English and Language Arts

"A Journey into Time Immemorial" provides many educational tools that coincide with the learning objectives for students in grades 6 through 10 English and language arts.

Grade 6

Students will understand the importance of respect in Aboriginal cultures and appreciate different communication styles that are used to denote respect. Students will demonstrate respect for diversity of language, opinions, and cultures.

Students will demonstrate an understanding of appropriate behaviour used for active listening. The importance of learning active listening skills directly relates to a young learner's need to understand the crucial role played by traditional stories in the preservation of Aboriginal culture. Each story is relayed for a specific purpose. Story themes range from historical teachings to moral lessons, and it is essential that an audience member develop strategies for interpreting oral traditions and identifying teachings. Students will understand the connection between language , spiritual beliefs , and Sto:lo identity .

Aboriginal students are encouraged to seek cultural information from elders, while following prescribed protocols. Furthermore, students will begin to develop a satisfactory understanding of their traditional language. Students will learn to write basic compositions, recognize and use role-appropriate language for ceremonies such as the potlatch , and develop the ability to retell portions of longer oral narratives and traditional stories.

Grade 7

Students are encouraged to develop their English and Aboriginal language skills.

The student will hone both active reading and listening skills. The development of active listening skills will allow the student to effectively learn cultural history and behave in a respectful manner. Respect is very important in Aboriginal cultures. Traditional stories are used at this educational level to directly teach students about family, history, values, and traditions. Therefore, it is essential students continue to develop their listening skills.

Students will understand that there is a strong connection between language and Sto:lo identity . Traditional ceremonies such as the potlatch connect community members and are a very important time for families and communities to celebrate the birth of children, naming ceremonies , marriage, and memorials.

Further cultural information is available through elders. As a sign of respect, students will learn to follow protocols while requesting information. Through the application of Language Arts skills and strategies, students will demonstrate an understanding of themselves as part of a larger community.

Grade 8

Students will understand that there are a variety of ways to communicate. An understanding of communication will broaden students' personal perspectives and aid in their development of cultural sensitivity. While learning to express their own opinions and cultural world-views, students will demonstrate respect for the customs of others. Word usage is a focal point. Students are encouraged to use inclusive language when speaking. Students are part of a community and should demonstrate this through thoughtful actions. Traditional ceremonies such as the potlatch connect community members and are a very important time for families and communities to celebrate the birth of children, naming ceremonies , marriage, and memorials. Oral history, or traditional stories, is an important part of the contemporary First Nations world.

Students can apply the skills learned from language arts objectives to gather further cultural information. Cultural information will enrich the student's life and aid in revitalizing cultural pride and in better understanding the Aboriginal heritage.

Grade 9

Students are required to organize details and information that have been gathered from different sources, both oral and textual. They will learn to interpret and give presentations on the information collected. The material must reflect a willingness to explore different genres. Students will demonstrate their respect for different forms of communication and understand the influence of language and cultural diversity in communities.

Students will practice critical thinking, considering historical contexts when forming opinions on oral and print communications. Cultural sensitivity is a primary learning objective. The importance of oral narratives or traditional stories in student education remains evident. Traditional ceremonies such as the potlatch remind students that communities engage in traditional and contemporary communication styles.

Curricula outline the importance of respect in Aboriginal cultures. Students will become aware of various forms of respect demonstrated under different contexts. Basic Aboriginal language skills are important at this level, such as the ability to greet another in a native language, and the recognition of different language dialects.

Grade 10

Students develop further research skills and expand their inquiry skills, in part by composing questions related to a topic with which they are already somewhat familiar. Students will keep these questions in mind while examining a subject. In addition, students will make connections regarding key concepts in written and oral works. Improved research skills can be applied toward improving the student's basic understanding of First Nations cultures from previous grades.

Students will further their understanding of different forms of communication from diverse cultures, and continue to demonstrate respect for these differences. The association between language and community identity should be fundamentally understood at this point. Traditional stories , mythology, and language all play a part in cultural identity. Traditional ceremonies such as the potlatch are also a way to engage in traditional and contemporary communication styles.

The ability to listen and read actively remains important at this stage. Aboriginal stories and oral narratives are created for particular teaching purposes. Students should be able to employ accepted protocols when engaged in the listening process. Not only do protocols demonstrate respect, they also aid in an individual's understanding of various teachings within a story by allowing the listener to recognize verbal and non-verbal cues.

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