Animals in Literature

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On My Mountain

On My Mountain is a dual perspective story featuring a shepherd and a wolf and how they feel about and interact with their environment. This book tells the same story, in identical words, providing different perspectives through the illustrations. This is a great book to discuss perspective and coexisting with wildlife.

Why use this book?

  • A story about different perspectives/points of view. Read the wolf’s story then flip the book over and read the shepherd’s story to see the mountain from both perspectives.
  • Coexisting with wildlife is a reality for all Albertans regardless of where they live. This book is a good reminder to consider the perspective of wildlife to build respect and ensure a peaceful coexistence.

Ask Your Students

  • How do the Shephard and the wolves coexist on the same mountain? While they both fear each other, the Shephard respects the wolves and values their role on the mountain. The mountain is a big place and there is lots of space for both.
  • What are some benefits to taking someone else’s perspective? We can learn from others’ beliefs, backgrounds and experiences. By taking the perspective of someone else, we are better able to understand them. This facilitates kindness, empathy and prosocial behaviours.
  • Why is it important to peacefully coexist with wildlife? What wildlife do you peacefully coexist with in your community?
  • Is there an animal or insect that you, or others don’t typically like? Why do you think this is? (appearance, safety concerns, misinformation, past experiences).

Post Reading Activities:

  • Role-playing can contribute to perspective taking skills by students putting themselves in ‘someone else’s shoes’ and getting into their mindset of how that person might think and feel. In pairs, have students role-play a hypothetical conversation between the Shephard and the wolves on their experience on the mountain as demonstrated in the book.
  • Taking the perspective of someone else helps to build empathy and understanding. As a class, watch the read aloud, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (8:20), a classic example of a story re-told fromthe perspective of the antagonist or “bad guy.”. Have students write/retell a favourite short story from the perspective of another character. Encourage students to step inside the shoes of that character and consider how they must be feeling and thinking as the story unfolds.
  • Often when we take the time to learn and further understand more about someone/something we develop an appreciation for them. Learn more about an animal or insect that you are not fond of. How are you similar to or different from this animal? Share three things you’ve learned including the similarities you’ve identified with a classmate. Has your opinion changed toward the animal/insect after learning more about them? If so, how?
  • As a class, brainstorm a list of challenges your community faces with cohabiting with wildlife (coyotes in the community, birds nesting in eaves troughs, bats roosting on garages, animals getting into garbage or feeding on fallen fruit, etc.). Have students pick a challenge and come up with a solution! What can be done in the community to make cohabiting with wildlife safer for animals and people? Students can present their solution in the format of their choosing.

Additional Resources Related to Book:

  • For Information on wolves in Alberta, visit this Government of Alberta website.
  • For information on how humans and wildlife are coexisting in the Bow Valley, including videos and podcasts, visit the Wildsmart website.
  • Visit Living with Wildlife for a digital story on coexisting with wildlife.


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