We Are Water Protectors

This books is beautiful in every sense of the word. It touches on so many aspects of teaching social justice- identity, diversity, justice and action. The back of the book is a good place to start for Educators to read more about the events at Standing Rock and the history and culture that influences the Water Protectors.

This books is a meaningful way to humanize study about water, biology, the environment, etc. Also, the beautiful illustrations inspire watercolor art activities. Use this book as a starting point to building relationships and learning from Tribal Nations in your area. Study the ways Indigenous peoples' beliefs are connected to environmental stewardship and inspire your students with strategies for activism.


-Dena

Social Justice Activities:

  • A recurring theme is, "We are still here," and the last two pages shows diverse Native People. Connect with Tribes in your area to learn the ways Native People have preserved their culture, language and traditions despite centuries of colonization.

  • Research the events of Standing Rock. Learning For Justice has lesson plan resources.

  • Identify environmental issues that are important to your students and relevant to your community. Research the strategies Native Peoples and others have taken on those issues to inform their action plans.

Relevant Social Justice Standards:

Justice 14. Students will recognize that power and privilege influence relationships on interpersonal, intergroup and institutional levels and consider how they have been affected by those dynamics.

Justice 15. Students will identify figures, groups, events and a variety of strategies and philosophies relevant to the history of social justice around the world.

Action 20. Students will plan and carry out collective action against bias and injustice in the world and will evaluate what strategies are most effective.

Reading Strategies:

Author's Purpose: The author shares that, "Water is Sacred" and outlines her beliefs.

Figurative Language: There are metaphors & similes throughout the book. The Black Snake in the book is a metaphor for the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Science connections: This text can be used to humanize science instruction about environmental subjects, particularly water.

Book Details:
  • Narrative Non-Fiction, All Ages
  • Perspectives: Indigenous
  • Author's stated heritage: Anishinabe/Metis and member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe Indians
  • Subject Integration: Art (watercolor), Science, Math, Science

Teach Standing Rock with Purpose

From Learning for Justice

Learn about the Illustrations

An interview with Michaela Goade, the Illustrator


Book covers images are from publishers and in the public domain