I Am the Elwha
“I Am the Elwha” is a story written in verse about the Elwha River in Washington; its multi-perspective narrative describes the river through the years, from the building of the dams in 1912 to their eventual removal in 2012. A story of reclamation and restoration, this historical storybook invites elementary-level readers to connect with their local environment and consider other ways Indigenous societies have been marginalized in this country. In the classroom, the resource lends itself to lessons about writing in verse, to examine different points of view or to begin a study of Indigenous societies, the environment, or natural resources. Because it is a story about the relationship between settlers and Indigenous Peoples as well as our relationship with the environment, it may invite discussions about restoring environmental damage or about the meaning of reconciliation.
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English Language Arts