Welcome friends to the first #WonderWednesday! Each week I will be sharing a picture book that I have found to be a powerful provocation tool for my learners. A book that takes our wonders, thinking and questions to the next level and inspired further inquiry and learning. This week I am excited to be sharing: Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox by Danielle Daniel. This book will provoke questioning, reflecting and connecting to self. The questions that this story can provoke and tie to are empowering and important.
Book Description: ‘Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox’ is a beautifully written and visually provoking picture book. It is an Anishinaabe totem story about how children can connect to Anishinaabe totem animals to learn about how they are feeling. Each page has a beautiful illustration along with various words that describe the featured animal. The importance of learning about yourself and connecting to your feelings is celebrated page after page.
Connection: I feel so fortunate to have come across ‘Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox’ in the magical Adrienne Gear‘s ‘We Are All Connected’ workshop back in November. The workshop changed my teaching and honestly, blew my mind. We were just embarking on a ‘Self’ inquiry and exploring how we were connected to the land. My hope was that my learners would learn about their identity and in turn begin to understand feel a connection to our local Indigenous land. When I listened to Adrienne talk about our focus in the most beautiful and inspiring ways possible, I was felt like clapping after every word she spoke. Her workshop brought to life new picture books and changed our inquiry journey. I will be forever grateful.
Context: Our self inquiry emerged through experiences and provocations which had us connecting to the land. We were curious about our land and where we live, and I was hoping to embark on a journey that would empower my learners to feel connections to our local Indigenous land. Danielle David’s ‘Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox’, suggested by Adrienne Gear, came into play when we were talking about who we are as individuals. I read the book in hopes of connecting to one of our essential questions: “Who am I?”. I envisioned the book would spark curiosity about the teachings behind Indigenous animals and how they can connect to who we are and how we feel as individuals. This book did just that, and more. It sparked dialogue around how we are all unique and special. My learners made connections to local Indigenous animal teachings that are part of our daily learning. Furthermore, wonders about the Indigenous teachings of further animals were shared and honoured. This picture book provoked our thinking in beautiful ways.
-Which animal are you feeling like right now?
-Which animal are you curious about?
-Do you wonder which animal you might be? Your family members? Your friends?
-Why are the children in the story wearing masks?
-What connections to these animals did you make while we were reading the story?
-How can connecting to these animal traits help us to understand who we are?
-Dialogue and discussions surrounding feelings and identity
-Adrienne suggests looking into how these animals are part of a Totem, and creating family Totem’s with each family member represented by an animal
-We did a lot of sharing about how we feel and connected to our mindful check-ins each day. This book influenced our morning sharing circle routines
-We followed up with some FOX art, as we were loving on foxes during this period. A lot of our story workshop sessions were infused with fox characters and fox play.
-My incredible colleague, Marcy O’Keefe (George Jay Elementary, Grade 2) worked with her learners to reflect and write about which animal they associated most with and why. She extended this with some incredible ripped paper art. She used this free writing template from The Primary Patch here.
-Another inspiring colleague across another district created a video of her littles sharing about how they feel. This link might inspire something similar. Think about using Adobe Spark: Take pictures of your kiddos and record over which animal they feel like and why.
Read Aloud: I love this read aloud as it is led by a group of littles! Have a listen here.
Have you read ‘Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox’? How did it provoke your learners? What connections and wonders did they share? How did you extend their learning and inquiry journey? Please share below. In inquiry we are more powerful together.