Eagle Boy: A Picture Book

I looked at the book Eagle Boy, retold by Richard Lee Voughan, illustrated by Lee Christiansen. This book is beautifully designed and masterfully articulated.

This story follows a boy/teenager in a village where the villagers dislike the eagles, but the boy enjoys their company. He is a skilled fisherman and gives the eagles fish frequently. One day, he even offers his biggest fish to the chief’s eldest daughter, who refuses his fish and sneers at him.

Times grow tough and the village leaves in search of more food, but leave the boy behind, mocking him to ask his eagle friends for help. The chief’s youngest daughter slips the boy a piece of fish as the villagers depart.

The eagles give him food, while the villagers are starving. The boy learns of the villagers’ fates and turns into an eagle and saves them. The village returns and the boy marries the chief’s youngest daughter.

As per the rubric entitled “Evaluating Multicultural Literature,” I assigned the highest marks (3 points) to the book in all categories.

As to how this story could be used in the classroom, it could be used in an English classroom to

  • draw parallels with other stories across cultures
  • write a modern version of the story
  • write up a character-plot analysis.

and could be used in a French classroom to

  • use as a way to practice saying difficult words in French as a sort of translation exercise with emphasis on “working around the word”
  • use an instructor-provided translation in French and have the story re-told to students in French for listening comprehension.

 

3 thoughts on “Eagle Boy: A Picture Book”

  1. Teaching two languages gives you a nice opportunity to delve into stories in more depth. I like the idea of “working around the word” in French, as you say. A great opportunity for kids to connect with the story more personally. I believe it will make learning French more interesting for your students, and perhaps it will lead them to investigate other stories in the same manner.

  2. I, like Jerry, like your idea of incorporating this into your French class as well. Besides the lessons in the story that are mentioned, I think it brings up the questions ‘what do words mean?’ and ‘what is lost in translation?’ This is a topic I know we have been thinking about (and discussing) a lot and an important one.

  3. I was confused for a while when reading this post about whether the book was about Tlingit “Eagles” or actual eagles. That never would have happened before I arrived in Juneau. Context is everything. 😉

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