NOTE: I often do the journal prompt as a final activity for International Theme Days to see what my children have learned:
Would you like to visit Canada? Why or why not? If you traveled to Canada what would you like to visit or do? What are three interesting facts you learned about Canada? How many provinces and territories from Canada can you name? How many provinces/territories in Canada have you been too? What cities in Canada have you travelled to? Where in Canada would you like to travel? What do you know about the Canada?
Can You spot the squirrel?
JOURNALING Question Prompt:
Write out one or more of the following questions in your Family Theme Day Scrapbook or on a piece of paper to glue in your scrapbook: What do you know about Canada? What would you like to learn about Canada?
Reading and writing
Try to find some of these Canadian Picture Books:
Good Morning, Canada, by Andrea Lynn Beck, North Wings Press, 2014 – A rhyming book that showcases the landscapes, animals, and changing seasons of Canada by greeting the day.
Good Night, Canada, by Andrea Lynn Beck, North Wings Press, 2012 – A book perfect for bedtime with gorgeous and fun illustrations as you say goodnight to kids from coast to coast.
Honk, Honk, Goose! Canada Geese Start a Family, by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Huy Voun Lee, Henry Holt and Company, basically a look at the life cycle of the Canada Goose but written as a picture book with fun onomatopoeia throughout: Hon, he-honk, honk!
Loonies and Toonies: A Canadian Number Book, written by Mike Ulmer and illustrated by Melanie Rose, Sleeping Bear Press, 2006 – Through rhyming verses readers can learn about Canada while counting. This has bright illustrations and facts on each page as well.
Oh, Canada! By Per-Henrik Gürth, Kids Can Press, 2009 – Bright illustrations adorn this look at Canada and its provinces and territories.
One is Canada, by Maxine Trottier and illustrated by Bill Slavin, Harper Collins Publishers Ltd., 1999 – A counting book that celebrates Canada but showcasing its resources, culture, land and heritage.
Up the Creek, by Nicholas Oldland, Kids Can Press, 2013 – See what happens when a bear, a moose and a beaver decide to go canoeing. There are other books in the Life in the Wild series as well that feature those three animal friends with the fun same fun illustrations.
See if you can find some of these alphabet books to learn more about Canada:
ABC of Canada, written by Kim Bellefontaine and illustrated by Per-Henrik Gürth, Kinds Can Press, 2002 - I love the bright illustrations in this simple alphabet book. The author and illustrator have collaborated on a few beautiful Canadian board books.
C is for Canada: Celebrating Our Nation, written by Mike Ulmer and illustrated by Sylvie Daigneault, Sleeping Bear Press, 2017 – Just in time for Canada’s 150th Birthday, this book celebrates all things Canadian in couplets. From the Aurora Borealis to below Zero degrees, read this to discover Canada.
C is for Chinook: An Alberta Alphabet, written by Dawn Welykochy and illustrated by Lorna Bennett, Sleeping Bear Press, 2004 – I love the books in this series (Titles include all the provinces like F is for Fiddlehead: A New Brunswick Alphabet, G is the Golden Boy: A Manitoba Alphabet…). They have beautiful illustrated, rhyming verse and facts along the side for older kids.
The Canadian Shield Alphabet, written by Myrna Guymer and illustrated by RoseMarie Condon, Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing, 2008 – This alphabet book has alliterative text for each letter of the alphabet plus a box on each page with additional information about the topic presented (birch bark biting, canoe portaging, dog sledding...).
Eh? To Zed: A Canadian ABeCedarium, by Kevin Major and illustrated by Alan Daniel, Red Deer Press, 200 – A perfect book for preschoolers this one lists a few words for each letter.
How to encourage your child to write:
Choose the level of your child:
Toddler/Preschool – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and have your child draw a picture of the answer
Preschool/Kindergarten – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and write the answer down for him/her leaving one word for him/her to write out himself/herself with your help. You could also encourage him/her to draw a picture as well.
Early Grade School – have your child either write out the answer himself/herself (encourage phonetic spelling) without your help, or offer to help with spelling each word out loud one word at a time.
Grade School – have your child write a sentence or two on his/her own and then read over and discuss the response. (You decide whether to correct the spelling or not)
Older Child – have your child write a longer response (paragraph).
As A Challenge – instead of a question ask your older child to write a story or poem about Canada.
Here are some non-fiction books about the national holiday: Canada Day!
Canada Day, by Molly Aloian, Crabtree Publishing Company, 2010 – Part of the Celebrations in My World Series, larger text and many photographs accompany this thorough look at Canada’s national holiday.
Canada Day, by Heather Kissock, Weigl Educational Publishers Limited, 2010 – Featuring a large photo and large text on each page this is a quick overview of what July 1st means to Canadians.
Canada Day, by Patricia J. Murphy, Children’s Press, 2002 – Part of the Rookie Read About Holidays series this little book is best for new readers as it offers simplistic text.
Canadian Holidays: Canada Day, by Heather Kissock, Weigl Educational Publishers Limited, 2003 – Older kids will enjoy this book as it offers more information about Canada Day and some history behind the national anthem and the maple leaf as well. and facts along the side for older kids.
A Halifax ABC, by Yolanda Poplawska, Nimbus Publishing Ltd., 2005 – The colourful illustrations, by a graphic designer from Halifax, in this alphabet book highlight different things seen in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and surrounding areas.
M is for Maple: A Canadian Alphabet, written by Mike Ulmer and Melanie Rose, Sleeping Bear Press, 2001 - This one is a family favourite as it has gorgeous illustrations along with the rhyming verses for each letter and factual information along the side.
Moose, Goose, Animals on the Loose! A Canadian Wildlife ABC, by Geraldo Valério, Owlkids Books, 2016 – Playful and colourful illustrations adorn this book that highlights Canadian animals covering the arctic fox, polar bears, racoons, and grizzlies, etc.
Where are you Bear? A Canadian Alphabet Adventure, written by Frieda Wishinsky and illustrated by Sean L. Moore, Owl Kids, 2010 – Sophie leaves to visit her Grandma in Vancouver but can’t find Bear! See what happens when she travels across Canada and Bear follows.
Copyright 2017. Family Theme Days. All rights reserved.
The Kids Book of Canada, by Barbara Greenwood and illustrated by Jock MacRae, Kids Can Press, 2007 – A province by province look at Canada.
The Kids Book of Canada’s Railway and How the CPR Was Built, by Deborah Hodge and illustrated by John Mantha, Kids Can Press, 2000 – A thorough look at Canada’s railway and its historical importance.
Maple Leaf, by Janet Gurtler, Weigl Educational Publishers Limited, 2012, - Part of the Canadian Icons Series this easy-to-read book examines the iconic maple leaf (also in the series check out Bluenose, Canoe, Igloo, Loonie, Mounties, Olympic Torch, Maple Syrup, Grey Cup, Stanley Cup, Canadian Flag, and Totem Pole).
Our Canadian Flag, by Maxine Trottier and illustrated by Brian Deines, North Winds Press, Beautiful illustrations adorn this look at the history of Canada’s flag in a picture book format.
The Story of Canada, by Janet Lunn and Christopher Moore, and illustrated by Alan Daniel, Scholastic, 2016 – This is a thick book offering lots of information perfect for older grades who may want to explore Canada and its history.
Non-fiction Books about Canada:
Canada, by Nathan Olson, Capstone Press, 2005 – a good overview of Canada for young scholars offering a “Question and Answer” approach.
Canada From Above: A Photo Journey, by Heather Patterson, Scholastic Canada, 2010 – a beautiful collection of aerial photographs highlights Canada from amazing views.
Canada: The Land, by Bobbie Kalman, Crabtrees Publishing Company, 2010 – Part of the Bobbie Kalman Book: The Lands, Peoples, and Cultures Series, this is a great resource for older kids looking to learn more about Canada. (Try to find all three books, including Canada: the People, and Canada: The Culture).
The Culture and Crafts of Canada, by Paul Challen, PowerKids Press, 2016 – This is a great book that offers information about Canada’s culture like their holidays, festivals, aboriginal peoples, etc., and also gives some craft ideas.
Exploring Countries: Canada, by Collen Sexton, Bellwether Media, Inc., 2011 - Part of the Blastoff Readers’ Exploring Countries Series this is a nice overview of Canada’s geography, wildlife, and people.
I Am Canada, by Heather Patterson, North Winds Press, 2006 – Simple text accompanies photographs of Canadian children.
CanADIAN WILDLIFE WE HAVE SEEN...
If your child is more interested in animals than history try to find some books about Canadian wildlife:
Arctic Fox, by Dee Phillips, Bearport Publishing, 2015 – When I was a little girl this was my favourite Canadian animal because it was so fluffy and cute! This easy to read book presents many interesting facts about the Arctic Fox.
Beaver, by Janet Gurtler, Weigl Educational Publishers Limited, 2012 – Canada’s national animal is featured in this easy to read book.
Canada Geese, by Megan Borgert-Spaniol, Bellwether Media, Inc., 2017 - Part of the Blastoff Readers’ North American Animals series this one focuses on a much seen animal in Canada: the goose!
Canada Goose, by Aaron Carr, Weigl Educational Publishers Limited, 2013 – learn more about this iconic bird in this easy to read book.
Canada’s Prairie Animals, by Chelsea Donaldson, Scholastic Canada Ltd, 2006 - This book features ten short chapters (about 4 pages each) of various prairie animals like the squirrel, monarch butterfly, badger, coyote, skink, fox and bison.
Canada’s Wetland Animals, by Chelsea Donaldson, Scholastic Canada Ltd, 2006 – This book features eleven short chapters (about 4 pages each) of various wetland animals like the beaver, otter, moose, heron, loon and my son’s most hated creature: the leech!
Canadian Wild Animals, by Colleayn O. Mastin and illustrated by Jan Sovak, Grasshopper Books Publishing, 1997 – Fifteen Canadian animals are featured in this beautifully illustrated book that presents a nice overview of each one, including black bears, deer, mountain goats, groundhogs, lynx, and moose, etc.