Waasaa Inabadaa: We Look in All Directions

Through reading Waasaa Inabadaa by Thomas Peacock students will become more familiar with historical and cultural aspects of the Lake Superior Ojibwe focusing on the impact of European contact then and now. We also heavily rely on the Waasaa Inabadaa website which provides audio and visual episodes of the book chapters. This site offers interactive components to the book, with supporting classroom materials, images, maps, vocabulary, and many more resources.

This lesson on the realities of Ojibwe in our region will be followed up by reading The Birchbark House, a fictional story based on non-fiction lives. Both these books will serve as a framework to carry us through many more Ojibwe art and culture-based projects throughout the year.

Materials Needed


Art Materials

Activity Process


Where do we come from? To what tribe, clan, family community do we belong? What do we know about our people and the people of our region? How can begin to learn more?


Students will read and discuss Waasaa Inabadaa by Thomas Peacock to gain a better understanding and foundation of Lake Superior Ojibwe histories.We will begin by outlining the themes of the book:

The book outline give us the themes that will guide our fieldtrips, art projects and additional reading choices. We will use this book as a framework for the school year's lessons.


Most everyday, the students and I take turns reading the book. We get through as much as possible, as we talk and ask each other questions along the way. Peacock has a very conversational and storytelling way to his writing which fosters good group dialogue and engaged readers.

As we read through the book, we decided on various activities that would fit the themes of the stories. For example: during chapter one, we talked about the various migration stories that exist in Ojibwe tradition. We attached a map to the wall and charted the various paths of the Ojibwe over time. We learned about terrain, travel speed, distance between points and the scale of a map. We then each decided a point in the migration and create an image of what we believe that place to be like (using our understanding of weather, terrain, climate, wildlife in that region, etc.) we attached these images to the places on the map they belonged to create a visual migration route.

Each chapter could inspire many different projects and activities that relate to the mandated state curriculum, as well as meets the art and cultural objectives for our class. Many of the lesson plans as part of this curriculum could be used in portions of the book to which they relate (Gardening, oral traditions, language games)


We were able to take fieldtrips to various place in our area that reinforced the themes and ideas in the book. We went to Wisconsin Point, Fond du Lac trading post site, Northwest Trading Post, and Madeline Island to visit and learn about historical sites.


Students will be able to correctly answer basic comprehension questions regarding material covered.

Vocabulary Words


Students really liked the interactive nature of the website and were completely engaged throughout both reading and then looking at what we read as an "episode".

Grade Levels

Primary Content Area

American Indian Learner Outcomes

Content Standards


Social Studies