Fatty Legs Webinar Series, Grades 5-8


About this learning opportunity
This two part webinar series is about the book Fatty Legs, which includes meeting the author of the book and her mother-in-law (about whom the book is about) and a teacher who has used the book with her grade seven classroom. You will learn about the origin of the book and how it can be used to support student learning about the topic of residential schools.

The topic of residential schools can be a sensitive topic in First Nations, Métis and Inuit people. Teachers interested in using Fatty Legs with their students need to be aware of the local context with regards to residential schools. As a background to the issue of residential schools, you are encouraged to read the article, They Came For The Children - The Truth & Reconciliation Commission Of Canada.

Part One: Meet the author of Fatty Legs

Fatty Legs is a children’s book written about the residential school experience of the author’s mother in law, Margaret Pokiak–Fenton. In this webinar, you will have an opportunity to meet the author, Chirsty Jordan–Fenton as she discusses how she came to write this book. You will also have the opportunity to meet the subject of the book, Margaret Pokiak–Fenton. In addition to meeting these two ladies, Christy will introduce you to the Annick Press online resources developed to support the book. Finally, Christy and Margaret will talk about the sequel to the book, A Stranger at Home, that tells the story of Margaret’s return to her home following her residential school experience. Time will be allocated for you to ask questions of both Christy and Margaret.

Click here to playback the recording

Handouts and Resources for Part One:

Part One Presenter's Slides:



Part Two: Using Fatty Legs in your classroom

Meet Kerry Aiken, a teacher at Summitview School in Grande Cache, who has used Fatty Legs as part of her grade seven social studies classroom. Kerry will talk about how she has used the Fatty legs with her grade seven students. She will lead you through exploration of the imagery and language in Fatty Legs. Kerry has developed a novel study appropriate for use with upper elementary and lower junior high students.

Click here to playback the recording

Handouts and Resources for Part Two:

Part Two Presenter's Slides:


Fatty Legs Imagery and Extensions:


Fatty Legs Chapter Questions-Student:


Fatty Legs Chapter Questions-Key:



Book Talk Ideas:

Stem Starters:

Literature Circle Handouts:

AAC Materials

About the facilitator(s)

Christy Jordan-Fenton has been an infantry soldier, a pipeline labourer, a survival instructor and a bareback bronco rider. Christy has also worked with street children. She was born just outside Rimbey, Alberta and has lived in Australia, south Africa, and the United States of America. Christy now lives on a farm near Fort St. John, B.C. , where she and her husband are raising three small children, a few chickens, three dogs, a llama, two rabbits, and enough hourses to outfit an entire town. Christy worked with her mother-in-law, Margaret Pokiak – Fenton to write both Fatty Legs and A Stranger at Home.

Margaret Pokiak-Fenton was born on a tiny island far north of the Arctic Circle. She spent her early years on Banks Island; when she was eight years old she travelled to the mainland to attend the Catholic residential school in Aklavik, Northwest Territories. In her early twenties, while working for the Hudson’s Bay Company in Tuktoyaktuk, she met her Husband-to-be, Lyle, who was working on the Distant Early Warning (DEW) project. She followed him south to Fort St. John. Together they raised eight children. Margaret can be found most Saturdays at the local farmer’s market, where she sells traditional Inuit crafts and the best bread and bannock in the North Peace.

Kerry Aiken is a grade 7 teacher at Summitview School in Grande Cache, part of Grande Yellowhead Public School Division #77 (GYPSD). Kerry is passionate about literature and Native Studies (her major while studying at the University of Lethbridge). Kerry weaves these two passions together in a Native Studies option that is being delivered to grades 4 - 8 students at Summitview School. She was the driving force behind the implementation of this option and plans and prepares for all these classes every week. She has presented professional development sessions within GYPSD, weaving Literature into the Social Studies curriculum as well as using Literature with an FNMI perspective and content to enhance student success.