Happy NWT Literacy Week! As the weather gets colder, you and your children will spend more time inside. Fall can be a great time to cuddle up with a book and practice reading in any language.
Here is a week-long challenge you can do with children at home or during a family literacy event. Each day of the week has a theme with suggestions of how you can use an NWT Literacy Council resource to make learning fun for kids.
Our resources are free for NWT residents. You can print them off our website, or contact our office to be mailed a copy.
Each day of the challenge features a book to read to children. Each book is on our Books for Children by Indigenous Authors poster.
Make It Monday
Walking in Dettah, by students of Kaw Tay Whee School
Our Storymakers resource includes different crafts you can do with small children. Crafts can be a fun way to tell stories. The art in the book, Walking in Dettah, was done in coloured clay by the students of Kaw Tay Whee School.
Crafts aren’t just for small children either! Look online for do-it-yourself projects for teens and adults. You can make environmentally friendly and cost-effective decorations and useful household items. We often get books donated to us that aren’t relevant, accurate, or in good condition. If you, or your program, need a vintage print for a craft, you can give these books a second life with fun family projects. If kids see you having fun making things, they will want to make things too.
Me Too, by Brent Kaulback and Eileen Beaver
Our Granny and Grandpa Talking Bags were developed by elders, for elders to use in early childhood programs and elementary school classrooms. They are a great resource for elders who look after their grandchildren or as an activity that is fun for the whole family. Early childhood programs can use them to include elders in a traditional teaching role. The Granny and Grandpa Talking Bag manual has instructions for making the bags and tips on how to have fun with your Talking Bag.
Me Too is a great book to go with the Granny and Grandpa Talking Bags. It follows a boy who wants to be just like his grandfather. The book has been translated into seven different NWT languages. Grandparents and grandchildren can use the Talking Bags to make their own Me Too story about what they do together.
A Walk on the Shoreline, by Rebecca Hainnu
Water is such a huge part of our lives, but it’s fast becoming polluted. It’s never too early to talk to your kids about climate change. One way to do that is by making homemade bubble snakes, a fun outdoor activity found in our Science Fun resource. All you need is a sock, duct tape, a recycled bottle, and soapy water.
A Walk on the Shoreline is a great northern story about an Inuk boy who goes home every summer to his birth family in the arctic. They take him to the shore to see that the ocean is more than just water; it’s a living thing! When you show an interest in caring for the environment, you will pass those values on to your children.
Take a Trip Thursday
Alone in the Bush, by Elaine Rene-Tambour
Technology is developing faster and faster. Our resource, The Good, the Bad…and the Ugly of Technology, can show you how to use screen time safely and effectively with your kids. Family literacy and doing things together as a family remain important even as kids get older. Take advantage of your teen’s love of social media by doing an outdoor photo shoot and posting the photos on Facebook and Instagram. Take a camera along on a hike or overnight trips on the land and let kids experiment with photography. There are lots of resources online to teach how to take a great picture. Sharing photos online can be a way to connect with far away family and friends. Let teens help older family members learn to use technology!
Alone in the Bush is a northern story in English and South Slavey. The story is about all the animals helping a child who is lost on the land. Alone in the Bush may be fiction, but it has northern elements kids will recognize from their trips on the land. Practice making your own books by printing your pictures and writing a story for younger siblings to enjoy.
Leah’s Mustache Party by Nadia Mike
Food can be a special way to bring families together. Following a recipe together is a fun way to build reading and math skills. All the ingredients in our Great Food for Northern Cooks cookbook are easy to get in NWT communities. Many recipes can be made using country food.
Leah’s Mustache Party is about an imaginative four-year-old girl who loved the mustache she wore for Halloween so much, that she can’t wait for the next time she gets to dress up again: her birthday party! Next time your family comes together to celebrate a special occasion, involve your kids in the planning. Maybe let them pick a party theme or a dish they want to make.
Super Saturday and Sunday
Sweetest Kulu,, by Celina Kalluk
The best way to teach your kids the essential skills they need is to do things with them. To have a fun weekend, you don’t need to go to Disneyland, you just need to do things together. On the Right Track is one of our older resources for parents and is available in all of the official Languages of the NWT. It covers the basics, from picking the perfect length of time to play with your infant to how to keep older children’s attention while you teach them language skills. On the Right Track is a guide for supporting learning for each age group.
The book for the weekend is Sweetest Kulu, which is about an Inuk mother teaching her baby about the animals around them in a bedtime poem. Kulu is an Inuktut term of endearment for babies and children. Your kids will love the stunning artwork done by a Canadian artist from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Talk with your kids about what they see in the book’s pictures.
— Catriona Profit, Summer Student
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