Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Great Lakes Folktale: The Voyageur's Paddle

It is Poppins Book Nook time again! Every month a group of bloggers participate in a virtual kids book club. We each share children's books based on a theme and the crafts and fun these books inspired.   

This month's theme was Folktales. My first thought was "wait on, didn't we do fairy tales and Myths and legends already?". 

Before we even selected a book I realized we need to start with a lesson about the differences and similarities between folktales, fables, fairy tales, myths, egends and tall tales

We used this anchor chart from The Book Fairy-Goddess to touch on the elements on each story type. 

While looking through the folktale section, we happened upon The Voyageur's Paddle by Kathy-Jo Wargin and illustrated by David Geister. This is tale is based on the folklore and customs of the Great Lakes Settlers in late 1700s.  Jacques is a young boy living in this era whose father is a Voyageur, a trader who travels by canoe in unforgiving conditions. One day Jacque dreams of following his fathers footsteps to be able to become a voyageur. 

The prose and amazing paintings describe the lives of the families that await the return of their husbands and fathers. 
From davidgeister.com
We can also see the hardships the Voyageurs faced. At one point in the journey, they would throw offerings to La Veille or 'the old woman of the wind' who is told to be the unpredictable North-west wind. The wind was important for these men for several reasons. If they were able to coax the wind to blow, they were able to put up small sails and take a rest from paddling. It could also cool them down in hot weather and blow away biting insects.
From davidgeister.com
This book was an excellent introduction to the history and geography of the American Great Lakes for preschool to upper elementary age children.  For us, it also led to more reading on the history of the French Canadian Voyageurs. It was very interesting to learn about the kinds of items they carried in their canoes and the physical feats they need to perform to become a new recruit. 

Our craft is inspired by the folklore of La Veille. We used repurposed an oatmeal container and some pretty left over napkins to create a tissue painted wind sock. To make your own and find out how to 'paint napkins' visit the tutorial here.

Thanks for visiting and please take a look at all the other books linked up at the bottom of this post.

Now onto the monthly giveaway...you are going to love this one because it is a book AND a unit study from Enchanted Homeschooling Mom!

Poppins Book Nook Giveaway! Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook or product that ties in with our theme for the month. This month one lucky entrant will win a copy of the E.H.M. curriculum Journey into the World of Folktales (PDF) and one copy of the book that is required to teach it called Around the World in 80 Tales by Saviour Pirotta to further their learning all about folktales. Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside in a country that receives U.S. Postal mail. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Raffle copter terms and conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found here.  Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win:

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