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Kids' Activities



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Kids' Activities

Jane Lind's

Theme Catalogue and Teaching Guide
for Children's Books
© Jane Lind


Index to Activities

In 1979, Eileen and John Flood founded Penumbra Press. This small, thriving publishing house, now in Waterloo, Ontario, publishes books in tune with the North as physical place and as space in the imagination. The company's mandate is best understood from a catalogue in 1991 in which John Flood wrote:

"I have always claimed the north to be a state conferred upon the mind by the imagination rather than a geographical location verified by a compass or astrolabe. It is a state of mind subsumed by a directional pull more universal than any instrument can measure, like the allure Mary Shelley's monster experiences when, trekking across the frozen northland, he metabolizes into fiery resolve to create a new light for surviving and surpassing the old darkness of humanity."

The Northern Imagination, published by Penumbra in 1983, is a study of northern Canadian literature. This book is listed at the end of this catalogue as a resource book, but because of its concepts and imagination it could well be listed at the beginning to serve as an introduction. I suggest that teachers read this book for their own pleasure and understanding of what the North has to offer, both as that open space in the mind and as the physical place that it is.

Reading The Northern Imagination as foundation to the teaching units in this catalogue can open up the teaching process to a perspective that will make a difference in the classroom, regardless of the age level.

The teaching units suggested here are rooted in literacy as the foundation in education. From that basis, then, the units include questions and projects that expand learning in different areas of an integrated curriculum.

Not all the books have "northern" content as such, but the teaching units have been written with the underlying awareness that the North and its aboriginal people have much to offer if we are willing to crack open our shell and poke out our heads at least a little distance into "north."

All contents © Penumbra Press and Northward Journal Communications Limited
1 King Ave E. PO Box 20011, Newcastle, Ontario, Canada, L1B 1M3

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