We began our school year in the Learning Commons by sharing the wonderful Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson. Students discussed the importance of never missing an opportunity to be kind. We also had fun with Munsch’s Mortimer and built our beds with the lego.
Some classes problem solved to see if they could decipher the construction blueprints for the new school addition. Students were very interested to figure out the symbols and plans. We also designed our own school – complete with basketballl hoop in the library!
This week we restored an old and unattractive shelf into an awesome book display featuring work inspired by Clayton Gauthier, a Cree/Dakelh artist, and his book The Salmon Run.
We used indoor house paint to cover the shelf and the designs were added with stencils. I added the black outlines. Clayton even commented on our work. : )
As the seasons change we have been updating our hallway tree. This week we added cherry blossoms. We made these from origami fortune tellers. This can be a great opportunity for a the handful of students who already know how to make these to take a leadership role in the classroom. Made from dollar store origami paper.
This term another class was interested in learning about and creating Mighty Women. A third class will be beginning the activity after Spring Break.
The project begins with lots of discussion about diversity, imposed gender roles, inequality and the traits of a leader. We also spent time on body image and Barbies’ impossible physique.
Students began by discovering possible subjects to research. From these names, Mighty Women were assigned based on reading levels of available print materials and to ensure a diverse, global mix. Both online and print resources were used to complete research.
Students were asked to focus only on the most important facts so could only include what would fit on one library card.
Materials were organized into baskets. We switched to ziplocs when we began sewing to keep the pins and needles accounted for. Dolls were $1.25 – funded by the Book Fair – available at Dollar Tree.
After designing the costume, students used a step by step slide share on how to complete the sewing – available here. Fabric ends from Thrift store – funded by the Book Fair
The Slideshare allows each student to proceed at their own pace. For many students this was the first time they had done any sewing. No materials were to be brought in from home and no work could be taken to complete at home.
We used book stands from past book fairs to display the dolls. The stands were cut down the middle.
Students photographed their dolls and used Superimpose app to place them in appropriate settings. All of the work was uploaded to the student’s digital portfolio.
Amelia Earhart digital work in progress.
Students in Mme. St.James’ class have been learnng about all of the dfferent ways the South Coast Salish Peoples used the Western Red Cedar and why it was called ‘The Tree of Life’. We focused on the patterns used on the baskets and were inspired by traditional designs to create our own baskets. We filled the baskets with a representation of the soft inner bark of the Yellow Cedar that was used for bedding and hung the baskets on our cedar tree.
Students in Mr. Gauvin’s Grade 4/5 class were encouraged to apply what they had learned about Coast Salish long house design to creating a much larger model in the Learning Commons. The students worked in teams with each group having different responsibilities. As the project progressed, students shifted teams so they could try different aspects of the building. It was a great success.
One team was solely responsible for cutting of tape ready to use. This made the process a lot smoother and helped prevent lost tape ends. Another team made the support poles with rolled paper and rafia.
Boxes of discarded books waiting for disposal were used as corner supports.
‘Smoke’ was added to the central post.
We did not have any good cutting tools so the cardboard was used as is.
This week, as part of our learning about ‘The Tree of Life’, some students created Coast Salish cedar boxes decorated with salmon images. We asked permission of Clayton Gauthier to draw inspiration from his wonderful book, The Salmon Run. Students painted their boxes, coloured their salmon and finished the box with Mod-Poge. We will be displaying these in the Learning Commons as part of our First Peoples in Residence week.
Painting the boxes – Dollar store and recycled cigar boxes
Colour and cut the salmon
Add the Mod-Podge. Dries clear and makes a shiny top coat.
Several classes have been working on creating these detailed Salish Long House models. After learning about the design, students were assigned individual tasks that would contribute to the whole. For example, one class contributed side panels, and another made roof panels or added entranceways. Some classes added the supporting poles with the ‘cedar’ twine and slowly the houses came together. The final class added the landscaping.
Building the roof panels.
Back and side panels.
Support poles (recycled chopsticks and raffia)
Classes have been learning about the architecture of South Coast Salish Plank Houses. We learned about the structure and the style and purposes of the long houses. To show their learning, students built small individual buildings and then worked cooperatively to create larger structures.
Students have been learning about some of the many ways the Coast Salish Peoples use the Western Red Cedar tree. We learned how the bark is removed from the tree and can be used for weaving. Students wove their own ‘cedar’ mat which we hung on our representative Western Red Cedar tree. (We used raffia and hung it on our Emerald Cedar tree.)