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Tanna’s Owl

Tanna’s Owl tells the story of Tanna, a girl who learns to appreciate owls. At first, Tanna was disappointed her father brought home a baby owl that required care. Tanna thought the owl was ugly, and did not enjoy how the owl ate ‘gross’ food. As the story progresses and Tanna becomes more familiar with the owl, her appreciation for the owl grows. Then one day, the owl becomes old enough to fly away.


Why use this book?

  • Students may learn that as we become familiar with someone or something (this can apply to animals, people and the environment), we become more understanding and empathetic.

Ask your students:

  • Why did Tanna’s father bring the owl home?
  • Did Tanna’s thoughts about the owl change throughout the story?
  • Have you ever seen a baby wild animal alone? What did you do? Remind students that it is completely normal for mothers to leave their young alone to avoid attracting predators. So if they see a baby animal (and it isn’t injured) to leave it alone.
  • What are some ways that Tanna cared for Ukpik?


  • Significant Animals – Review the foreword of the book titled “A Greeting from Rachel.” Briefly discuss how cultural groups can value animals in different ways. Ask students:
    • What animals are special to Canada or Alberta. Canadian Geese,
      Beaver, Bison, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, Cattle (Alberta
      beef), Loon (on our money), etc.
    • Can you think of any other animals that are special to certain
      cultures, places, or communities?
  • Thinking about the cultural and spiritual significance of the owl to Inuit, ask students to pick an animal and write a journal entry describing why it could be considered significant or valuable to them, their family, or their culture.

Tanna’s Owl is part of the AnimalTales program. Above, is a small selection of the discussion questions and activities that can be found in the Grade Three and Grade Four Teacher’s Guide. For additional discussion questions and activities request the FREE book-lending program for your class.

Additional Resources Related to Book:


Rachel and Sean Ouitsualik-Tinsley, 2020


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