Ideas for “The Whale Rider”

First of all, thanks to ggratton and Tammy Gillmore for the tips on short stories! On top of their suggestions on the post on Short Story Mentor Texts, I discovered a couple of sites that might be helpful if you’re looking for short stories to use in a high school classroom:

Now that I have abundant short story resources from which to select mentor texts (I’ll be sure to share what stories I’ll be using as we get closer), I’m beginning to put together our first reading unit of the year. We’ll be using The Whale Rider to review basic literary elements such as plot, character, etc., and begin touching on symbols, motifs, and most importantly, theme. Part of my planning for this unit will involve Shared Inquiry, which I’ll be learning about at the Great Books Training I’ll be attending next week. I’m also hoping to figure out a couple of ways to begin integrating technology a little more completely by using SurveyGizmo or Google Docs for reading quizzes, and possibly trying out Animoto for Education (more on this another time). However, apart from those two elements, I’m struggling to come up with purposeful activities and meaningful assessments for this novel.

Since the last request went so well, I figured I may as well ask again: if you teach the novel, The Whale Rider, what sorts of objectives, assessments, and activities have you found work really well?


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