This week we arrived in Chisasibi. A lot of time and preparation has gone into this project. Here are some things we’ve worked on before the big day!
For this practicum, we made activities for preschoolers to complement some Cree children’s books. It was an eye-opening opportunity for us to create fun, relatable materials that were also culturally relevant.
For eight books, we created story props (to help engage the children in the narrative), selected a Cree song, table-top games (for small groups), and a gym activity (to link physical activity with themes from the story). For all the activities, we incorporated core vocabulary from the books.
Puppets for an occupation-themed book.
Bingo cards to help learn about colours.
An interactive magnetic paper doll to explore a child’s wildest imagination!
Puppets for an animal-themed book.
We made fun dice to help stimulate storytelling! There are six sets of pictures, each with a different theme (Everyday, Summer, Winter, Traditional, Halloween, and Christmas).
We also made a pamphlet describing bilingualism, as well as another pamphlet outlining some communication strategies for parents. We hope that these will be useful and informative resources for the educators and parents in the community.
Eagle Spirit Camp
In the midst of making all these materials, we also participated in Eagle Spirit Camp! The camp is an initiative to showcase various professions to Indigenous youth from all across Canada. We had the privilege of teaching and sharing our love of speech and language in a workshop setting. The teens took part in activities which had them role-playing as a person with aphasia and as an S-LP planning lessons with children. It was inspiring to see how enthusiastic everyone was and how many great questions were asked of us!
Leading up to this, we attended a cultural sensitivity workshop given by SEDE (the Social Equity and Diversity Education Office of McGill University). The interactive blanket exercise highlighted the Indigenous perspective of Canada’s colonialist past that was not known to us in its entirety. The SEDE employees conveyed not only a factual retelling of Indigenous struggles, but also the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual toll that colonialism had – and continues to have- on Indigenous people. If you ever have the chance to participate in the workshop, we highly recommend it!
We can’t wait to start our first week in Chisasibi! We’ll keep you updated on our adventures!
-The ChisasSLPs (Benanna and Cluong)