Chapter 4: Families—The Importance of Relatives § 77
University of Cincinnati, are a collaborative effort of parents
and teachers. They serve as an important link between home
and school for children. At the beginning of the year, each
family contributes several pages for their child’s diary.
Examples include a photograph of the child and other
family members, a letter to the child describing their special
traits and interests, and a description of what the child and
family have done over the summer. As the year progresses,
teachers add pages to each child’s diary that depict special
activities in the classroom. Examples of children’s art and
writing creations can also be included. Children can look
at their family diaries and share them with one another
whenever they wish.
Families and Loss
Fox Song, by Joseph Bruchac, illustrated by Paul Morin
Unfortunately, most children have to deal with the loss of a
loved one at one time or another. This could involve the
death of a parent, sibling, grandparent, or even a pet. Fox
Song, by the noted Abenaki author Joseph Bruchac, tells the
story of a young Abenaki girl, Jamie, whose grandmother
has died. Jamie eases her sadness with recollections of the
many special times she spent with her grandmother: pick-
ing blackberries, harvesting birch bark for baskets, tasting
sap from the maple tree, and watching the falling leaves.
Grandmother tells Jamie, “We say that those that have gone are no further
away from us than the leaves that have fallen.” She shows Jamie the tracks of
Wokwses, the Fox, and tells her, “When you are out here and I am not with
you, you keep your eyes open. You might see her, and when you do, you will
think of me.” Then she teaches Jamie a special song. Following the death
of her grandmother, Jamie walks through the forest and soon sees a fox. She
sings the special song taught to her by her grandmother and knows she will
never be alone.