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By Larry Loyie with Constance Brissenden

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Lesson Plan – Children
As Long as the Rivers Flow Lesson Plan was created by Jenna Semple. It is reprinted with her permission.
As Long as the Rivers Flow

By Larry Loyie with Constance Brissenden
Illustrations by Heather D. Holmlund

Groundwood Books, ISBN 0-88899-696-9

Lesson plan
Elementary level; Language Arts
By Jenna Semple, UBC NITEP, 2003 (Bachelor of Education program, Elementary and Secondary, for people of First Nations ancestry)

Comprehend and Respond (Engagement and Personal Response)
Prescribed Learning Outcomes

It is expected that the children will:

. Be able to make at least one personal connection to different sections of the book.

· Relate the story to personal experiences.

· Identify with the story and create an understanding about First Nation traditional lifestyle and Residential schools.
· Select different aspects of the book that create a new understanding for First Nation traditional life.

Suggested Instructional strategies for the book As Long as the Rivers Flow

· Introduce As Long as the Rivers Flow to the class. Give some background of Larry Loyie, and summarize what the book is about.
· Organize the class into reading groups where they will read the book aloud to one another, create discussion and responses, and understanding of the book.
· Ask the students to record in their “response journals” their questions and predictions for each chapter, and then a response for what really happened in the chapter.

Prompt students' responses with questions like:
· Did you like the chapter? Why or why not?
· How did you feel when you read the chapter?
· Did this chapter remind you of anything that has happened to you?
· What have you learned in the chapter?


In As Long as the Rivers Flow, animals are very important. The three animals introduced are the Owl, the Beaver, and the Grizzly Bear.

· Have the student's research one of the animals. Have them research the animal scientifically, and then have the students research the animal in legends and myths by First Nations.

· Have the students write a story about the animal they have researched.
· Instruct the students to include, plot, setting, characters, problems and solutions.
· Have the students draw the animal. Or create a poster about their story.

. Give each child a photocopied page from the book As Long as the Rivers Flow
. Have the children pick out the most important or significant word on that page.
. Have each student write the word in the centre of a large piece of paper and create a list of words, phrases or images from the page that connect to the central word.

Look for evidence that the students are able to:

· Identify the central word.
· Make logic connections to other words, images and phrases from the page or even the rest of the book.
· Make enough connections to demonstrate an understanding of the story.

· Have the students' research and find their favourite legend.
· Before they begin their assignments, discuss criteria with them and supply lists for them to refer to as they do their work.

During their presentations, note the extent to which students:

· Make connections to personal experiences, feelings or ideas.
· Offer a logical organization.
· Describe why this is their favourite legend.
· Include important features and events in the legend.
· Give reason for the legend i.e. what is the moral of the legend?


· Ask the students to choose selections they want to share with the class. In their presentations have them concentrate on two or three key points such as focusing on features that make the selection appealing and include interesting detail.

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