Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Hiawatha and the Peacemaker

Shannon, David (Illustrator)
Abrams 2015. 48 pages + 1 CD
First published: 2015
ISBN: 9781419712203 (hardcover)
9781613128480 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, multimodal, point of view, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

High drama, evocative details and a powerful underlying message make this story an extremely engaging account of the founding of the Great Law of Peace among the Five Nations (eventually Six Nations) of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois).

Somewhat dense language sinks readers into the action, while recalling oral storytelling traditions of First Nations peoples: “I spoke of my pain and hatred for Tadodaho. I told the Oneida that my wife and three daughters had been killed by the violent world we had created.”

Lush, vibrant images beautifully combine the physical world of the story and its interior emotions and spirit. In the opening image, Hiawatha stands alone in a decimated landscape of spent arrows and burning trees. By the end, people from all Nations strain to replant a giant tree they uprooted, burying their weapons under its roots. Both roots and weapons seem to point, calling attention to the Peacemaker’s isolated figure.

For artistry in word and image, for its contribution to Indigenous literature, and for its model of peaceful, democratic processes, this book is a valuable addition to any library. Also of great interest are the historic note and author’s note.

  •  

    As a group, brainstorm what you know about the First Nations.

  •  

    Go for a picture walk. Try to predict how the story will unfold through the images.

  •  

    Listen to the story read aloud. With a partner, create a mind map of it. Compare this story with what you had previously learned about the First Nations.

  •  

    Listen to the song included with the book (or the online version) and compare the lyrics with the story. How are they similar or different?

  •  

    Hiawatha faces a formidable task of convincing warring factions to come together under the banner of peace. Analyze the features of his dialogue and explain what he does that is so powerful and persuasive.

  •  

    As a group, brainstorm what you know about the Iroquois, specifically the Mohawk people.

  •  

    Go for a picture walk. What do you notice?

  •  

    Listen to the story read aloud. With a partner, create a mind map of this story. Compare and contrast it with what you had previously learned about the First Nations.

  •  

    Listen to the song included (or the online version) and compare the lyrics with the story. How are they similar or different?

  •  Discuss how Tadodaho and Hiawatha change through the story.
  •  

    Research how the Iroquois people formed the Six Nations confederacy. Write three short questions about what you learned and give them to a partner to answer. Discuss the answers by correcting, elaborating and adding your opinion.

  •  

    As you read, note keywords that add a supernatural element to the story.

  •  

    Write a short Internet news article that explains how Hiawatha overcame his anger and hatred for Tadodaho and united the Five Nations. You may include keyword hyperlinks within your article.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To use information
  • To use information and communications technologies
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Social Sciences