Today, I just want to share a quick activity I did with my class last year to promote the Core Competencies found in BC’s redesigned curriculum. If you’re unsure what Core Competencies are, you can read about them here.
The activity below is simple but I found it powerful. My Grade 6/7 students really enjoyed it but it could be tailored to any grade level. You can find this and many other Core Competency activities designed by Surrey teachers here. Thanks to Chloe for providing her art and poetry sample.
Title: Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox
Core Competency: Positive Personal & Cultural Identity
Curricular Connections: Language Arts & Fine Arts
As a class, we explored the term “totem.” We created a brainstorm of what we thought this word meant and what some examples might be in our own or others’ lives. Next, we read aloud the Author’s Note from the picture book Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox to help solidify our understanding of the term. We used the Think/Pair/Share strategy to discuss the following questions: What might you choose as a personal totem and why? What might it be like to grow up not understanding your own culture? How do we know what our personal strengths are?
Following these discussions, we read aloud the picture book Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox. Students worked either independently or collaboratively to brainstorm their positive personality traits and how they were like a specific animal of their choice. Students created poetry in a style of their choice and a piece of art to represent the connection between their positive personality traits and their animal totem. We based our artwork on the style of the book by author/artist Danielle Daniel.
- What might it be like to grow up not understanding your own culture?
- How do we learn about ourselves? When and how do we learn about our strengths?
- What guides you in making personal decisions?
- What are some of your positive personality traits? How are they like those of an animal?
I can represent my positive personality traits through animal totem poetry and art.
- Poem describes how one animal represents the positive traits of my personality.
- Poem uses metaphors, similes, or analogies.
- Poem includes descriptive and varied language.
- Poem uses rhyme or repetition as a writing technique.
- Artwork includes a representation of myself and features of my chosen animal.
- Sharing family recipes and traditions
- Selecting totems that represent our identity
- Video reflection on our positive sense of self
I am a dog, loyal to my friends.
I am, and have loyal friends.
I am a dog, my tail starts to wag as fast as a plane propeller when I see my friends.
I get excited and start to tag along all my friends.
I am a dog, I worry when my friends are struggling.
I scurry everywhere to help my friends in troubling situations.
I am a dog, unique and different.
My friends always find various personalities I’ve got.
I am a dog, a man’s furry, comforting best friend.
I am a caring best friend who helps you feel better.
I am a dog,
I was, am, and will always be a friend who is loyal, friendly, caring, unique, and comforting.