Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Wild Berries

Flett, Julie (Author/Illustrator)
Simply Read Books 2013. 32 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9781897476895 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, setting, structures and features

Award

First Nation Communities Read – 2014/15

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:

Through this gentle and intimate story, Cree-Metis author and illustrator Julie Flett introduces young readers to the Cree language and culture. Every year, a grandmother and her grandson share in the tradition of blueberry picking, heading off to a nearby clearing in the woods to fill their buckets. Together, they see local wild animals, revealing a simple respect for nature and the environment.

The simple storyline highlights the relationship between the boy and his grandmother, and how it is strengthened by this yearly tradition: “When Clarence was little, his grandma carried him on her back.” “Now Clarence carries his own bucket and walks behind grandma okoma.” Cree words in the n-dialect, Swampy Cree, can also be found on each page. A glossary and pronunciation guide are included.

Muted watercolour illustrations bring to life the sparse forests of northern Canada and give special attention to the wild creatures living throughout the woods.

A great introduction to indigenous culture, Canadian geography and an appreciation of nature, this is a story that will resonate with everyone who treasures memories of times spent with a beloved grandparent.

  •  

    Discuss the idea of a tradition.  Does your family share any traditions? What traditions do Clarence and his grandmother share?

  •  

    In pairs, choose one of the illustrations. What do you observe about the picture? How does it make you feel? Create another illustration that shows that feeling. Write a caption for your illustration.

  •  

    Read the pronunciation guide to the Cree words. What do you notice abut the language? Compare long and short vowel sounds in Cree and in English. 

  •  

    List the ways Clarence and his grandmother showed respect for the woods. As a class, write a set of guidelines for walking or hiking. 

  •  

    Discuss traditions you have with your grandparents. What activities are involved? 

  •  

    Read a variety of books about grandparents and their grandchildren. Use an appropriate graphic organizer to compare the activities, relationships and feelings expressed in these stories.

  •  

    Write your own story about several activities you do with your grandparents, using Clarence’s story as a model. Offer it as a gift to them.

  • To cooperate with others
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Science and Technology