One Great Tribe Penpal Project

The One Great Tribe Penpal Project connects teachers and students worldwide through a pen-pal program that starts with a discussion about the children’s book written by, Shelley Muniz called One Great Tribe, illustrated by, Bear Dyken. The story is set in the Grand Canyon and has a Native American theme. The main characters are two families of squirrels that do, in fact, live in the Grand Canyon region. Through their interaction, the book demonstrates that no matter where we live and what our differences, we are members of the same great tribe.

The project is to read One Great Tribe to your class, have students draw pictures about their impression of the book and write either a group letter or individual letters about the book’s message and how it might relate to the new friends they will meet through this project. Additional ideas might be to share differences and similarities about themselves, their school, the place they live, their families–favorite foods, family traditions, cultural aspects, style of dress, music, sports, pets, native plants and wildlife.

If you are a teacher or know of teachers in the United States or abroad who might be interested in participating in the One Great Tribe Penpal Project, please contact Shelley Muniz at

It’s up to us to create positive growth and intention for our children and the future of our planet.