Reading is NOT a regular hobby of many of my students. So anytime they actually look forward to reading something, I'm quite psyched. Accordingly, our latest book choice has me too psyched to settle down. When I hear the question, "Are we reading that book again?" or "Can we please read the book today?" I am quite happy.
Touching Spirit Bear, by Ben Mikaelsen, is the story of Cole Matthews, a troubled teen with a habit for making bad choices. While his wealthy parents have always been able to fund him out of trouble, he crosses the line and is threatened with jail time. Rather than send him right to jail, however, he is offered a chance at a judicial practice of the Tlingit (an Alaskan tribe) known as Circle Justice. This system works to heal the community of both the guilty party and the victim. But in order for it to work, Cole must choose to manage his anger instead of letting it run his entire world.
It's really a great story with lots of fabulous lessons on character. What's more, it leaves me feeling as if I'm actually accomplishing something with my kids rather than simply being a newbie.
There are TONS of excellent resources for this story. This is a short list because I want to go to bed. :0) I'm sleepy. But I would like to add more resources at a later date.
Facts for Kids: Tlingit Indians
Touching Spirit Bear Study and Teaching Tools
Touching Spirit Bear Novel-Tie (Dedicated Teacher)
Touching Spirit Bear Project Packet (Broward Schools)
Touching Spirit Bear Totem Pole Project (Not sure who's responsible for this excellent idea)
Touching Spirit Bear Flashcard Sets (Quizlet)
Books on Tape: Touching Spirit Bear
Listening Library Teacher Guide
Circle Justice Lesson (Safe and Caring Schools and Communities)