Grades 4-7 Resources


Learning Intention: ​​I can describe how animals are important in the lives of Aboriginal people.​

Art - Indigenous ​


Atlatls are ancient weapons that preceded the bow and arrow in most parts of the world and are one of humankind’s first mechanical inventions. The word atlatl (pronounced at-latal or atal-atal) comes from the Nahuatl language of the Aztec, who were still using them when encountered by the Spanish in the 1500s.​​ From World Atlatl ​Associaton​

Authentic Indigenous Classroom Resources


Bead Timeline​

Bead timeline storytelling created and shared by Suzanne Camp, Courtenay BC​.  This Bead Timeline can be used as a visual representation in many ways,  for example, to explain how long Aboriginal people have lived here, oral storytelling traditions, telling the story of cedar, conservation, and environmental impact, community development plus much more.


Beyond 94​​

Click above for background information, teacher's guide and many resources to use in your classroom. 
"The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was formed as a means of reckoning with the devastating legacy of forced assimilation and abuse left by the residential school system. From 2008 to 2014, the commission heard stories from thousands of residential school survivors. In June 2015, it released a report based on those hearings. From that came 94 Calls to Action – individual instructions to guide governments, communities and faith groups down the road to reconciliation. CBC’s Beyond 94 monitors the progress of that journey.​"​


Big Houses​

Find Information on the different kind of Big Houses found on the West Coast, lessons that deal specifically with the Grade 4 Big House Experience, videos about the K'omoks Big House.

Big House  - Grade 4 Experience​​

Find 2 lessons and supporting material that are delivered to every grade 4 student in the district to help them prepare for their visit to the Big House on the K'omoks First Nation.  The lessons are a good for anyone who wants to know more about the K'omoks First Nation community and the Big House traditions of the Kwakwaka'wakw people.

BLM - Nonfiction Strategies (Blackline Masters)

These are links to some of our favourite Nonfiction Blackline Masters used to help students deepen their comprehension of text...before, during and after reading.  Compiled from a variety of sources by Lynn Swift, Gail Martindale and Carol Walters.​​​​


Book Lists

Picture Book and Novel lists

Cedar - The Tree of Life

From the mighty cedar of the rainforest came a wealth of raw materials vital to the early Northwest Coast Indian way of life, its art and culture. For thousands of years, these people developed the tools and technologies to fell the giant cedars that grew in profusion." Hilary Stewart, Cedar



Coast Salish Realia Kit Lesson Plans​​

These two lessons start by examining some Coast Salish artifacts/ realia and having students do some inquiry surrounding them. The second lesson focuses on comparing these pieces to their modern-day equivalents. 


Current Events​


​​​​"The DWF Legacy Schools program is an opportunity for classrooms/schools to lead the movement in awareness of the history and impact of the Residential School System on Indigenous Peoples. Educators will use a Legacy Schools Toolkit and educational support resources to engage students, staff and the school community, and as the catalyst for their commitment to the work of reconciliation.​"


Field Trips - Local Indigenous


FNESC - Learning First Peoples Classroom Resources

With the increased inclusion of First Peoples’ content in the changing BC curriculum, there is a need to incorporate unappropriated First Peoples’ perspectives across the curriculum. The First Nations Education Steering Committee and the First Nations Schools Association, in collaboration with teachers and partners, have developed the following Learning First Peoples series of teacher resources to support English Language Arts, Science Social Studies and Mathematics courses.

Fish Traps​



Look here for information, lesson, resources videos on the Comox Harbour Fish Traps, Aboriginal Fisheries, Salmon



Fur Trade​






​Identifying Indigenous

Resources and videos to help explain who is Indigenous and what that word means. ​​




K'omoks First Nation​



A gambling game that was traditionally played by adults.  Recently children have been taught Lahal because it allows Elders to teach traditional songs and different drum-beats used during various styles of songs. Children can learn to work together as a team, to develop respect, trust, self-confidence, and pride in traditional games all while having fun!.

​Land and Resources Connection 

This lesson/ series of lessons explores the different groupings of Aboriginal people in Canada according to the land they live on. 

Land and Resources Connection - Enbridge Inquiry ​

This lesson launches a series of lessons based on the inquiry: Should the Northern Gateway Pipeline be approved?​

Legend of Queneesh​​

Métis Culture​

Culture is the sum of the attitudes, customs, and beliefs that distinguish one group of people from another.

National Indigenous Peoples Day​

"June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. The Canadian Constitution recognizes these three groups as Aboriginal peoples, also known as Indigenous peoples.​​" from National Indigenous Peoples Day website​


Nisga'a Legends of the Nass​​

Nisga'a Legends of the Nass is a digital collection of stories. The site has videos of stories about the volcanic eruption in the early 1700's, Naxnok and places of supernatural power.

North Island Hospital Art Project​

"The CVAG creative team took on the project of conceptualizing, designing and producing artwork for the new North Island Hospital in the Comox Valley. CVAG’s Community Space features a design project for art at the new North Island Hospital in Courtenay. We worked closely with the North Island Hospital Art Project, K’ómoks First Nation, Elder Barb Whyte, other local artists, plus students, parents, and educators from Queneesh Elementary School."​

Oral Traditions​

Orange Shirt Day

"The annual Orange Shirt Day on September 30th opens the door to global conversation on all aspects of Residential Schools. It is an opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the effects of Residential Schools and the legacy they have left behind.  A discussion all Canadians can tune into and create bridges with each other for reconciliation.  A day for survivors to be reaffirmed that they matter, and so do those that have been affected.  Every Child Matters, even if they are an adult, from now on." 

Picture Book Lessons


Look here for locally developed lessons to go with picture books plus links to other great lesson from Strong Nations, Carol Walters (SD 71 District Curriculum Support Teacher) and Adrienne Gear. 



Raven, Bentwood Boxes and Pentominoes

The following math lessons were inspired and adapted by Lynn Swift and Debbie Nelson from the following: Language Supported Math Lesson

Reconciliation: A Journey for All Canadians​​​

​What does reconciliation​ mean to you?  What does reconciliation look like in the classroom? How will you make reconciliation part of your day to day life? How can we move forward in a positive way to build a new relationship, between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, and hold each other up?​ ​

Remembrance Day​

Residential School​

a variety of lessons, resources, book lesson, including a full inquiry set of lessons

​Salish Weave Collection​

Salish Weave is a large private collection of contemporary Coast Salish art that weaves together the distinctive art form, designs and style of established and emerging artists. The collection stems from and mostly resides on traditional Coast Salish territories of British Columbia.​​
Salish Weave has developed a School Program and has donated 3 box sets of prints to several school districts, one of which is SD7. Salish Weave, views the prints of Box Sets I, II and III as its 'working collection’ in education: prints being brought to classrooms and used as teaching resources in all subjects to educate children of all grade levels. Click here for direct link to School Program lessons plans.


"It's hard to quantify the enormous impact a simple fish has had on the Aboriginal people of British Columbia. But the salmon has been a vital part of First Nations diet, economy and mythology for centuries.​" (from Aboriginal Tourism BC​ - Meet a Local Legend)​


Resources, videos, picture book suggestions, ​and locally developed lessons.​

Secret Path​

Book by ​Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire to highlight the story of Chanie Wenjack, a boy who attempted an escape from Residential School​.  Lessons for all grades. Please use with discretion at early years and note that the lessons outlined here only refer to one page in the book.  We suggest this book to be studied in depth at later grades and with support from teachers. 

The Six Cedar Trees​

What lessons can we learn from our Pacific Northwest Coast animals? This is the question Eagle explores as he settles in a tall grove of cedar trees nestled in the corner of a school playground. The Six Cedar Trees allows readers to understand the characteristics and habits of six Pacific Northwest Coast animals and how these animals can help them develop a deeper understanding of themselves.

Talking Circles Lessons​​

​​It is our hope that these lessons will help with classroom communication and can be used in a number of different subject areas. These lessons can focus on oral language Learning Outcomes or can be used in conjunction with any other subject areas.​

Tipi​​​ Building​

  • Did you know SD 71 Aboriginal Education has a tipi that you can bring to your school site?  
  • To book the tipi contact the Aboriginal Support Worker for your school. ​
  •  Information on Tipi's​​​

Tools and Technology​

U'mista Display​​​​​​

We are very fortunate to have been lent the sacred, Project of Heart Canoe. It is on loan to us from Surrey school district. Curriculum Support Teachers and Aboriginal Resource Teachers of SD 71 met during the first week of January, 2018 to create a series of lessons in preparation for students and teachers visiting this display. We wanted to get students noticing, thinking and wondering using images and picture books. Many students were able to tap into their background knowledge and make connections to their understanding of residential schools. These lessons have been well received. Even if you don't have access to this exhibit, we hope these lessons are helpful as you lead students toward truth and reconciliation.
How does learning about weaving help us to learn about its significance to indigenous people? What is important about weaving to indigenous people?