New Books for BC Classrooms

Now that the weather is getting warmer, the school year is drawing to a close. For students, that means summer vacation is just a few sleeps away. For teachers, it’s almost time to plan for another year.

These new and upcoming titles are perfect additions for BC classroom bookshelves and will help you incorporate Indigenous perspectives in your lessons.

Mothers of Xsan series from HighWater Press

The Mothers of Xsan series uses a story-based approach to guide kids through concepts in the natural world. These books are a great choice to support science curriculums up to Grade 5 .

The Gitxsan culture relies on the life cycles of native plants and animals. The Mothers of Xsan series offers young readers a closer look at these ecosystems with storytelling by Gitxsan creator Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett David Huson) and colour illustrations by Vancouver artist Natasha Donovan.

The Sockeye Mother is the first book in the series, released in 2017. The story follows the life cycle of the sockeye salmon, a traditional food and trade staple of the Gitxsan people. Students will learn about the delicate balance of the natural world.

Young readers will enjoy story-based exploration of concepts in the natural world while learning both scientific terms and words in Gitxsan language. The Sockeye Mother was awarded the 2018 Science Writers and Communicators of Canada book award in the Youth Category.

If you enjoyed the storytelling style in The Sockeye Mother, you can add to your collection with the second book of the Mothers of Xsan series, The Grizzly Mother, coming this September. The Grizzly Mother will capture young imaginations as they embark with a family of grizzlies through the land and forests along the Skeena River. The story uses beautiful language and artwork to show how a mother grizzly teaches her cubs how to survive on their own.

The third book in the series, The Eagle Mother, is expected for release in 2020.

Hands-on Science: An Inquiry Approach from Portage & Main Press

Developed specifically for BC’s New Curriculum, Hands-on Science and Technology: An Inquiry Approach is a resource for kindergarten to grade 2 classrooms. The four volumes in the series are Living Things for Grades K-2, Properties of Matter for Grades K-2, Properties of Energy for Grades K-2, and Land, Water, and Sky for Grades K-2.

The revised BC science curriculum is the province’s most progressive yet. Learning objectives will focus on Core Competencies like Critical Thinking and Communication. It also calls for the inclusion of First Peoples knowledge and perspectives.

The Hands-On Science: An Inquiry Approach series is tailor-made for BC science teachers. These learning resources use a student-driven scientific inquiry approach based on the Know, Do, Understand model.

Each book uses a multi-age approach geared toward kindergarten to grade two learners.

The multi-age bands presented in Hands-On Science support the diversity inherent in both single grade and multi-grade classrooms, as they centre each of the modules around overarching questions, Big Ideas, Curricular Competencies, and Core Competencies. — Faye Brownlie, staff development consultant, author

The content in each chapter helps students digest Big Ideas while practising the curricular competencies they need to meet provincial learning standards. The books also include a comprehensive assessment plan to help teachers and students reflect on the learning.

These titles make great tools for a well-rounded science program, while honouring BC’s ethnic diversity. With these books in your classroom, kids can build a stronger connection to the world around them.

Early years educators can purchase their copies today from the Portage & Main Press website. The grades 3–5 modules will be released starting this fall!

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