Early Literacy and Aboriginal Children
Part 3: Online Resources
This section of the learning unit provides several online resources that will be helpful to you as you explore further to support your understanding of components of Aboriginal literacy. These resources can be found on the Internet. They were chosen to give you various kinds of examples of the concepts introduced in the video clips, PowerPoint presentations, and readings. Most of the websites are based in Canadian contexts of early childhood resources and Aboriginal literacy.
When your Internet is turned on, you can get to these websites in three ways.
- Point your mouse to the blue web address and quickly click two times
- Or hold down the control key on your keyboard and click on your mouse
- Or copy the address and then paste it into the box for the web address on your Internet home page
You may have to experiment to see which one of these methods works with your computer.
1) Aboriginal Literacy
This PDF document contains a wide selection of the Canadian Aboriginal literacy resources that are catalogued with Literacy BC. They are available for loan throughout British Columbia. Although many of the resources are designed as background papers, organizations and movements for Aboriginal adult literacy, there are several sites that you may want to check out.
Scroll down to the section ‘family literacy’ and click on “Choosing Literature in Aboriginal Early Childhood Education,” an online resource for Aboriginal Children’s Circle of Early Learning. This site lists appropriate Aboriginal literature to use in Early Childhood Development Programs.
2) Literacy BC
On the right hand side of the website page there is a map of British Columbia under the heading, “Find a Literacy Program.”
From here, click on a region in British Columbia.
Click on the city/town nearest to you. Once you click there is an icon that appears, “Programs for Aboriginal People”. Look for contacts for the “Early Years.” This is one way to connect with people who may be able to help with your program. If your program is open to all Aboriginal people, you may want to have your organization become a part of this collective map.
Questions to ponder:
- Did you find this site useful as a resource site? What early childhood Aboriginal literature did you find that you currently don’t have in your collection?
- Is your early childhood program listed under the heading, “Find a Literacy Program”? Would it be an appropriate way to notify other people in your community that the program is available?
3) BC Aboriginal Child Care Society
This organization provides resources and supports those who work in early childhood development. These supports include training workshops, a lending library, ECE curriculum boxes, annual conferences, and a newsletter.
- This website contains a lot of information. Some items that you may want to click on to explore early literacy development are on the left hand side of the website. This includes the Moe the Mouse program (which was listed as an Aboriginal resource in the PowerPoint presentation), Increasing School Readiness, and Library and Resources where you can search the library resources that are available to you through the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society website.
Questions to ponder:
- After looking at the Moe the Mouse program, look at the bottom of the page again and look at the Moe curriculum materials. How do the animals represent the territory that your program is located in? Would you be more likely to implement a program if it was created for Aboriginal children?
- After browsing the lending library reflect on how you could use the resources available.
4) Legacies Now 2010
Leading up to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, funding was made available for several Aboriginal early literacy programs. This was under the umbrella of 2010 Legacies Now. Some funding may still be available for Aboriginal programming and early literacy.
- If you are at the home page, click on “Our Programs”, which is the third heading on the top of the page. You will see the category, “Aboriginal” – click on this button to find that most of the programs are for youth and are sports-oriented. After viewing that, look at the tab on the left. Click on “Literacy and Learning.” Scroll down to program listings. You can narrow your search by using the filters. Under the heading, “User Group” scroll down to “Aboriginal People” and click on that. Right next to “User Group” is the subject “Category”. Scroll down and click on “Early Literacy and Learning” located underneath “Category”. Three program headings should come up. They are as follows: 1. Early Literacy and Learning Services and Resources, 2. LEAP BC, and 3. PALS. All of the programs are listed underneath Early Literacy and Learning Services and Resources. Take some time to look through the resources, programs, and organizations listed. You can also click on several links to gain more information about the national organization.
Questions to ponder:
- Are you familiar with programs like Aboriginal PALS and StrongStart? Which programs interest you the most on this website?
5) Success by 6
Success by 6 is an early childhood development initiative for ages 0-6 dedicated to providing supports for a good start in life for all children. If you click on the link below you will be directed to the Aboriginal Engagement Initiatives. Success by 6 has provided financial support to over 20 different Early Childhood Development Initiatives within the province of British Columbia.
- Click on Download Aboriginal Engagement Newsletter 2009. This digital newsletter highlights the conference of 2009 as well as other exciting projects in early childhood development in British Columbia that you may be new to you. This includes the Grandpa and Granny kit along with the Leadership DVD.
Questions to ponder:
- What did you know about Success by 6 before the video clip that you saw at the beginning of this unit? Are there any initiatives from this organization that you would be interested in?
6) First Peoples’ Heritage and Language Cultural Council
The First Peoples’ Council is a provincial Crown Corporation that administers the First Peoples’ Heritage, Language and Culture Program. The mandate of the First Peoples’ Council is to assist B.C. First Nations in their efforts to revitalize their languages, arts and cultures.
Click on the languages page to view funding opportunities and reports on language initiatives in British Columbia. There are several links to revitalization resources.
The Report on the BC First Nations Languages 2010 gives a comprehensive report on the different language families in British Columbia, the status of the languages, as well as case studies of different communities in their struggle to revitalize languages.
On the right hand side of the screen you can click on the Languages Toolkit, which gives general resources for Aboriginal communities to use.
For further reading on language nests, and the successes and challenges of two languages, read the publication, “Language Nest Programs in British Columbia” which is available by clicking on the FPHCC website link below. When the main page opens, click on the icon Language and then Publications to view this resource.
Questions to ponder:
- After looking at the language map from British Columbia, did you notice how many languages are spoken, and the variety of languages spoken in British Columbia? How did you feel about the languages that are categorized as sleeping, or languages that have no current speakers? Were you able to find the Indigenous languages from the traditional territory that you are located in?
7) Ages and Stages
Training workshops for ‘ages and stages’ resources is available through the British Columbia Aboriginal Childcare Society at:
8) Aha Punana Leo
The Aha Punana Leo website is an organization that is a part of the indigenous Hawaiian language movement and contains a video that captures the cultural transformation of a society beginning with language nests. The rest of the website is in the Hawaiian language. This site offers a good example of how honouring indigenous language plays a role in society.
Questions to ponder:
- Were you surprised that Hawaiian language is the medium of instruction that begins in infancy and continues to graduate studies? How many different types of jobs require fluency in the Hawaiian language did you see by viewing the short video clip?
9) Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival
For further information on the Master-Apprenticeship model visit the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival at http://www.aicls.org. You can also subscribe to their monthly e-newsletter that gives updates on what different Native American tribes are doing to support their languages.
Early Literacy Resources
1) Sight Words and Dolch List of Words
The following websites list resources for vocabulary development. These websites will give you an awareness of the first 1000 words that children will see in print. Remember that children who comprehend vocabulary will be more successful in reading then those children who have a limited vocabulary.
Sight words and activities:
Dolch vocabulary and activities:
2) Active Healthy Kids
This website focuses on striving to become a Canadian nation of healthy, active children. One particular area of interest for early educators is under the heading, “Report Cards”. After clicking on “Report Cards”, click on the section “Healthy Habits Start Early”. This section details the amount of physical activity that children ages 0-5 should be getting. From an early literacy perspective, healthy development requires active, unstructured physical activity and play. There are useful links to studies in this area.
3) Literacy Boxes, Storysacks, Story Bags, and Story Telling
This is a website from the UK that highlights a chapter from Learning through Talk in the Early Years: A Practical Activities for the Classroom(2005) by Elizabeth Sharp. This chapter provides lesson plans and suggests ways to incorporate Storysacks, also called story bags in the classroom. It gives some useful advice on how to engage children’s language development in different types of activities. While this website is from the UK which explains the different structure of ages and terminology of literacy, it is valuable as a resource for Story Bags in early childhood settings.
This website is Canadian; literacy bags are also called storysacks. This website may be useful in getting families involved in creating a storysack with their child.