive, so you may have to provide transportation or provide an honorarium to the elder’s helper. The following are some questions you may want to ask:
    • Are there any stories that you have been told about water from your grandparents and could you share one of those stories?
    • Can you tell us about how you got water a long time ago and how you get it now?
    • Does water have a spirit? Please explain?
    • Is the water safe to drink in your community?


Resources used in this unit:

Brown, J. & Hannis, D. (2008). Community Development in Canada. Toronto : Pearson Allyn and Bacon.

Native Art in Canada. (2007). Ojibwa creation story. Retrieved from

Environment Canada. (2008). Quickfacts.

Saunders, C & Ramsey, P. (2008). Gitche Manitou.

Tuskegee (1996). The Origin of Earth. Retrieved from

Benton-Banai, E. (1988). The mishomis book : The voice of the ojibway. St. Paul, Minn: Indian Country Press.

Optional Teacher Resources:

APA citation

Aboriginal Education Unit. (2002). Historical Aboriginal Relationships Shaping North America. Saskatchewan Learning.

Beauchamp & Parsons. (2000) Teaching from the Inside Out. Edmonton: Duval House Publishing.

Hirschfelder, A. B., Molin, P. F., & Wakim, Y. (1999). American Indian Stereotypes in the World of Children: A reader and Bibliography (2nd ed.). Lanham, Md: Scarecrow

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. (2006). The Learning Circle; Classroom Activities on First Nations in Canada: Ages 12-14. Ottawa: Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada. Retrieved from epub/volltexte/2009/1065/pdf/e_guide3.pdf

Office of the Treaty Commissioner. (2008). We are all Treaty People. Saskatchewan, Canada. Retrieved from:

Saskatchewan Education, Training and Employment. (1994). Language Arts for Indian and Métis students: Adapting the elementary level curriculum. Regina, SK: Author.

Saskatchewan Curriculum Education: The future within us. Retrieved from

Optional Student Resources:

These books are recommended to have for students to read/look at in quiet time or on their own time.

Bouchard, D., & Vickers, R. H. (1997). The Elders are Watching (3rd ed.). Vancouver: Raincoast Books.

Caduto, M. J., Bruchac, J., Ka-Hon-Hes, & Wood, C. (1997). Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children (1st Fulcrum trade paperback ed.). Golden, Colo: Fulcrum Publ.

De Coteau Orie, S., & Canyon, C. (1996). Did You Hear Wind Sing Your Name? : An Oneida Song of Spring. New York: Walker.

Goble, P. (1996). Remaking the Earth: A Creation Story from the Great Plains of North America. New York: Orchard Books.

Ridout, S. B., Funk, J., & Saskatoon District Tribal Council (Eds.). (1991). "--And They Told Us Their Stories": A Book of Indian Stories. Saskatoon: Saskatoon District Tribal Council.

Taylor, C.J. (1994). Bones in the Basket: Native Stories of the Origin of People. Montreal: Tundra Books.

Changes: the turtle's teachings.(2001).[compact disc]. Saskatoon, SK: Gabriel Dumont Institute.

Waboose, J. B., & Taylor, C. J. (1999). Firedancers. Toronto: Stoddart Kids.

Supplemental Internet Resources:

Online Resources for Creation Stories:

Possible Literary Sources:

Goble, P. (1996). Remaking the earth: A creation story from the great plains of North America. New York: Orchard Books.

Taylor, C.J. (1994). Bones in the basket: Native stories of the origin of people. Montreal: Tundra Books.