The UBC Education Library Collection Spotlight features resources supporting the Core Competencies in BC Education, both professional and picture books.

In October 2019, the Core Competencies were updated. What changed? A few of the updates included: Collaboration was added as a second sub-competency to the Communication Core Competency, the second Thinking sub-competency was changed to Critical and Reflective Thinking (not just Critical Thinking) and the third Personal and Social sub-competency became Social Awareness and Responsibility (not just Social Responsibility).

Please visit our Core Competencies Booklists to browse our curated lists of resources from home.

Here are just a few resource highlights:

Teacher Resources

· Creative thinking and arts-based learning: preschool through fourth grade / Joan Packer Isenberg, George Mason University, Emerita; Mary Renck Jalongo, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Emerita.

LB1139 .A37 I86 2018

With an emphasis on thinking creatively and being resourceful as keys to surviving and thriving in today’s society, this evidence-based book provides practical ways for teachers to promote creativity, play, art, music/movement/dance, and drama for all children. It contains many authentic activities and examples to support children’s learning in the arts and content areas. The book examines the teacher’s role from a philosophical, pedagogical, and curricular stance by addressing key components, including the classroom environment, materials and resources, child guidance, assessment, technology applications, and culturally responsive teaching. Practical, readable, and illustrative features and discussions include Snapshots of Classrooms, Teachers’ Reflections, Frequently Asked Questions, Meeting Standards guidelines, Differentiating Instruction and Making Adaptations for Diverse Learners, and Integrating the Curriculum. Also included in 7th edition are samples of children’s work, how to how to use cooking as a creative activity, and using nature as a critical learning tool.

· Teaching creative and thinking in schools / Russell Grigg and Helen Lewis.

LB1062 .G75 2019

How do we encourage children to think deeply about the world in which they live? Research-based and highly practical, this book provides guidance on how to develop creative and critical thinking through your classroom teaching.

Key coverage includes:

· Classroom-ready ideas to stimulate high-order thinking
· How to think critically and creatively across all areas of the curriculum
· Case studies from primary, secondary and special schools
· Philosophical approaches that give pupils the space to think and enquire

This is essential reading for anyone on university-led and schools-based primary and secondary initial teacher education courses including undergraduate (BEd, BA QTS), postgraduate (PGCE, SCITT), School Direct, Teach First and employment-based routes and also anyone training to work in early years settings.

· Protocols in the classroom: tools to help students read, write, think, & collaborate / David Allen, Tina Blythe, Alan Dichter, Terra Lynch; foreword by Joseph P. McDonald.

LB3051 .A45 2018

For nearly 2 decades, Looking Together at Student Work and The Power of Protocols have sustained educators in their professional learning.

Protocols in the Classroom expands the scope of those books from teachers’ professional learning to include students’ learning, providing teachers with the tools they need to use discussion protocols to support students in developing crucial skills and habits as readers, writers, critical thinkers, and active participants within the classroom community.

· Group work that works: student collaboration for 21st-century success / Paul J. Vermette and Cynthia L. Kline.

LB1032 .V38 2017 and FULL TEXT ONLINE

iPromote cooperative learning more effectively by transforming your classroom into a learning community. Experienced K–12 educators Paul J. Vermette and Cynthia L. Kline offer their Dual Objective Model as a tool for improving your students’ academic achievement and problem-solving skills, while encouraging their social and emotional development. You’ll discover how to: assign meaningful tasks that require students to rely on one another; build efficient teams, purposefully monitor group dynamics, and assess group projects effectively; engage students in schoolwork while developing crucial career and life skills; motivate students to see the importance of personal and group responsibility; maximize the benefits of student diversity in your classroom. Emphasizing teamwork, persistence, communication, self-regulation, and empathy in a complex, diverse, and technological setting, these strategies can be easily incorporated into any curriculum. The book is filled with vignettes and sample exercises to help you apply the ideas to your own classroom. Each chapter includes a list of “Big Ideas,” which invites you to consider how these strategies can evolve over time.

· All learning is social and emotional: helping students develop essential skills for the classroom and beyond / Nancy Frey, Douglas Fisher, Dominique Smith.

LB1072 .F74 2019

If you teach kids rather than standards, and if you want all kids to get what they need to thrive, Nancy Frey, Douglas Fisher, and Dominique Smith offer a solution: a comprehensive, five-part model of SEL that’s easy to integrate into everyday content instruction, no matter what subject or grade level you teach. You’ll learn the hows and whys of * Building students’ sense of identity and confidence in their ability to learn, overcome challenge, and influence the world around them. * Helping students identify, describe, and regulate their emotional responses. * Promoting the cognitive regulation skills critical to decision making and problem-solving. * Fostering students’ social skills, including teamwork and sharing, and their ability to establish and repair relationships. * Equipping students to becoming informed and involved citizens.

· Simple stuff to get kids self-regulating in school: awesome and in control lesson plans, worksheets and strategies for learning / Lauren Brukner and Lauren Liebstein Singer.

LB1060.2 .B78 2018

Packed with photocopiable lesson plans and tried and tested strategies, this illustrated guide is the ideal companion for teachers and therapists wishing to help kindergarten and elementary school children to self-regulate. It contains everything you need to integrate the successful, research-based ‘Awesome and In Control’ program, which focuses on empowering children to regulate their own emotions and senses and helping them to develop excellent coping strategies. Explaining how the popular, universal ‘Awesome and In Control’ program works, the guide enables you to help children to keep calm and in control during everyday tasks including reading, writing and paying attention to others.


Picture Books

· Quiet please, Owen McPhee! / Trudy Ludwig; illustrated by Patrice Barton.

PZ7.L9763 Qt 2018

Owen McPhee doesn’t just like to talk, he LOVES to talk. He spends every waking minute chattering away at his teachers, his classmates, his parents, his dog, and even himself.

But all that talking can get in the way of listening.

And when Owen wakes up with a bad case of laryngitis, it gives him a much-needed opportunity to hear what others have to say.

· We are all dots: a big plan for a better world / Giancarlo Macri, Carolina Zanotti.

PZ7.1.M25874 We 2018

The perfect book for any child curious about differences and diversity, this visually driven story bears a decidedly modern and inspiring message about compassion, cooperation, and a sense of shared humanity—all qualities that appear increasingly rare in recent months. With simple black-and-white drawings—little more than black and white dots and the images (of a hamburger, of a skyscraper, of a Ferris wheel, etc.) they make when arranged just so—this fantastic tale of neighbors tells a story of a world, much like our own, of haves and have-nots.

Beginning with a set of prosperous dots on one page and another set of impoverished dots on the other, the book takes us through their struggle to bridge their differences. Just when it looks look like the dots will be forever doomed, they work together to find a solution that will help them all. Great things happen when we learn to share and work together.

· I walk with Vanessa: a story about a simple act of kindness / by Kerascoët.

PZ7.1.K5093 Iw 2018

This simple yet powerful picture book–from a New York Times bestselling husband-and-wife team–tells the story of one girl who inspires a community to stand up to bullying. Inspired by real events,  I Walk with Vanessa explores the feelings of helplessness and anger that arise in the wake of seeing a classmate treated badly, and shows how a single act of kindness can lead to an entire community joining in to help.

By choosing only pictures to tell their story, the creators underscore the idea that someone can be an ally without having to say a word. With themes of acceptance, kindness, and strength in numbers, this timeless and profound feel-good story will resonate with readers young and old.

· Sometimes you fly / by Newbery Medalist Katherine Applegate; illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt.

PZ7.A644 Sm 2018

This gorgeous gift book, equally perfect for preschool graduations or college commencements, baby showers or birthdays, is an inspirational tribute to the universal struggles and achievements of childhood. Beginning with a first birthday, the scenes travel through childhood triumphs and milestones, coming full circle to graduation.

A magical blend of succinct text and beautiful watercolors renders each moment with tenderness and humor and encourages readers to remember then, with every try, sometimes you fail . . . sometimes you fly.””

· Everybody’s different on everybody street / words by Sheree Fitch; art by Emma FitzGerald.

PZ8.3.F587 Ev 2018

If ever you go travelling
On EveryBody Street
You’ll see EveryBody’s Different
Than EveryOne you meet

Sheree Fitch’s playful words lead you into this beautiful children’s book and invite you to celebrate our gifts, our weaknesses, our differences, and our sameness. Fitch displays her wit and mastery of words in quick, rollicking rhymes that are complemented by Emma Fitzgerald’s lively illustrations. EveryBody’s Different on EveryBody Street was originally produced in 2001 as a fundraiser to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Festival of Trees in support of the Nova Scotia Hospital and to raise awareness for mental illness and addiction.


Online workshop for UBC Indigenous Students, Staff, Faculty & Community members. Registration full & closed. 


The first workshop has been rescheduled for March 5 & 12 due to unforeseen circumstances; we apologize for any scheduling conflicts and thank participants for their patience!

Should you have any questions or need to cancel please contact: or

Preparing for your workshop:

  • Soak the hide two days prior to the workshop. Immerse in water in a container.
  • You will need:
    • a small container to pour the sand in the rattle, after it’s been sewn. Such as a bead bottle, or a 1/4 measuring cup, or an empty medicine bottle (something of that nature) or a spoon will work but it will take much longer to fill
    • a blunt end of a paintbrush, or wooden kitchen spoon, as long as it’s not sharp and thinner than the dowel (stick provided in the package). This will be used to push the sand down in the rattle
    • a second small container or bowl to put the sand in while you fill the rattle; this is not necessary but much easier than the bag with sand
    • may need a scissors (just in case)

About this Event

What: Indigenous Rattle-Making Workshop

When: 2 Workshop offerings: Each Workshop requires 2 dates, spaced 1 week apart. The first meeting is for rattle assembly, with a week waiting period to allow the rattles to fully dry, and the second meeting to complete / finish off the rattles and paint them if you wish.

1. February 23 & March 2nd 10am-12pm

2. Rescheduled – March 5 & 12

Who: Indigenous UBC Students, faculty & staff, as well as Musqueam Community members.

Cost: $0. Costs are covered by workshop sponsors, but spaces are limited.

Facilitator: Shevonne Hall is a Mohawk/Ojibway artist who lives and works in the Musqueam Community.

“I believe art is medicine that can help with the healing of Indigenous Peoples trauma. Over the past three decades, I have learnt a variety of traditional art forms that I now teach. In doing so, I am part of the seventh generation that reawakens the spirit of our Ancestors.” – (Artist Statement)

Shevonne reinvests proceeds from her art towards purchasing art supplies for Indigenous youth programs in remote / rural Indigenous communities across Canada where access to art stores or supplies is limited and where the cost of shipping for online purchases is prohibitive.

Sponsors: Karleen Delaurier-Lyle & Tamis Cochrane, Xwi7xwa Library, and Health, Wellbeing and Benefits from Human Resources at UBC.

NOTE ON THE RATTLE MEDIUM: The rattles are made with genuine animal hides. This may not be suitable for anyone who is unable to work with hides for personal concerns.

Many thanks to guest blogger, Barbara Towell, for contributing the below post! Barbara is University Archives’ E-Records Manager and an enthusiastic collector of antiques. This is the first post in her occasional series on jewellery pieces worn in historical cabinet card portraits.

Popular complications: telling the time

I can pinpoint the moment my love-affair with the past began. It was the day a trunk was moved from my grandmother’s house in New Westminster to our basement in Burnaby. The chest was the curved-top variety lined with cedar with a large bottom drawer. How long it sat in the basement before I uncovered its secrets, I cannot tell you, likely hours, not days. The weight of the lid…the squeak of the hinges…the smell of the cedar; that was the moment.

Item zero: watch found in cedar trunk. Fitted case not original to the watch. Image credit: Barbara Towell

The bottom drawer was where the treasures lay. The passage of time had dried out the wood, to open it I had to pull one side of the drawer then the other inch by inch. When I got it open, I saw hundreds of photographs. I expected to recognise my grandparents, my father, or my uncles, but in photo after photo I did not know a single person. Over the days, months and years I made my acquaintance with each and every face. Sitting in the basement studying the faces stored in the bottom drawer was a favourite childhood pastime. But the photographs were not all the trunk contained, there was another item hidden amongst the trunk’s contents: an old watch.

Sometimes I am asked about the first item in my collection of old things. Perhaps because I can recall the particular transaction so clearly, I have always answered that it was a Czechoslovakian glass and brass necklace from the 1920s bought for $12.00 at a shop called the Blue Heron. It is only in writing this blog that I realize the watch uncovered in the cedar chest that day when I was 11 years old was actually item zero.

I tell you this story because old photographs and jewellery introduces a series of blog posts I am writing looking at cabinet card portraits of women and the jewellery they wore. In these examples the ornaments displayed hold a central role in the images’ composition and meaning.

C.W. Van Alstine. [Portrait of woman]. UL-1734-01-0037.

Originally shot by Van Alstine photographers Red Oak, Iowa, the photo is part of the Uno Langmann and Family Collection of British Columbia Photographs. Cabinet cards gained popularity in the 1870s and 1880s and were an accepted and affordable method of portraiture. One can locate many such examples in this period of (primarily white) women in black clothes wearing a watch on a long chain. Dr. Annie Rudd describes this kind of portraiture as the social media of the 19th Century (Rudd, 2015). Rudd sees the carte de visite, a smaller precursor to the cabinet card, as a “socially sanctioned and standardized mode of self-presentation” (Rudd, 2015) and because both the carte de visite and the cabinet card were designed to be shared they helped shape cultural standards through their distribution.

All we can see of the woman’s outfit is a black button-down bodice and an odd-looking pocket sewed onto the front of the outfit. The pocket has not been sewn on straight, the right side is higher than the left. One cannot mistake the quality of the material and perfectly close fit of her bodice so why is the pocket sewed on in this way? Part of the answer is that the pocket holds a watch. Watches were very popular all through the 19th Century and women in the last quarter wore their watches one of three ways:

  1. tucked into a belt or a fit-for-purpose pocket at or near the waist;
  2. at the bodice hanging from a brooch watch chatelaine; or
  3. as we see in this photo tucked into a crochet or lace pocket angled with the right side higher than the left.

But why? The answer is for practical ease of access. The subject is right-handed and it is simpler for the right hand to take the watch out of the pocket on the left if the pocket is slightly angled. It would stand out more to viewers contemporary with the period if the crocheted pocket wasn’t angled. In all three cases the watch hung from a long chain called a muff or guard chain which was typically 154.4 centimetres in length (Cummings, p. 95).

The guard chain in the Van Alstine cabinet card is doubled under the chin drawing the viewer’s eye toward the face. Given this is a portrait the brooch and chain’s placement near the throat makes sense; it emphasizes the subject. Her appearance is not all we are meant to see; the draping of the chain draws the viewer’s eye to the crocheted pocket. The angle and texture of the pocket emphasizes the timepiece within suggesting action, functionality and matter-of-fact practicality on the one hand, and a modicum of affluent comfort on the other. If highlighting the face is the point of the portrait, the watch functions as a balancing counterpoint. Everything included in the cabinet card’s field of view was made by choice. The passage of time has undermined the clarity of photograph’s message, but her outfit and the simple yet meticulous construction of the image communicates middle class propriety and tasteful prosperity.

Cabinet cards typically include an advertising block containing the name and location of the business; indeed, advertising was one of the main objectives of the medium. They also promote a “carefully calibrated self-presentation” of the subject (Rudd, 2015). The assembly of clothes, hair and pocket watch work together as kind of visual shorthand for respectable middle-class conventionality. The actual material conditions in which this woman lived are unknown to us, but through the composition of the photograph we are led to believe that she has a comfortable life with places to be and appointments to keep!


Works Cited

Rudd, Annie. 2015. “Public Faces: Photography as Social Media in the 19th Century.” The International Center of Photography, Aug. 27, 2015. Accessed Dec. 26, 2020.

Cummins, Genevieve. 2010. How the Watch was Worn: A Fashion for 500 Years. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors’ Club Publishers.


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