The Buzz

DIVISION I

The Great Escape! – An Animal Adventure.

Who doesn’t love the antics of animals! In this guided experience, students will build a story from idea, through problem solving and over-coming obstacles to a satisfying ending. Children love making up stories. Working within a guided framework models story structure and results in a proud, confident storyteller. In kindergarten, the focus will be on creating  an oral story, and by Grade 3, it will be more of a writing activity. Students will have the opportunity to create at their ability level, using a variety of tools and techniques to inspire and support them.

Curriculum connections: ELA outcome 2.4 Create original text

ALL GRADES

The Acadians – The Deportation and Beyond 

Based on Lois’s research for her novel Winds of L’Acadie,  this session covers any or all of the following: Acadian lifestyle, events leading up to the deportation of the Acadians, and the Acadian identity today. It is a story of courage and determination and loyalty and survival in the face of the great tragedy forced upon them. In the younger grades, it is a story of the Acadians past and present. In the older grades, it is a poignant lesson about identity and nationalism. How did/do the Acadians maintain their identity? Can you be a nation without a country? Depending on time restraints, teachers may want to choose a particular focus for the session.

Curriculum connections:

Grade 2 2.1 Canada’s Dynamic Communities

Grade 5 5.2 Histories and Stories of Ways of Life in Canada

             5.3 Canada: Shaping an Identity

Grade 7   7.1 Toward Confederation (assess, critically, the political competition between the French and the British in attempting to control North America)

Grade 11  Perspectives on Nationalism (To what extent should nation be the foundation of identity?)

Please note that Lois is not available for in-person school visits yet. She is, however, offering virtual author visits and virtual writing workshops. Contact Lois at iwrite@loisdonovan.com regarding further details and fees.

The Buzz

Comments from grade 5/6 teacher at Eckville Elementary, Alberta

“The students were enthralled with the opportunity, and were delighted to know that some of her books were coming into the library. “

Kids said:

“That was cool.”  “Thanks!  That was fun!”

Teacher librarian at Bonnyville School, Alberta

 “Any presentation during this “weird” year is greatly appreciated, but this was really valuable in that everything that Lois shared was practical and usable! Definitely enhanced what the students are learning:)”

 Students told their teachers that Lois made them think of things in a different way. Also, that she made writing seem easier and built confidence in them:)

School Librarian, Nelson Heights School, Cold Lake, Alberta

Lois brought history to life as she described the tragedy of the Acadian Expulsion in relation to her novel “Winds of L’Acadie”, bringing a sense of historical importance from the heart of a researcher…a live human being who was not reading from a textbook or expounding on behalf of a curriculum. She showed students that history is interesting and alive and described how to follow that interest. This fit perfectly with what the students in grade 5 and 7 are covering in their social classes at the moment.  She then went on to introduce the historical components of her novel “The Journal” that are much closer to home and ignited a spark of interest in the great Wilfred “Wop” May and Emily Murphy. These students learn about the “Famous Five” in their curriculum but you would swear they were hearing it for the first time…women not considered people??? Her bringing this important historical information to life had more benefits than any textbook or test. These students will remember this presentation for a very long time. We have been reading her novel “Winds of L’Acadie” aloud in class and after her presentation there is an energy in the class while I read that wasn’t quite there before. The story has taken on a whole new light. Grade 7 students remarked “there really was a quill box!” referencing the artifact from her novel and that Lois had with her on display for all to see. While I continue to read “Winds of L’Acadie”, there is now a long line waiting to read “The Journal”. Lois was an engaging presenter and we were very fortunate to host her.