A Distant Enemyby Deb Vanasse
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Review the concept of expansion and its effects on indigenous people. Examine geographic and economic factors that have helped the Yup'ik people preserve many of their traditions. Research unique aspects of the Yup'ik Eskimo culture relative to other Native American cultures.
Study the art of Yup'ik mask-making and have students create a mask for one of the characters in the novel. The websites listed under "Web Resources" provide further information on mask-making.
Examine the delicate ecosystem of the tundra. Have students prepare a mural showing the key features of the ecosystem and the unique adaptations of tundra life forms. Chart the patterns of migratory birds, noting the importance of tundra habitat.
Revisit the prereading activities.
- Have students complete the final section of their KWL charts; discuss.
- Did they discover incorrect assumptions or stereotypes about the Eskimo
- Discuss how Joseph might feel about these stereotypes.
- Ask students to consider the origins of stereotypes and ways in which we
can avoid them.
- Discuss their predictions about the novel, now that they've finished reading it.
- Have them write their thoughts now on enemies and reconciliation. Have they changed since reading the novel?
Have students select a favorite passage from the novel and illustrate it
in poster form.
- Have students write reviews of the book. They may submit these to websites such as www.amazon.com.
- Have students predict what might transpire if Joseph goes to visit his father. They might write a scene from the visit or a letter from Joseph in Oregon to one of the characters in the village.
- The novel ends as Joseph goes off to join a feast. Celebrate with a multicultural classroom feast, inviting students and parents to bring in foods representative of their own cultural heritage. Have each contributor say a few words about their contributions before you eat.
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