Teacher Guide for Sugar Falls
Learning About the History and Legacy of Residential Schools in Grades 9–12
Discuss the history and legacy of residential schools with your students using Sugar Falls and this accompanying teacher guide.
Sugar Falls is a story of strength, family, and culture that shares the awe-inspiring resilience of Elder Betty Ross. Taken away to a residential school, Betsy is forced to endure abuse and indignity, but her father’s words give her the strength and determination to survive.
Written by Anishinaabe educator Christine M'Lot, the Teacher Guide for Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story offers a diverse menu of activities that support teachers in
- planning lessons throughout the reading process, including before, during, and after reading Sugar Falls
- creating dynamic learning experiences for their students while maintaining a respectful and dignified approach to Indigenous topics
- enhancing students’ prior knowledge about the topics addressed in the book
- using trauma-informed practices to prepare students for sensitive topics
- identifying cross-curricular connections and opportunities to collaborate with teachers in other subject areas
- infusing Indigenous pedagogical practices, such as working with others, seeking holism in understanding, and learning through storytelling
- engaging students’ understanding and encouraging them to embrace differing worldviews
- facilitating activities for individual students, small groups, whole-class instruction and discussion, or even the whole school
Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story includes sensitive topics (e.g., abuse, trauma); therefore, it is most appropriate for grades 9–12. The activities in this guide are suitable for courses such as English Language Arts, Social Studies, History, Global or Contemporary Issues, as well as Current Topics in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Studies. They could be adapted for use at the university or college level.