What is this?
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A young walrus meets a boy who spends a lot of time alone because he is teased and left out by others. The young walrus seeks advice from his elders and other animals in order to help the young boy find inner strength and support from others.
WITS Connection: Talk it out, Seek help
Click here to view a summary of the most common Provincial and Territorial Learning Outcomes associated with this story.
Questions and Activities
Walrus’s Gift is typically read to the students during the Swearing-In Ceremony. The following questions and activities may be used to extend students’ understanding of concepts in this book.
If you received WITS resources that included the illusion cards, lay the cards out in a row and pose the following questions:
- Which card appears to be the biggest? The one on the far right usually appears larger.
- Take the card you think is the biggest and put it on the opposite end of the row. Which card looks bigger now?
- Pile the cards on top of each other in a stack. What do you notice about their size?
- Read the first sentence of the story: “Sometimes a picture is not what it seems to be.” What might this mean?
- Sometimes it is okay to be alone. When you see someone alone what can you say to ensure that they are all right?
- In the story the Grandfather gives the young walrus a special shell so that he can hear the ocean as well as other voices. “If the walrus listens very closely,” says the story, “he will be able to hear and better understand the boy child.” We don’t have a special shell, but what other ways can we use to listen closely to hear and better understand one another?
- Why is the young boy left out? He appears different and does not play games with others.
- Grandfather Walrus states, “This is a problem calling for many ideas and suggestions.” What are problems we face that may require many ideas and suggestions?
- What are the strategies that the young walrus shares with the boy? Walk away, ignore, talk it out, seek help from an adult.
- Which strategy worked in this situation? Seeking help.
- What is the last idea that the walrus offers? To look within for strength and courage. Why does the walrus suggest this? It takes strength and courage to recognize that you are special and don’t deserve to be teased. It takes strength and courage to tell someone about a problem.
- Check out other WITS books dealing with themes of teasing and isolation, such as Blue Cheese Breath and Stinky Feet. Compare strategies the characters used to deal with the teasing. What worked? What didn’t?
- Use the links below to learn more about the Arctic Region and the Pacific Walrus that resides there. Describe the walrus’s special features that allow it to survive extremely cold temperatures. Just like polar bears and whales, walruses are insulated with blubber. They have tiny ears, small eyes, whiskers, flippers and ivory tusks. Their tiny ears stay warmer than large ears, their two sets of flippers help them swim and waddle on land, and their ivory tusks help them climb out of the water and onto the ice. They’re also used to dig for clams, which are the walrus’s favourite food.