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Introduction

Updated: May 6

Created by Michelle Schira Hagerman, PhD, Associate Professor of Educational Technology at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Education, and Michael F. Stewart, author of Seeking Draven, this unit plan has been developed to align with the Ontario Language Curriculum (2023) for Grades 4-6. It can also be applied to educators using other literacies’ curricula across North America. 


Lessons address dimensions of every strand in the Language Curriculum but given the themes and content of Seeking Draven, this unit plan will be especially supportive of teachers’ planning to address both overall and specific expectations in strand A.2 Digital Media Literacy. 


Context for the reader: A Synopsis of Seeking Draven:

Fungi-fanatic Teagan, age 10, loves her big brother Draven. When he disappears after a fight with their father, she’s stunned and lost without him. She can’t believe her father’s accusations that Draven’s a thief. But the truth might be scarier.

 

A gift of her father’s old, cracked phone means a chance to turn detective. As Teagan’s world blossoms with the phone’s possibilities, she traces the clues and hunts for her missing brother. A school art project and Teagan’s growing reliance on her phone offer answers to how she can find Draven and maybe help mend her broken family. 


This resource is designed to scaffold students’ understandings of networks while prompting them to apply these understandings to their own developing concepts of self, identity, and community. 


It is also an effort to use literature to scaffold meaningful, grounded, evidence-informed conversations in school about the complexities of growing up in a world where digital systems are inextricable from youth cultural practices. The intention is to use Teagan’s experiences as a mechanism for building young adolescents’ knowledge, vocabulary, and systems-level, critical understandings of how their lives become intertwined with digital networks. Through each lesson, students are prompted to reflect on various dimensions of Teagan’s experiences. Then, they are encouraged to make text-to-self connections that are meant to support discovery of who they are becoming. 


“Seeking Draven is a call to reexamine our relationship to the wired world.”

Katherine Lawrence, acclaimed author of Stay.


“In this striking novel-in-verse, Michael Stewart presents a poignant tale of growing up, leaning in, falling out, and managing hard truths. Using free verse, wordplay, concrete poetry, and more, Stewart's story provides a lovely mycorrhizal mutualism for readers of all ages.”

KA Holt, award winning author of The Kids Under the Stairs series.


Seeking Draven is available in ebook and paperback formats from Red Deer Press, ISBN 9780889957381. 



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