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Trail Tales

Stories that move you.

Trail Tales was first launched in Parkland School Division 70 as a means to promote physical activity and literacy while enhancing the active travel experience for school communities. Storyboard kits were created and placed along popular walking routes to be read and enjoyed by active travellers. These inaugural kits were a collaborative effort between EAS, the school division, and Stony Plain Regional Library, and funded through the Alberta Traffic Safety Fund.

We adopted Trail Tales as an initiative of the Physical Literacy Mentorship project in schools across the province to keep encouraging active travel and daily physical activity. With support from Jumpstart, mentorship schools are provided with Trail Tales signs that use an adhesive, vinyl sleeve to allow for stories to be changed over time, providing an opportunity for student voice in selecting books to read on the move! We received permission from our friends, the Be Fit for Life Network, to display Leah Yardley’s moving story As Big as the Sky, As Tall as the Trees – a perfect Trail Tales title – including movement prompts on each page.

Most of us have experienced stories that have moved us, but Trail Tales offers that opportunity in every sense of the word.

Trail Tales is a seamless way to partner with school-based teacher librarians as well as local community libraries. Library knowledge and experience helps ensure we honour copyright laws and provides recommendations for engaging texts and themes. Themes and books that have been used by participating schools include Environmental Stewardship (Earth Day, Earth Week, Solstice, Equinox), Physical Activity, Construction/Innovation (MakerSpace, Loose Parts Play), Faith/Religion (Christmas, Easter/Lent), and Celebrations/Significance (Eid, Diwali, Thanksgiving, Orange Shirt Day, Walk to School Day, Winter Walk Day).

To honour copyright laws schools are advised to purchase two copies of each book (as books cannot be reproduced in any way), dismantle them, and then insert the pages of the book into the press-on vinyl envelopes that affix to the plastic corrugated pads. As an additional tracking measure, you can number each of the corrugated pads to remember the order of the pages. To welcome people to the experience and to thank them for participating, we create two additional pages to bookend the story itself. These half sheets of poster board are numbered, laminated (to provide weather-proofing), and velcroed to plastic corrugated cardboard lawn signs.

Materials we used to create Trail Tales storyboards:

  • Wire 'H' stakes
  • Press-on vinyl envelopes (12" x 18")
  • Plastic corrugated pads (24" x 36")

SEE IT IN ACTION!

See Trail Tales in action through this short video.

"I used Trail Tale as a unit review for Science 30. The student groups raced from sign to sign to see who could solve all of the diploma questions in the fastest time. Students worked together and discussed how to problem solve the questions. The physical component of the activity engaged students in a way that regular in-class review wouldn't have. One student took off his shoes to ensure he would be the fastest runner outside....?”

Teacher, St. Andre Bessette Catholic School

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