Grade Five Thematic Unit: Additional Activities and Evaluations

Additional activities for this Unit:

1. 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.

2. Research First Nations people who have had something to say regarding water issues: James Bay 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 A boriginal 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. CBS has a very good website which uses the media to inform the public about Aboriginal issues. 

3. Author and develop a play regarding the Four Elements and issues around them in modern and historical times. This play could be used to showcase in your school what the environmental concerns are. Invite 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. Questions you may want to ask:

  1. Are there any stories that you have been told about water from your grandparents and could you share one of those stories?
  2. Can you tell us about how you got water a long time ago and how you get it now?
  3. Does water have a spirit, please explain?
  4. Is the water safe to drink in your community?

Optional activities would include expanding upon the class mural of Canada’s waterways. Students could each be assigned a province to further investigate the significance of water within that province. These research reports could be shared with other schools.

Operation Water Spirit Group Evaluation

Name:______________________ Task: ___________________________

Group member being evaluated:____________________________

Total out of 20 marks _________ x 5 = _________%

Date: _____________________

group evaluation

Student Evaluation Checklist

Operation Water Spirit - Student Evaluation

Name: ______________________

5 = Excellent 1 = not at all

student evaluation