Brave Jack and the Unicorn
Teachers' Resource Page
Listen to a Newfoundland Folk Tale
I was inspired to create Brave Jack and the Unicorn, in part, by
listening to actor Andy Jones tell traditional Newfoundland folktales
while working with him and grade 8 students at Macdonald Drive Junior
High in St. John's, Newfoundland. You can hear Andy Jones tell one of these
stories by visiting the Alder Institute Archives.
Go to episode 62 and click on "Jack and the Three Giants." This file
can be downloaded and played with an application such as Real Audio.
This recording is 22 minutes long. There is a small amount of
mature content at the very end of the recording, after the story is
told. Listen to the story to determine if it is appropriate to use
with your students.
Putting Brave Jack on the Map
At the front of
the book, underneath the publication data (opposite the dedication and
acknowledgments), you'll find a list of locations for the
illustrations in Brave Jack and the Unicorn.
Using a map of Newfoundland, you can help students locate these
settings. Illustrations 1 to 7 are found on the eastern side of
the island. Illustrations 10 to 14 are located on the west coast.
To get a free map of Newfoundland and Labrador, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The best book about icebergs for this age-group is Castles in the Sea: All About Icebergs
by Lawrence Jackson with illustrations by Di Dabinett. I edited this
book, so I'm not impartial, but the National Library of Canada's
included it in their "Read Up On It" publication, The Nature of Words,
and you can read their review by visiting this link. This book
may be hard to find in book stores, but if you put the title and
author's last name into Google, a number of legitimate mail-order
suppliers will appear.
From about February on, ice conditions off Newfoundland are monitored carefully. You can visit the US Coast Guard's International Ice Patrol web site to see what's happening with icebergs and pack ice (frozen sea ice) during the months when the Patrol is active.
The Landscape of Newfoundland
The ecology of Newfoundland is sub-arctic boreal forest, part of
a forest that goes all the way around the northern hemisphere and
covers most of northern Canada that lies below the tree
line. If you ask a child in
Newfoundland to draw a tree, you'll get a triangle on a very short
stick, unlike the lollipop shape children raised in more temperate
climates draw. If you are using the book outside Newfoundland, ask
students how the landscape portrayed in the book
differs from the one they see from their classroom windows.
To learn some interesting facts about the northern boreal forest, visit the Sierra Club's Boreal Forest Ecoregion Web Page.
The Weather of Newfoundland
The weather is an almost endless source of fascination to Newfoundlanders. St.
John's, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador, has more foggy days,
more snow, more rain, more wind and more cloud cover than any other
city in Canada. To find out about the weather in Newfoundland, visit
Environment Canada's Atlantic Climate Centre web page for The Climate of Newfoundland.
If you live outside Newfoundland, it might be fun to compare the daily weather reports for Newfoundland
with your own area for a week. You can find a map that will take you to
daily weather reports for any area in Canada at Environment Canada's Weather Office Current Conditions web page.