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Reading for Reconciliation

Welcome to Top Grade: CanLit for the Classroom, a blog and preview video series that features new releases from Canadian book publishers ideal for use in K-12 classrooms and school library collections. Throughout the year, we will dive into new titles, highlighting relevant curriculum links and themes.

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Written by secondary school teacher Spencer Miller
 
Today, we are celebrating the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation for the first time. This is a day to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools and make a renewed commitment to the reconciliation process. We can use this day to start a conversation in our classrooms that lasts all year long.

Books are a powerful tool for teaching towards reconciliation. Guided by the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, teachers should seek out learning resources that teach about treaties, the legacy of residential schools and Indigenous peoples’ historical and contemporary contributions to Canada. Teachers should make sure to include books that celebrate Indigenous cultures, including languages, arts, medicines, storytelling, and ways of living on the land.

Being a non-Indigenous educator, I have a responsibility to bring Indigenous voices, perspectives, and ways of teaching an …

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Embracing Winter with Inuit Games & Activities

Twice a month, we invite an educator to share their perspective on essential books for your classroom. To apply to become a contributor, please send us an email!

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Settling into the winter months here in Southern Ontario means we try to enjoy some outdoor activities in the snow, as well as finding ways to reclaim the warmth when we come back inside. With my family, this means good novels and board games, with my students it means books to engage our imaginations and activities to keep us moving.

In my classroom, we have been learning about some of the ways that communities in Canada embrace the winter months. Learning about the rich history of Inuit games and activities enjoyed by the communities across Nunangat has inspired my students to want to know more. I knew exactly how I could satisfy their curiosity.

I was fortunate enough — and thrilled — to be one of the teachers who won the 49th Teachers/Inhabit Education Nunavummi Reading Series giveaway. I received a box of gorgeous books. In the box, were books that I knew would be the perfect additions to the collection of books that I use to integrate Indigenous histories and perspectives into my classroom program. One, in particular, had a special role to play.

Last week, I gathered my students on the carpet an …

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