Lauren Barlow AbEd

How do I introduce the word ‘Aboriginal’ or ‘First Nations’ to grade 2’s who have know idea what it means?? How/where does one begin??

  • I introduced the word ‘Aboriginal’ and ‘First Nations’ to the students by beginning to read ‘A Is for Aboriginal’ to them. Although this book is advanced for grade 2, I discussed it in a way where they could ask questions and think of ‘deep thinking questions’ (Lesson from Reading Power that focuses on reading strategies) and acknowledge that it is ok if they can not answer the questions they are thinking about. I think in this context the conversation went very well and I was able to introduce these word to them and we could begin to explore their meaning.


AbEd in Science

  • In Science (Animal Growth and Change Unit) we discussed First Nations People’s connection to animals and the environment. I read a few more pages from ‘A is for Aboriginals’ that connected to this topic and we discussed the life cycle and how Aboriginal People believe that all living things are equal and connected. We had a class discussion about this. I got the students to write journals from the perspective of an animal that they are interested in. The students got to do several body movement exercises where they acted like a particular animal. Then they wrote a journal from the perspective of that animal and drew and colored a picture.


Request an AbEd teacher to come to your class! They will give you resources and have a great lesson planned for your kids that connects to your previous lessons!

  • I requested an AbEd teacher to come to the class and teach a science lesson. In science we are discussing animals and the different categories of animals. The AbEd teacher brought various animal furs that connected nicely to the mammal lessons we have been discussing. The students could feel the different textures of the fur and make connections to the information we have been learning in class about mammals. She also brought various pictures of animals drawn by Aboriginal artists.


  • The AbEd teacher also brought various pictures of animals drawn by Aboriginal artists. I connected the following science lesson with these Aboriginal art pieces by discussing the food chain. I introduced the topic by reading parts of a book that discussed the food chain. Then the students played a movement game called ‘Food Chain’ where they stated off as grass, played rock paper scissors and the students who won moved up the food chain to a rabbit, then a snake, then and a hawk. Then we had a discussion about what we learned and how this connected to the food chain. I had about 10 Aboriginal animals posted on the board that the AbEd teacher gave me. After having the discussion about the food chain I asked the class to look at the pictures and choose three animals that are connected (either by the food chain EX: eagle eats a rabbit and a rabbit eats grass, OR animals that are connected in different ways EX: bears and humans both eat salmon). They had a few minutes to look at the animals then I got them to discuss with a person sitting next to them. Then they had to write a couple sentences about the animals that they chose and why they are connect. The following lesson I got the animals to colour their animals and we focused on choosing different colours, colouring in the lines, and colouring all one way. Then I will be connecting their animals and writing together with string. This lesson is cross-curricular: reading, writing, science, and art. It also connects with the First Peoples Principle!


  • This picture above is an example of the pictures that the AbEd teacher brought that was made by First Nations artists. I coloured this picture as an example for the students. They chose 3 animals that are connected by the food chain or other connections. They wrote a journal about it and are working on colouring the pictures.




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