Making Ancient Peruvian Masks with Connie Claymaker & Gordon

Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.

~Pablo Picasso

We began our time with Connie and Gordon by looking at some pictures of actual ancient Peruvian masks and then learned how to build a structure using paper plates, newspaper and masking tape!

Connie Claymaker and Gordon have enriched our lives. They’ve deepened our understanding of art and our connection with some of the amazing artistic history of Peru through our work making ancient Peruvian masks. We’ve been SO lucky to spend this time with Connie and Gordon and we wish that they could work with us ALL year!

We hope you enjoy our written reflections and the many photos taken throughout this learning journey:

building our marionette structures really helped us understand how to work with newspaper and masking tape!

 ‘Hi! Have you ever been to Machu Picchu in Peru? Well, let me tell you I have a unique, one of a kind, authentic mask I proudly own, excavated from Machu Picchu by a professional archaeologist! Well, to be honest with you, I actually made it with two amazing clay artists: Connie and Gordon! But, it is authentic, proudly owned and priceless. When I made this mask with Connie and Gordon it was a very fun to day process. My highlights from the first day, when we built our templates and got our clay formed and designed, was making the template because that is when I got to get the first picture of what my mask would look like. I also liked designing the clay and forming the clay over my template because my mask started to look like a mask from ancient Peru made by the Inca tribe! Highlights from the second day was the whole painting process but to be specific, I liked adding the designs becaus every time I added a colour it came to life even more! Now that I have finished it I look back and don’t regret a thing and I am pleased with my mask! If I were to do it all over again I wouldn’t change a thing, because with Connie and Gordon we all became better clay mask makers! My favourite part of the whole thing was painting because to me it all came together once I added all the colour to it! I am most proud of my details because it gave it character and it looked more like an ancient Peruvian mask! But, I am proud of my whole mask not just the painting. Advice I would give to someone else making an ancient Peruvian mask would be to be patient when you use the clay and when you paint, to use around two to four colours because I only used turquoise as my main colour, maroon paint, gold paint and black paint to paint my designs! A wonder I have about how we painted them is why do your whole mask in one main colour and cover it with your other colours after? But, if you are going to do that on your mask use acrylic paint, not other paints because acrylic covers other colours of acrylic really well! I don’t know if they do birthday parties, but if they do and you want an art birthday, they would be the ones to call!” ~Payton

I can’t believe how much MASKING tape we’ve gone through this year!

“Hi! Rowen here! I just dug up an ancient mask from Machu Picchu, (some place in Peru)! Okay, fine. I made one out of clay but … same thing! My mask is a little mask with sharp teeth, small nose, yellow outlines around the eyes, brown tongue and gold lines under the eyes. If you want to make your own Peruvian mask I suggest you use not a lot of colours!” ~Rowen

“Connie and Gordon came to our class and made ancient Peruvian  masks. We had to work with the clay and put it on our paper plate and smooth it out. A few weeks later they came back and we painted them. I painted mine turquoise for the base, gold and silver for the lines and black for the mouth and eyes. I think they look better from far away. All of the masks look outstanding! I wish it was easier to make straight lines with a paint brush. I thought Connie junior was the best. My favourite part was everything. My lease favourite part was waiting because I really wanted to do the project!” ~Leah 

Something tells us we MIGHT need to order some MORE masking tape!

“Connie and Gordon came to make masks. We painted the masks. I chose three paints. It was turquoise, gold and red. The masks were fragile. It was fun. I wish I will see Connie and Gordon next year. It was a lot like our marionettes. My most favourite part was painting the mask. Gold showed up good. I loved the project.” ~Nic

“On my first day we made ancient Peruvian masks and it was awesome! I had an awesome time with Connie and Gordon because they came to do Peruvian masks. I wonder how hot is the kiln? If I could do it again I would do the same thing but the nose different because it looks funny and I’d make it more like a human’s nose. I would also want to make more designs! I’m hoping that we can wear them so I can look funny and make my brother laugh! My highlights were: that we got to paint and choose the paint I wanted, and Connie and Gordon helping us when we needed help. The part I was most proud of was everything because I did a good job and I worked so hard on it. I am proud of all of it! My lowlights were that we had to skip recess and maybe our day at the park! I wish that I had clay and lots of colourful paint and a kiln and all the other stuff that you need to make a mask because I want to make more and MORE and MORE! I want to have lots and lots and lots of ancient Peruvian masks because I like painting them and it’s very fun! The colours I used were red, gold, silver and turquoise! My favourite part was painting because I like designing and colouring a lot. A memory is that I’ll always remember about Connie and Gordon coming here to make our Peruvian masks and them teaching us how to do it and showing us how to paint it properly.” ~Sky

Connie did SUCH a great job of teaching us how to roll the clay and how to place it on our structures!

 “Wow! They are painted! Connie and Gordon helped us make some Peruvian masks, especially paint them. Oh … outlining was difficult and smooth. My first colour was turquoise and my second colour was red then gold and black. But, without paint and eyes, nose, mouth and eyebrows it would look like a pancake that you can eat. It was not that difficult to do the designs with a small paintbrush. Oh, it was hard with the rolling pin because the ambulance, (Gordon), had to come. I did not like the paint test because I did not want to have paint on me! Thank you Connie and Gordon, for helping us to make the Peruvian masks!” ~Daniel

“We made ancient Peruvian masks. I think it is the best art project. The people who helped us are Connie and Gordon. On my mask I made a tongue sticking out of it’s mouth. One of my highlights is the painting because it was messy AND you can paint anything you want on your mask. Everyone made priceless masks. The masks look SO amazing. If it was a competition I would vote everyone first in the competition!” ~Alex

“Yesterday we got to paint ancient Peruvian masks. (They were dug up in Machu Picchu!) Some colours were STUNNING. There was this beautiful gold and silver; once you paint them on it’ll shine like a star. Now, for the background, I used black because the other colours, (gold and silver), stand out more. Here is the part where we made them. First, we needed to make a model to go under the clay. Connie said “make it into a hamburger” and I did, (that’s a lie … I made it into a long hotdog). After, they put it in a kiln. I’ll always remember CLAY IS BEST!” ~Zari

Rolling the clay was pretty hard to do because you had to work SO hard to not “drive over the edges”!

 We made ancient Peruvian masks with Connie and Gordon! Here are some of my highlights. There were so many colours so I chose black, gold and red. Touching the squishy clay because it felt fun! If I could make another mask I would use turquoise, silver and black, maybe. The part I am most proud of is making it look kinda worn out! My favourite part was painting the ancient Peruvian mask because it starts to come alive. I wonder how many ancient Peruvian colours there are in Peru. What if ancient Peruvian masks could be ANIMAL masks? Here are the steps. First you get a paper plate. Second you use tape and newspaper to make your own design. Third after you do your design you get clay and shape the corners into curves. Fourth you get a rolling pin and roll it into a pancake but not a flat pancake. Fifth you put the clay on the plate and shape it out. Sixth you use tools to make a design on the clay. Seventh, you let it dry and take the clay off the plate and let it dry some more. Eighth toast the clay. Ninth paint the entire mask using one colour and let it dry. Tenth get two other colours and colour over the first layer but not entirely. Eleventh let it dry and then you’re done!” Reid

You have to FEEL your newspaper structures CAREFULLY and very, VERY gently work the clay down to give your mask its details!

Oh hi! It’s nice to see you again! Guess what? A few weeks ago we made ancient Peruvian masks! Okay maybe they are not that ancient but you get what I mean because they are only made out of clay and paint. Some of my highlights were making the designs with the paint, making the designs with the clay and making the mask’s shape. There are LOTS more but if I wrote all of them you would be reading til the cows come home! Well, I didn’t really have any lowlights but I guess I wasn’t really wild about waiting patiently for the paint to day but other than that I loved everything else! Something I would do differently next time is a hard question but if I had to pick I would probably put teeth on next time because I forgot to put it on before. But, still, I would keep it just the way it is if I didn’t have to pick. Oh no! Here comes another hard question! I liked the whole thing but my favourite part was seeing how it , turned out at the end because I loved how all my hard work paid off. No, no, no, no, no! Why do you give me all these hard questions … well, I guess I can tell you … I’m most proud of the same thing as my favourite part and for the same reason! Isn’t that a coincidence?! Okay, now, if you liked all of that stuff I just told you and now you just want to make one here’s some advice. First, please don’t press too far down on your paper plate.” ~Connie

That’s GREAT advice! If you press TOO hard on your clay the clay becomes TOO thin and THEN it can CRACK!

“Wow! Did you know that we made ancient Peruvian masks? It was so fun. My highlight was probably the painting because I love doing art. My lowlight is that mine got a couple of cracks so Gordon patched them up for me. Something I would do differently to my mask is I would use turquoise for my background colours and silver, gold and white. I think it would look great with those colours. For my mask for the background I did navy blue, gold and silver. I like it. I am most proud of the nose and I did a decoration that was pretty cool. I love it. A memory is that I will never forget making my mask.” ~Emily

“Yesterday we made priceless ancient Peruvian masks! Here are some of my highlights. One is the painting and doing the designs and when I am masking taping the eyebrows and the mouth and the nose and eyes on. Two is when Connie and Gordon came and helped me. Now let’s get on. My lowlights were when I was rolling the clay on my desk and the clay got stuck on my desk because it was brutal because it was hard to get it off my desk. Two is when a piece of my eye came off. Three is when I am painting the paint gets stuck on my hands. I would do more designs on my mask because it has low designs on it. My favourite part of the process was the painting because I painted my mask silver, gold and turquoise. The part I am most proud of is my painting because it looks extraordinary.” ~Arash 

Carving the details helped to make our masks come to LIFE!

“Wow! It was so awesome. We made Peruvian masks! Mine was brown with gold and a little bit of silver, and the littlest bit of black! My highlight was when a blob of paint was going to drop on my mask and Connie told me and I looked and I moved my paint brush so it didn’t spill! Yikes! I wonder how hot is the kiln? I also wonder if Connie made a mask what it would look like? If I could do it again I would make a lot more gold and a lot of turquoise. But, I am really happy with my mask because it really looks Peruvian. Gordon told me a couple of tricks and secrets! But I wish we could do it again because I could make it look more earthy! My favourite mask was Payton’s because it had a lot of designs!” ~Evelyn L

“We made Peruvian masks! We started off with making our masks. so, we got newspaper and made a nose, eyebrows and a mouth. Then we got some masking tape and we used a lot of it and I mean a lot and we taped the shapes down. My favourite part is when we painted our magnificent “real” ancient Peruvian masks. I used turquoise, clack, gold and silver. A thing that if I had another chance to make this again I would make a headpiece on it and make different designs. The part that I was most proud of is how it turned out in the end. I am really proud of my Peruvian mask because it really looks like an ancient Peruvian mask. I know that I will remember every part of this artistic also magnificent project!” ~Katherine

The paint REALLY made our masks come to LIFE!

“Ta DA! Welcome to Colby’s writing about … ANCIENT PERUVIAN MASKS! My highlights were: we had SO many different colours because there was orange, black, even gold, silver and bronze! I had more highlights but probably too many! I had NO lowlights! Something I would probably do differently next time is: one, put gold on the nose instead of yellow because it just looks awesome in my mind. Two, don’t add a mouth, because it would look cute like Eric’s mask. My favourite part was painting all the mask black, because you had to rush and I like rushing with paint! I was most proud of making my tongue because I wanted it BIG and it is BIG! Connie and Gordon gave us lots of tips. Here’s one: don’t roll your rolling pin off the side because the top and bottom of your mask will be SKINNY. Well … I dug a mask in Machu Picchu … well … I lied! I built it out of clay! I wish I could make as many masks as I want!” ~Colby

“When we made our Peruvian mask I was excited. When we started working on our Peruvian masks I was excited to work on it. We used paper plates and the hardest part was doing the eyes. The easiest part was the eyebrows. I was excited to paint our Peruvian masks. It was awesome. I loved painting my Peruvian mas. It was so fun. I am proud of my mask because of the colours and the details. My advice is that you think about your colours.” ~Brooklyn

Getting the paint deep into the crevices was TOUGH work!

“A few days ago we started making clay masks with Connie Claymaker. We started using paper plates then we started using newspaper. a highlight was that how big the clay rolled. A lowlight was that at the start the clay was so cold and whenever we touched it it would stick to our hands. Something I would do differently would be the mouth closed and kind of a smile. My favourite part was when I finished painting it. It looked so ancient. The part I was most proud of is the mouth because it looks so creepy and I loved the teeth. To make it look more ancient I would put golden dots around the eyes or put black dots around the eyes. I thought this project was amazingly awesome. I wish they had the colour of the sky.” ~Tareq

“We made ancient Peruvian masks with clay. The first day we made the template. We used a paper plate to put the mouth on and that was made of newspaper. Everything was made of newspaper except for the paper plate. We added two eyes, then we got a block of clay. Then we smoothed the edges. That was not enough so we used a rolling pin and turned it into a pancake. We patted, patted and patted. That’s all for the first day. The second day we painted it. These are the colours that I used: turquoise, gold and dark red. Four people added tongues to their masks, not counting me. I had a tongue too. If you want to know how many counting me add one more, which is five. If I did it agin what I would change is I would make the mouth not as weird as what it is in it’s position right now. In fact it looks like you’re thinking kind of and I would curl the tongue a little more. My highlights were painting the mask and cutting out the eyes.” ~Will

Thank GOODNESS for the PAINTING shirt some of us brought … and the ones Mrs. Adamson lent to us!

“Hello blog readers! How are you today? Good? Yay!!! Me too! Today will be talking about the ancient Peruvian masks that we made! They are SO beautiful! I’ll start by telling you step by set. So, first we started by getting some newpaper and masking tape … wait … get it? MASKING tape! Ha ha ha! You use masking tape for masks! Ha ha! Okay back to work! We placed the newspaper and masking tape on to our plates and we made eyebrows, noses, mouths, lips, bulgy eyes or see-through eyes, teeth and a tongue. so, we placed those on the plate to start our structures. Then later we got our clay and it was shaped like a square then we smoothed the edges like a hamburger. LOL! But be careful! They are VERY fragile! Then we rolled it out and tried not to drive over the edge so then it wouldn’t go too too flat! Eventually we had to paint which was yesterday! It was so much fun!!! One of my highlights was designing the details with different colours! One of my lowlights was putting on the details with the toothpick because it was REALLY hard! Something I would do differently is the eyes because they kinda look creepy with the toothpick outline that I did! My favourite part of the process was painting because that’s when it all comes together! The part I’m most proud of is the eyebrows and nose because they just stand out SO well! My advice for others would be to add lots of details because it would just look so fabulous!!! And, it would stand out lots!) So, thanks for coming to the show! Bye! Wait!!! I need a WISH! Umm. Oh! One wish is that I wish that we could war the masks like they had a rubber band around them. A thought is I thought we would make them not like those colours but it kinda looks colourful! A memory would be painting because you just did whatever you felt like with expression!” ~Vivian

They are really BEGINNING to look like ancient artifacts!

“Guess what we’ve been doing? Making ancient Peruvian masks! The part I’m proud of is the painting because it looks cool. I wonder if I can change the painting on my mask. I think an archaeologist dug up my ancient Peruvian mask.” ~Beyazit

“Hi there! We just finished doing our spectacular ancient Peruvian masks! Here are some of my highlights: painting all of the designs and when you painted them every time you did it started to come to life and it got more and more exciting. It felt like you were an archaeologist digging for ancient Peruvian masks at the top of Machu Picchu but you had to wait very patiently to find them. Ya … that’s not true but still they’re priceless irreplaceable ancient authentic Peruvian masks. My favourite part out of the whole process was painting because the colours that I chose were turquoise, gold and black. What I would do differently next time is I would pick the navy blue, silver and bronze because when I saw other people’s masks it was a good mix together. But, all of our masks are unique and that also why I like them! Here’s a list of some of my lowlights: having to wait  patiently for it to cook in the kiln and rolling it was hard because you could not roll off the clay. That’s all I have to say for the ancient Peruvian mask! Bye for now!” ~Maya

“One day Connie and Gordon came in to teach me and my class how to make ancient Peruvian masks. I was so excited I wouldn’t wait. It was so much fun! We used newspaper, masking tape and a paper plate. And, then we put the newspaper on the paper plate in the shape we wanted it to be like. After that Connie gave everyone a block of clay and a rolling pin.” ~Alinah

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As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life.

~John Lubbock

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

From Recycling to MAGIC … the Creation of our Marionette Structures!

The artist’s world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep.

~Paul Strand

We have JUST finished the STRUCTURAL part of our multi-disciplinary inquiry! We have already learned SO much, through art, science, social studies, reading, writing, math, collaborating, compromising AND paying it forward, and NOW we’re ready to bring our structures HOME! It’s hard to believe that we’ve accomplished SO much in SUCH a short period of time! We CAN’T wait to research more information about the traditional clothing from India, Peru, Tunisia or Ukraine, with our FAMILIES … and to make our clothing together at home!

Oh my GOODNESS … there is just SO much ROLLING and CRUMPLING and TAPING!

What follows are our reflections on BUILDING the structural bodies of our marionettes, using recyclables, and STRENGTHENING our structures with papier mache. We’ve discovered SO much about building with a variety of materials! We hope you enjoy:

And MEASURING … who KNEW that building these structures was going to be THIS much work!

“We started our marionettes and I was away a day because I was sick so my partner showed me. My highlight was making the body and the arm links. Also, my lowlight was making the head. The hardest part was making the marionette! I had to do layers to make it strong.” ~Daniel

“We started papier maching a few days ago. At first the glue felt really slimy and I did not like the glue. I thought papier maching was pretty fun after all. A highlight was that I liked the glue and I got used to it. A lowlight was that when I papier mached over the mouth I could not do it well so when I papier mached over the mouth I could not really see the mouth. The most hardest part was to do the papier mache over the mouth because I wanted to see the mouth but the papier mache was covering it. The easiest part was taping because I like to do it and I like to rip the tape. The part I am most proud of is the body except for the head. I was most proud of the body because the tape and three coats of papier mache are just perfect! The thing that I would do differently next time is maybe the head.” ~Tareq

Building these structures took SO much team work, cooperation and paying it forward!

“My highlight was building the head, eyebrows, eyelids, nose, cheekbones and mouth because, well, I liked how we papier mache it. It was fun! I don’t know how but it was crazy fun for me! This is why papier maching was fun for me: because of the crunching and rolling and ripping! My lowlight was having to touch the icky paste. In my opinion the paste felt like goo! This is why touching the paste was my lowlight. Because it is mushy or squishy and I don’t like mushy or squishy! The hardest part was rolling the paper towel tubes because rolling hard paper towel tubes is not easy. Trust me. The easiest part was making the eyelids because it was pretty easy making the bottom of the eyelids and then overlapping it with the top eyelid. What I’m most proud of is dipping my fingers in the mushy, squishy paste because I told you earlier how I hate mushy and squishy stuff, but I did it anyways! I’m so proud of myself! What I would do differently next time is smoothing it better because I don’t think that I was paying a lot of attention to smoothing the tape or papier mache. If someone is going to do a marionette and they wanted my advise then I’ll say this: you’re going to need a partner that you work well with. You’re going to need to smooth. There is going to be a huge mess!” ~Evelyn S

We make it LOOK easy because we’ve worked SO beautifully with our building partners … but … TRUST us … this was CHALLENGING!

“My highlight was getting the paper towel wet because I like how it felt. My lowlight was milking the paper because my paper kept ripping. The hardest part was making sure that my marionette eyelids were crossed. The easiest part was papier maching the tube because all you had to do is get a piece of paper wet with glue and put it on. The part I am most proud about is the whole marionette because I thought it was going to be so hard but my marionette turned out magnificent. My advice is do it because it’s very messy and awesome!” ~Colter

“My favourite part was everything because it was all so fun! My least favourite part was the cheekbones because I could not get the shape that I wanted. The hardest part was the cheekbones. The easiest part was the eyebrows. I am proud of the head because I like the shape.” ~Alinah

“Hi! I’m here to talk to you about papier mache structures! One of my highlights was when we got to make our marionette heads and when we also scrunched our heads. It was super, super, super fun!!! My second favourite highlight is when we did the chin because I got to make my chin so pointy and it was so fun. Now, let’s talk about my lowlight. One of them was when the flimsy masking tape wouldn’t stay put on my marionette structure. I guess that is my only lowlight because I had a wonderful time. The hardest part was the eyebrows because I got so confused. The easiest part was the taping because you just move you hands. I am most proud of my head. What I would do differently next time is my nose.” ~Arash

WHAT? Just LOOK at this mess … and we just cleaned ANOTHER one up!!!

“We are making marionettes in my class. My highlight is the head because it was easy to tape. My lowlight is the arm links and the shoulder links … taping them … because I tried to stick it but it was too strong. The hardest part is the nose because it was so hard to roll up and bend. The papier maching felt gross, slimy, smooshy and gooey! I’m most proud of the face because I think it looks SO good. How to make the paste is with flour, water and salt. Try it at home because it’s so fun. I loved it so much. The best part is … everything! Yes, everything!” ~Alex

“Hello! Today we are going to be talking about what it was like to papier mache! It was INCREDIBLE to do this experiment!!! It felt really ooey and gooey, like mud kind of! Why we papier mached it was because so we can STRENGTHEN it, to make it more STRONG, (so it wasn’t all flappy because if we didn’t papier mache it, it would’ve fallen apart!) We had to have these buckets that had the paste in it. Then, once we dipped it in, we had to milk it so our marionettes wouldn’t get all green and moldy. Luckily mine isn’t. My highlight was papier maching because it was all goopy and slimy but also cool! My lowlight was smoothing it out because the goop sticks to your hands and it takes longer to wash off! The hardest part was milking it because I got SO frustrated when it folded up! The easiest part was putting the paper on because I mean, it’s just basically putting it on! The part I am most proud of was my lips because it was surprisingly easy! The part I would do differently next time is smoothing it out a little more.” ~Vivian

It’s HARD to believe that THIS strong masterpiece was once a flimsy bunch of paper towel tubing and newspaper!

“So, I think so far building the marionettes was pretty fun because I’ll tell you my highlights and lowlights. My first highlight was building the arm links because it was a bit challenging to keep it curved when it was cut. This is my lowlight: when we made the heads because it was very, very hard since we had to crumple newspaper up and make a flat side and make a crumpled side twice. Here is another highlight: when we built the nostrils because it was pretty cool. It was a ball of newspaper that you stuck in the nose. The hardest part was building the eyebrows because it took me TEN tries and I still couldn’t do it so I asked for Mrs. Renton and that’s how I made the eyebrows. But, I actually didn’t make that – Mrs. Renton did! The easiest part was putting on the popsicle sticks because all you have to do it is grab a piece of tape and put a popsicle stick on!” ~Eric

“We are making marionettes! And, so far, we have made the structure and the head, the eyebrows and the nose. My favourite part of this marionette is rolling the big roll of newspaper. That was fun and I also liked doing the HEAD even thought it was HARD! My lowlight is how the eyebrows turned out because I think that my marionette looks surprised! The hardest part of the project is making all the facial features, including the head. The easiest part was taping. I am most proud of my head. If I get another chance to do this again I will probably make my marionette taller!” ~Katherine

Are you READY? THIS is where it gets MESSY!!!

“The most easiest part of the papier maching is the head and the tube. I am proud of the eyes and also the hands. I am not proud of the mouth. I might do my marionette different with the mouth. It was kind of fun to papier mache my marionette.” ~Beyazit

“Yes! We’re making our marionettes! I’m so excited! My favourite part was taping because the more tape I put on it looked more stronger! And, it was! My lowlight was rolling because I always made it too fat. The hardest part was … well … there was a lot … but the hardest part was probably scrunching up the head because you don’t want it too big or too small. I am most proud of my taping because there isn’t a lot of bumps. Something I would do differently next time is make the nose bigger. I love making marionettes!” ~Evelyn L

“It was so awesome! It was like I was a super hero making an automaton, but out of paper! The papier mache was VERY smooshy and when I was papier maching, my ear had an itch! I could not touch it because I had paste all over my hands. The paste made my skin dry.” ~Rowen

“We are working on a science project building our marionettes. We will use them for a play and it will take months to get it done. The first step is to make the arm links. The second is the shoulder blades. We have a long way to go, like papier mache. We did the head and the nose and also the eyebrows. The neck was the hardest. That was the lowlight that I had. I had a great time.” ~Nic

Yup … it’s OOEY and GOOEY … and STICKY and AWESOME!

“Don not FLICK anyone because it does TASTE bad … very bad! It could get in you eyes or nose! What did we do on our marionettes? We did eyes, eyelids, lips, (mouth), eyebrows, noses and everything else which was fantastic! We had to do three layers because the paper towel tube and the newspaper was not strong. Probably because it had been reused a lot of times. Now my marionette is super strong because I put so many layers of papier mache on it so it is way stronger.” ~Maya

“I had a great time building marionette structures. My favourite highlight was when we made the features on the head because that is when it actually started to look more like a person and the marionette started to look almost complete. It even looked like some of the features, like the eyebrows and nose, were real. I don’t even think that there was a part I didn’t like about it, but I did have some parts that I thought were challenging like rolling the paper towel tubes for the body, shoulder links and arm links. I also thought that rolling the newspaper really tight was a bit of a challenge because rolling something that thin so tight and small is challenging to me. The absolute hardest part for me was the nostrils because it took me a while until I was happy with the nostrils and the size of the newspaper ball. The easiest part was working with my partner; we were both polite and got along easily. I am most proud of the way my marionette looks now and how well I got along with my partner.A thing that I would do differently next time is change the shape of my head and make it a little smaller because I saw a lot of my classmates do it and I want to know how it would turn out on my marionette! I also think it is interesting. A wonder i have is why did we scrunch up the newspaper for the head and didn’t cut it? I also have a fact. Once these marionettes are at least 25 years old they will actually be artifacts of true masterpieces and works of art with hard work and soul put into them!” ~Payton

We worked AMAZINGLY through this ooey, gooey process!

“When we started papier mache I started to work on the bottom to the top. The paste felt REALLY ooey and gooey in the bucket. The paste is made out of flour, water and salt. The hard part was trying to make the cheekbones even but it didn’t work out for me. My marionette got strong by first taping it then papier maching its first layer, then second, then third.” ~Zari

“My favourite part was doing the mouth because I made my marionette look SO happy! My least favourite part was papier maching the body because it was very LONG and uncomfortable. The hardest part was the … well … nothing! The easiest part was … everything because all you needed to do was dip paper towel in the glue. The part I am most proud of is the mouth because he looks so HAPPY!” ~Reid

“The hardest part was making the little pieces of tape stick. The easiest part was putting the nose on. I’m most proud of my face shape. Something I would do differently is make bigger cheekbones. We had to strengthen the structure and smooth it. The paste that we used was ooey, gooey, icky, sticky, gross, slimy, smooshy, thick and runny! We had to mild and drag the mache over the bowl because if the mache is too wet it will mold! My favourite part was papier macheing over the nose. It felt cool to go all around the bumps. My lowlight was when I first put my hand in the bowl and after a few minutes my skin started to crinkle! But, I got used to it! The hardest part was to put the eyelids on. The easiest part was putting the mache over the lips.” ~Leah

WHAT? We have to do THREE layers? This is going to take us until NEXT year!!!

“My highlight was that we got to papier mache our marionettes and make it. My lowlight was that the papier mache was so gooey, icky, sticky and gross! YUCK! The hardest part was, I’m pretty sure EVERYTHING! Because the papier maching part was very hard! There were no easy parts because ALL the parts were VERY hard and even the papier maching was hard because we had to do three layers of papier mache! The part I’, most proud of is all the work I did because I worked very hard to make it. What I would do differently next time is to change my hands and my neck and my body because the body has some wrinkles on there and my neck is so small and also my hands. I put thick pieces of papier mache on some of my parts. I hope that my brother will be done his marionette soon because I really want to play with my marionette and my brothers!” ~Sky

“Oh Hi! I’m making a marionette. Here let me tell you what a marionette is. It’s like a puppet but it’s even better because we get to make them ourselves! My highlight was making the face because making the oval shape was a little hard. And, my lowlight, well … I don’t really have one because I loved every second of it and I think it looks great so far! The hardest part of this was making the oval shape and if you go back you will see that I said one of my highlights was doing this! The easiest part was rolling the eyebrows and the nose because I’m really good at rolling! I’m most proud of my head because I liked the shape that I made! But, I was really proud of everything. I would make the back oval bigger next time!” ~Connie

HEY! Now THAT’S an improvement … these eyes and lips really make it come to LIFE!

“Hello! I’m going to talk about my marionette! Okay, let’s get started! My highlight was taping everything because I like taping stuff together. My lowlight was putting the nostrils in because I wasn’t making the right size. The hardest part was making the head because I couldn’t get the flat and round front. (The teacher, Mrs. Renton, did it for me!) The easiest part was arm links because it was easy to roll it and tape it. I was most proud of my nose because I thought it would be ugly. What I would have done differently next time: I would have made my head higher because I barely have a neck. I forgot to tell you that I’m not finished my marionette.” ~Colby

“I really, really loved building the structures of our marionettes because building our marionettes is SO fun! My highlight was doing the hands. My lowlight was doing the arm links. The hardest part was the neck! The part I am most proud of is the face because it is pretty!” ~Brooklyn

Now for the eyelids and one LAST layer … our marionettes have become STRONG structures!

“My highlight is rolling the arms and the shoulder links but it was still a little hard. But, I handled it well. My favourite part was the nose because it looks funny but strong. My lowlight is trying to roll the newspaper and trying to get it so skinny … that was hard. The hardest part was the head.” ~Emily

“We finished doing our papier mache. It was really gooey and we used brown paper towel. Well, that’s over with! We did our lips a few days ago. It was a little hard to do the front of the head. It took us three days to do the papier maching. Papier mache is made with flour, water, salt and then you cook it. I think then you can use newspaper or I know you can use brown paper towel. It is better if you have brown paper towel because white paper towel wouldn’t look as good. This is how you use the paper towel to do the papier maching for marionettes and other things. I have never used newspaper. It has to be ripped into a certain size because  if it’s too big it will wrinkle. I think it is two inch squares. It can’t be too wet or it will mold.” ~Will

Enjoy our slideshows of building AND strengthening:

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All art requires courage.

~Anne Tucker

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , | 20 Comments

Now THIS was Even MORE Egg-Citing!

Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.

~Edwin Powell Hubble

We had SO much fun exploring the strength of our FIRST three eggs that we just HAD to test our theory!

We had QUESTIONS! So … let’s try to ANSWER them! Presenting … three NEW eggs!

We weighed our eggs to discover that ONE egg weighed 62.5 grams … and then we calculated the weight of THREE eggs: they were about 183 grams! WHAT? 183 grams could hold 23 TEXTBOOKS that weighed 25 KILOGRAMS?

What do they WEIGH? We wonder how many times their OWN weight they can hold … like ANTS!

That was just CRAZY! We REALLY wanted to find out if these mighty eggs could hold one of our students! We made some predictions. 

Let’s make some PREDICTIONS! Will these eggs HOLD the weight of an actual GRADE THREE STUDENT?

Some of us predicted yes … some said no … and SOME sat on the fence and predicted “maybe yes, maybe no”! WHAT? YOU can’t do that!!!

are we READY? Are the EGGS ready?

We got our poor unsuspecting eggs ready for their BIG challenge! Many of us were a BIT nervous! Would we get SPRAYED? 

Hold me TIGHT, Mrs. Renton … don’t DROP me!!!

CAREFUL, Mrs. Renton … hold her TIGHT! Set her down GENTLY! We were SO nervous!

Coming in for a LANDING … make sure your feet touch down at EXACTLY the SAME time!!! Fingers crossed!

3 – 2 – 1 … we have TOUCH-DOWN!!! Look CAREFULLY at Mrs. Renton’s hands … they’re …

Notice Mrs. Renton’s HANDS? They’re not even HOLDING her! SUCCESS! The eggs WILL hold a student!

… WHAT??? They’re NOT even HOLDING her!!! WOW! Let’s PUSH our luck!!! Let’s try someone just a LITTLE heavier!!!

Okay … let’s push our luck with a slightly HEAVIER student! What do you think?

OH, oh … was THAT a CRACK we heard? Oh NO! Here come the WONDERS again!!! MAYBE the eggs were ALREADY stressed with the FIRST test … could they have been WEAKENED?

Alas … it was NOT to be! But WAIT … we wonder if it’s because the eggs were weakened by holding our FIRST student … MAYBE if we tried FRESH eggs they would have a better chance!!!

What IS it with us? One discovery leads to MORE wonders!!! We wonder if NEW eggs could hold that heavier student! WHAT? We WONDER what FOUR eggs could hold!!! No WONDER so MANY manmade structures are ALSO made using the dome and arch shapes. We learn SO much from nature. Mr. Renton is NOT going to be happy about THIS week’s new shopping list!!!

Science does not know its debt to imagination.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments

Now, THAT was EGG-Citing!

Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why.

~Bernard Baruch

Meet … the HUMBLE egg … great for EATING, wonderful for making fake GEODES … and NOW … fabulous for … holding very HEAVY loads! What, you ask? It’s TRUE … you DEFINITELY read that right. Read on and see what WE discovered! *A VERY special thank you to our photographer, Mrs. Breen, for capturing MORE of our CRAZY antics today, and to Mrs. M. and Mrs. Jensen, for lending us their awesome classroom scales!

The HUMBLE egg … and two of his little buddies … but … where ARE they? GUESS! (Hint: the look on our teacher’s face and the plastic bags MIGHT be a good clue. Look CLOSELY!)

“I think that three eggs will hold three math textbooks without breaking. The three eggs really held twenty-five textbooks. I weigh 26 kilograms. I think I was as heavy because the textbooks weigh twenty-five kg! OMGosh!!! But, I would break the eggs. I wonder how much does an egg weigh?” ~Beyazit

“I think that 3 eggs will hold 6 math textbooks without breaking. 23 textbooks, three eggs with six bottle tops they can hold. I am 26 kgs. 23 textbooks equals 25 kgs. I am 1 kg bigger than the textbooks. I was so scared. I almost couldn’t look because I was so scared. We measured the books with a scale. We had two scales. One of them was an old fashioned dial scale and a digital scale. The old fashioned scale worked the best.” ~Will

“I think that three eggs will hold 47 math textbooks without breaking. I was shocked. I think we could get into the Guinness Book of World Records. I was 24 away. It was awesome. I can’t believe three eggs can hold 25 kg, (kilograms) or 53 pounds. I also can’t believe I am 43 kg – 97 pounds. Isn’t it unbelievable? Did you know that an egg is a dome shape and it makes it stronger so that’s how three eggs can hold 23 heavy math textbooks. If you think an egg is weak, you are wrong.” ~Arash

Okay … that’s SHOCKING … we’re up to ELEVEN old math textbooks! Are you SURE those are eggs under there???

“I think that three eggs will hold 9 math textbooks. We are back! Yay! I was only 14 away from my answer!!! The actual answer was 23. I think that if I would do this again I would pick a number closer to 23 next time so my mom and dad don’t know! Yesterday we did the egg challenge and today we are measuring how heavy all of the 23 books were together! I will tell you how the explosion happened. We were at 24 books and all of the sudden BOOM!!! The books slid all over on one side and crack, crack, crack. The three eggs cracked. The pressure was so hard that two of the eggs were stuck in the bottle caps! And, the cap that did not have an egg stuck in it was cracked! Du, du, du … I was SO shocked that three … I mean THREE … eggs could hold up 23 heavy and BIG textbooks!” ~Katherine

“I think that three eggs will hold four math textbooks without breaking. The answer is, drum roll please, TWENTY-THREE! Wow! I’m shocked! Holy smokes! I weigh twenty-seven kilograms. I know that because we weighed ourselves on an old fashioned dial scale. The first one did not work well and it was a glitchy one! So frustrating! We discovered that three normal eggs that have been refrigerated and some kind of cap of some sort of bottles … six of them. We did some stacking from 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 … it collapsed and there was a big explosion and that was the end of our science experiment! 🙁 Wonders: why are eggs so strong? Are egg shells stronger than a hard boiled egg?” ~Maya

Yup … LOOK! There they ARE! I WONDER if we can hear them CRACKING?

“I think that three eggs will hold 3 math textbooks without breaking. The three eggs actually held 23 textbooks altogether. I was so excited because Mrs. Renton said to get in a circle. Then, she handed B bottle caps and raw eggs because we watched Bill Nye do an egg experiment. I will tell you all about it. So, you need eggs, bottle caps, books or bricks to get started. So, put the eggs on wherever you are doing it … make sure it is a flat surface. Put the bottle caps on the table then put the egg in the cap then put the other cap on top of the egg and then put the books on top.” ~Emily

“I think three eggs will hold two math textbooks without breaking. The answer is actually … 23! I was a LOT off but the good thing is that I tried! 🙂 This experience was SO MUCH FUN!!! Yesterday we did a challenge called the egg challenge! I was 34 kilograms! I actually thought I would be WAY more! So, basically what we did was we put three eggs with bottle caps on the top and bottom. I wonder if I was six foot five how much I would weigh? So we put a baking sheet on the bottom so the eggs wouldn’t go ka-boom and all over the carpet. I LOVED this experience because I thought it was AWESOME how the eggs collapsed. Then we put plastic bags along the sides because Mrs. Renton would probably FREAK out! We also put a plastic bag on the very first one because then that one would not get all gloopy! We made it up to 23 math textbooks!” ~Vivian

“I think that three eggs can hold five math textbooks without breaking. So, I weigh 28 kg. I think you want to know how much 23 books can weigh. It is 25 kg! Boom! The digital scale didn’t work so then we used the old fashioned dial scale.” ~Eric

“I think that three eggs will hold six math textbooks without breaking. The total was … 23! I went to get two more books and then it BROKE! Mrs. Renton was TERRIFIED! I said gross when it broke.” ~Zari

WHAT??? That’s SIXTEEN old math textbooks. You’ve GOT to be KIDDING us! Get some more plastic bags out … this is BOUND to be MESSY!!!

“I think that three eggs will hold five math textbooks without breaking. The REAL answer was 23! OMG! I was super duper SHOCKED! When I saw the stack of books I called it the textbook tower! I discovered that the 23 books are 25 kg! I weigh 28 kg! The eggs will break with me. Once the eggs broke … all the books fell to death! I called it squashed! Even a bottle cap had a crack! The eggs risked their lives holding books! The digital scale was … HORRIBLE! It did not work … but the old fashioned dial scale did work! We should of put it on World Records 2017! Then everybody could see it! I wonder how many THICK books it can hold? I wish the eggs could hold me!” ~Colby

“I think that three eggs will hold four math textbooks without breaking. Three eggs can hold 23 books! WOW!!! That’s a world record! Once we put the 24th book on it collapsed! 23 math textbooks weighs 25 kg and 53 pounds. I weigh 31 kg. We put so much pressure on that the eggshell got sucked into the bottle caps. I wonder hoe many textbooks four eggs can hold? I guess 43 math books. We weighed the math books with an old fashioned dial scale because the digital scale was being naughty! 🙂 ” ~Reid

“I think that three eggs will hold ten math textbooks without breaking. It held 23 TEXT BOOKS!!! I was 13 away. I was so close. It was super fun! Then the next day we measured the text books. After that we measured the class. I was 29 kg. The text books were 25 kg.” ~Alinah

WHAT??? TWENTY-TWO text books? No. This HAS to be an optical illusion. Some of us CAN’T even bare to LOOK … but we’re NOT moving BACK!

“I think that three eggs will hold five or six math textbooks without breaking. Wow! It took 23 textbooks and I predicted 5 or 6 and it wasn’t close. It was amazing! OMG. I weigh 25 kg. I didn’t see the eggshell crack because the textbook slid in my view. I discovered that the three eggs can hold 23 textbooks. It must be heavy. We used a cookie tray.” ~Daniel

“I think that three eggs will hold 8 math textbooks without breaking. The eggs really held 23 textbooks. On the 24th textbook it tumbled over! At 11 books, Mrs. Renton freaked out that everything would get ruined so she put plastic bags all around the tin. We weighed all 23 textbooks. 23 textbooks was 25 kg or 53 pounds.” ~Leah

“I think that three eggs will hold four math textbooks without breaking. I was shocked that three eggs could hold 23 textbooks! I never knew eggs were that strong. I was surprised that I was 33 kg. I wonder how many kgs eggs are. It scared me when it cracked!” ~Brooklyn

So … did those three eggs hold twenty-THREE or TWENTY-four? What a MESS! A GLORIOUS mess!

“I think three eggs will hold 8 textbooks without breaking. Three eggs could hold 23 math textbooks! What??? I wonder how many eggs you need to hold 1000 textbooks! I think you would need about 100000! I think three eggs could hold me because three eggs could hold 23 textbooks. I could probably go on three eggs and they wouldn’t break! I can’t believe that some of the eggshells were shoved in so hard that it was stuck in the bottle cap and one of the bottle caps even had a crack in it! WHAT? If we didn’t have the tray the carpet would have had egg yolk on it and that would be disgusting!” ~Sky

“I think that three eggs will hold 3 math textbooks without breaking. Oh my gosh!!! Three eggs held 23 textbooks. Isn’t it amazing? And guess what. The pressure was so BIG the eggshells were stuck to the lid!!! And, one of the lids b-b-broke!!! Oh yeah … I was so scared I pulled my cushion and hugged it so tight I think it nearly popped! Mrs. Renton couldn’t even CARRY that many books!!! I, did I tell you that maybe half of my class freaked out! I nearly got goose bumps! The next day we weighed how much kg the math text books weighed and guess what? It weighed about 25 kg!!! Mrs. Renton weighed our class. I weighed 44 kg. Yup. There you have it! I wonder how eggs are pretty strong. I mean, I thought they were very delicate. I also wonder how can scales know how much you weigh? And, here are some of my discoveries: one is that three eggs can hold … drum roll … 23 math textbooks! My second discovery is when the pressure is so hard on the eggs, the eggs will be stuck on the lids! Now I’ll tell you what happened when the eggs broke … and what happened to the textbooks … they collapsed!” ~Evelyn S

SMART thinking, Mrs. Renton … putting the FIRST text book into a plastic bag kept the ENTIRE mess away from those books!

“I think that three eggs will hold 6 or more textbooks without breaking! Wow! Wow! Wow! They held 23 textbooks! It was so amazing! The egg was stuck in the caps. The shell was kind of broken but somehow the cap was also broken. Wow! It was so nerve wracking to watch. I wonder if four eggs can hold more textbooks.” ~Alex

“I think the eggs will hold six math textbooks without breaking. The answer was 23 textbooks. I was 17 off. My guess was 6. I think this should be in the Guinness Book of World Records. 23 textbooks weigh 25 kg or 53 pounds. There was so much pressure that the eggshell didn’t want to come out of the cracked lid. The mom of the eggs must have been a bodybuilder because the eggs can hold 25 kgs!” ~Colter

The pressure on those eggs was SO great that the eggshells were STUCK in the caps and HARD to REMOVE!

“I think it will hold four books. But, it held 23 books. Boy am I impressed. I think it should be in the world record book! Sadly, we couldn’t see the eggs. But, it was SO cool! It was so nerve wracking! I was excited but nervous it was unbelievable that it was 23 books! I was 20 kg. I was so, so, so shocked that the books weighed more than me! I would never believe that 23 books are 5 kg more. 23 books are 25 kg and I am 20 kg. I bet their mother was really strong! I wonder how many eggs you need to carry 100 books?” ~Evelyn L

“I think the eggs will hold four math textbooks without breaking. And … I was shocked with this result. The famous Guinness World Records worthy result is … drum roll … 23 big heavy math textbooks and there were only two textbooks left to go through before the eggs “scrambled” out of their shells! Today we got a digital scale from Mrs. M. but the scale was cranky and wouldn’t weigh the right amount. So, we sent the great and fearless May to get a new and better scale from Mrs. Jensen! And, when Maya retrieved the great and mighty scale and brought it back to the classroom it was a better scale, but it wasn’t very new because it was a … drum roll … old-fashioned dial scale! We tried weighing the 23 bottle cap and eggshell cracking, egg scrambling and experiment collapsing textbooks! And, the final result was … drum roll … 25 cracking kilograms, (53 pounds), is what those mighty body builder eggs held up! But, let me tell you that if you try this experiment it might be exciting but it will also be nerve wracking! Materials you would need if you tried this at home and were as worried as our teacher about making a mess, (PS that is REALLY worried): you will need a tin cooking sheet that you don’t mind smelling like eggs. Several heavy things the same weight, three eggs, six bottle caps and plastic bags, (and I mean a LOT of plastic bags to surround the eggs)! You stack it by putting the tin cooking sheet at the bottom and putting bottle caps on the top and bottom of the eggs and stack the heavy objects on top! And, record what happens because it may be Guinness World Record book worthy … or … just truly INCREDIBLE!” ~Payton

Anyone UP for some … scrambled EGGS? Now THAT was egg-citing!

“I think three eggs can hold five math textbooks without breaking but the answer is 23! It was like a horror movie … a parody of “if the log rolls over we will die” song was stuck in my head which made it even worse! But, it was more like “if the eggs roll over we will FREAK out! The 23 textbooks weighed 25 kg and I weigh 39 kg. Even on the first book I could feel it crashing. I wonder if the egg went to the gym!!!” ~Rowen

Hmm … the digital scale seems JUST a little “glitchy”. It MIGHT be time for some NEW batteries! Let’s give the OLD-SCHOOL scale a try!

“I think that three eggs will hold three math textbooks without breaking. The eggs could actually hold 23 textbooks! I’m impressed. Give them a big clap!!! I was so shocked! Okay, I guess you don’t know the story. So, this is what happened. I was ready to see what we were doing and I saw we had eggs. One second I have not told you how much I weigh. I weigh 23 kilograms. Now, back to the story. I had no idea what we were doing until I heard Payton say  … the EGG challenge! I was so excited! So, we used three eggs and six bottle caps. We stacked textbooks on top. The first one we put in a plastic bag. I got scared after three. Then, after a little bit, it got to eleven and I got REALLY scared! Even after that it go to TWENTY! I got SUPER scared. A few minutes later it got to 24 and I heard CRASH … so … it was twenty-three! I was 20 off! I hope you LIKED this! Bye!” ~Connie 

Wow … 23 textbooks … 25 kg! Let’s see how the REST of us compare! 

We wonder:

  • how much each egg weighs … so we can figure out how many times their OWN weight they can hold!
  • how we can rig this experiment so that we can see if three NEW eggs can hold some of our lighter students … SAFELY … because a few of us weigh even LESS than twenty-three math textbooks!

A sense of curiosity is nature’s original school of education.

~Smiley Blantonq

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , | 17 Comments

Hands-On Learning Through Artifacts

People are pretty much alike. It’s only that our differences are more susceptible to definition than our similarities.

~Linda Ellerbee

Woo HOO! The Fort CALGARY kit is here! Time to explore artifacts from Ukraine, Tunisia, India and Peru!

We have been lucky enough to have the Fort Calgary kit this week. It is FILLED with treasures and artifacts from the four countries we explore in Social Studies: Peru, Ukraine, Tunisia and India! Imagine our classroom, FILLED with the traditional sounds of EACH of these countries … and a RIP ROARING fireplace … snapping and cracking on the SmartBoard … because it’s been so FRIGHTFULLY cold lately!

There is NOTHING like actually SEEING and HANDLING and looking DEEPLY to help us understand … and wonder even MORE!

What follows are some of our reflections! We hope you enjoy them!

“Oh, was THAT so spectacular, doing the tri-folds, clothes and artifacts! My favourite part for the tri-folds and the clothes was trying on the clothing. My favourite clothing was the Ukrainian because the skirt was the part that was beautiful because it was long and white. The thing I would not like is to get it dirty or muddy!  I would not want to clean it! I wonder: why do they wear red and white? Now, going to Tunisia! In the desert rose, gypsum, found in the desert, the hand cymbals, gold and shiny and there are camels. I think they are goldish brownish but still friendly, I think. Now to India. In India there is a lot of stuff! Like, the rosewood flute, clay drum, gold necklace, (not real gold)! My wonders are: where do they get the gold?! Where do they get the clay? What other celebrations do the Ukrainians do? How do they get most of the stuff to shape? Now, Peru: parrot flute, seed jewelry, dolls, weaving, hojotos, (car tire sandals), huiro gourd, coin purses, pan pipes, ocerina, and ekeko for good fortune!”  ~Maya

“My especially FANTASTIC highlight was probably looking at Peru and looking at the artifacts and playing the pan pipes. My lowlight was probably choosing which country to sketch and look at the cool artifacts. My favourite artifact was the pan pipes because whenever you went side to side it was like up and down. My favourite tri-fold was the Indian one because the clothing looked so AWESOME and I loved drawing them. My wonder about the artifacts are from Ukraine and the artifact is the matrosha … and how the big one had like funny hair and a funny moustache! 😉 I was surprised how Tunisia had only TWO artifacts! India had quite a bit of things. There were plates of the Taj Mahal! Now for my WISH! I wish there could have been more things for Tunisia and less things for Peru. My hope is that we do something like this again! My memory is when I am an old lady I will look at my sketchbook and I will see all the sketches I did of the artifacts. 🙂 Well, I guess that’s a wrap! Thanks for coming to the artifact show!” ~Vivian

“The Fort Calgary kit was AWESOME! There was TONS of stuff from India, Peru, Ukraine and Tunisia! My favourite instrument from Peru was the wooden pan pipe because when you blow it it makes a beautiful sound. We had tri-folds that had holes on their faces so we could peek through them and the teacher could take pictures. My favourite tri-fold was Tunisia because it had a CAMEL!!! Did you know people in Peru that live in the wild wear car tire sandals? Part of the tri-fold we got to stand in front of it and wear their traditional clothing. What I didn’t like about the kit was the boys’ Tunisia clothing because it looks like you’re wearing a DRESS! So, I guess this is it! So, bye!” ~Reid

The musical instruments from our four countries share similarities … but … they are DIFFERENT as WELL!

“The Fort Calgary kit has four countries: Tunisia, India, Peru and Ukraine. Ukraine is the country I’ll make my marionette out of because the matroshka nesting doll is my favourite artifact from Ukraine. The sad thing when I was there was the Tunisia table only had three things. I LOVE Peru, (not as much as Ukraine, though)! “~Zari

“I thought the Fort Calgary kit was awesome because of all the cool things. I enjoyed all of them. There was not one thing I didn’t like.” ~Alinah

“I loved the Taj Mahal plate and the glass box and the desert rose. I wish the Fort Calgary kit was still here! Some people from Peru wear car tire sandals.” ~Beyazit

“My class is learning about our four countries. They are India, Peru, Ukraine and Tunisia. We got a kit from fort Calgary. We used five table sets. One of the countries used two table sets. That’s why there were five table sets. I learned lots.” ~Will

 “I was walking into class and then … Indian, Ukrainian, Peruvian and Tunisian clothing were there and pieces of painted cardboard with holes in them, (tri-folds). COOL! There were many colours and sizes of the clothing. Mrs. Renton went around and took pictures with her iPad. Day two was spectacular. I played a pan pipe. YAY!” ~Rowen

Can you IMAGINE walking, even in COLD weather, in the Andes Mountains … in these recycled car tires SANDALS? They’re called Hojotas!

“I really liked trying on the clothes from all the countries we’ve been studying and also poking my head through the tri-folds because when I wear the clothing it feels like I’m actually there and when I put my head through the tri-folds I feel like a different person. My favourite artifact is the dolls because they are SO cute! My favourite doll is the one that’s holding three little dolls and a little pan pipe. My favourite tri-fold is the Indian one and the Peruvian one because the Indian girl had the most BEAUTIFUL earrings! But, the Peru girl looked so good in the clothing she was wearing!” ~Connie

“Wow! I learned that in Ukraine they speak East Slavic! That’s neat because I wondered that. My favourite clothing was Ukrainian because it had lots of accessories, like a skirt. We had to wear gloves because then we won’t get oil on the artifacts. I wonder where they get the artifacts from? I also learned that sopilka means flute. I hope we have enough bottles for our marionettes. Mrs. Renton has a lot of artifacts for Peru!” ~Evelyn L.

“My favourite tri-fold is the Ukrainian one because the clothes feel very soft and I like soft things. I wish there was more added to the clothes. I hope the Ukrainian tri-folds and the other tri-folds do not get ripped or damaged. The Ukrainian clothes were very pouffy. I liked it. I liked that day very much. We even sketched the tri-folds.” ~Tareq

“We did the Fort Calgary kit. Our first station was Ukraine. Katherine and I were first. I wore the boy’s clothing. The boy’s pants were pouffy. And, the shirt was nice. And, next was Peru. It had lots of cool stuff, like a parrot flute and seed jewelry. Next was India. They had a gold necklace. Last was Tunisia. It had lots of camels and desert roses.” ~Nic

The Fort Calgary kit has some LOVELY artifacts … and we discovered that Mrs. Renton doesn’t just collect ROCKS!!! She has a HUGE collection of treasures … especially from India and Peru!

“When we had the Fort Calgary kit we got to try on traditional clothing from India, Peru, Ukraine and Tunisia and there were boy and girl clothing. And, some of them were pretty funny! Like, the Tunisia clothing for girls and the Ukraine clothing for boys. The boys had big saggy pants and the girls for Tunisia clothing had a skirt-ish like jumper. The other day we went to the centres and we sketched the items and there were five instruments. Hand cymbals and pan pipes is all I remember about the instruments. I loved the sound of the pan pipes but we could not touch it with our mouths.” ~Katherine

“I love, love, love, love, love when we got to put on the Indian clothing, the Peruvian clothing and the Tunisian clothing. I love the Ukrainian boy’s pants because it’s like you are in a hip hop class! It was very, very funny!!! I wonder why the men in India and Ukraine and Tunisia only wear hats. I wish that I could go to India and see the Taj Mahal. I hope that people in India are having a very good life. I remember that in Tunisia there are a lot of camels. I wish I had not missed the artifacts. I was so sad. I wish that some of the girl’s clothing was some of the boy’s.” ~Arash

“My favourite was sketching all the beautiful stuff. I would like to live in Ukraine because there are lots of pretty clothes. A lowlight is that there are barely any things from Tunisia. I would make my marionette Indian because I love the jewelry. And the bindi on their foreheads. I liked Ukraine because I love the things on their heads. I never knew that desert rose is from Tunisia. I love that clothing!” ~Emily

Imagine BEAUTIFUL Peruvian pan pipe music and a FIREPLACE in the background as we explore these amazing artifacts!

 “Wow! We have been doing so much with our four countries in the last few days, that it is CRAZY! My absolute favourite artifacts that we have used to learn about our countries are the Taj Mahal in the glass box from India because of the beautiful architecture , the wooden pan pipes from Peru because of how they sound when you blow into it, the pysanky from Ukraine because of the designs, (I wonder why Ukrainians put so much work into the eggs), and the hand cymbals from Tunisia because I want to know how they work. From the first day we did the Fort Calgary kit we wore the traditional clothing from our countries and stuck our heads through the tri-folds with painting of the people that live in the four countries we study. My favourite tri-fold was the Ukrainian tri-fold because of the colours and the clothing they wore and I loved how the girl’s traditional clothing felt and looked! A highlight was definitely getting to try on all of the girl’s traditional clothing from all of the four beautiful and outstanding countries that we study! Something that I’m sad about is that we don’t get to do this every year and that we only get to use one kit for one day, but I enjoyed it SO much! An interesting thing that I found out is that Ollantaytambo, in Peru, used to be an important cit because of the Inca tribe, but now it is not as important as it used to be! Something that I wonder about the Tunisian clothing is why do the girls wear the long sleeves and the jumpers over them and why do the boys wear a long blue lacy designed tunic, (but they’re not always exactly like that one). And, a wonder I have about the artifacts is why did the Peruvians use plants to make into instruments and not wood?” ~Payton

“I want to go to the Taj Mahal to see how big the Taj Mahal is!!! Big, big, big I think! In the Fort Calgary kit there is a lot of instruments. My favourite is the wooden pan pipe because it is a cool instrument and you blow into it.” ~Alex

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“My favourite artifact is the gold necklace and the little dolls that you open over and over and over and it gets smaller when you open it. The little doll is my favourite because you can have a race with somebody and see who will win by making it smaller until it’s really smaller and smaller and smaller. The gold necklace was my favourite because I think that my mom might want to wear it and she might look really pretty when she wears it!! My favourite tri-fold was the Indian tri-fold because I was wondering what the Taj Mahal would look like. I wish that there was a desert rose for everyone to keep! I wonder why we don’t need to use the museum gloves on Mrs. Renton’s stuff and Roger’s stuff but we need to use the museum gloves on the other stuff? I wonder what people use the key chains for? The peacock key chain looks pretty and I didn’t know that there can be bells on a key chain! I wonder if there are any diamonds in any of the countries? I would make my marionette from India because I can have lots of jewelry on my marionette!” ~Sky

“Hi! It is wonderful to share my adventures with you! A highlight was actually being able to see what they got to use in our countries. A lowlight was not being able to see much stuff from the Fort Calgary kit with the artifacts, but, at least Mrs. Renton had stuff too! I really like India because they have very nice jewelry and clothing. I think I will make my marionette an Indian.” ~Leah

“The Fort Calgary kit was cool! There were five centres to go to and I went to India first. I wonder how they make clay drums and the rice bags. Then, I went to the Ukrainian station next. I saw the painted eggs and I went to sketch it but it looked too hard to do so I did Tunisia. I saw some pretty cool stuff like the desert rose. And Peru! I wonder if they do weaving? I would love to live in Ukraine because I love painting eggs!” ~Daniel

“In India many people wear gold necklaces because they LOVE it! Sometimes Indian people play clay drums and they wear them around their necks. I really love dressing up and helping the other people in my group. I would make my marionette Indian because I love the clothing!” ~Brooklyn

“My highlight was dressing up in the clothing because they had interesting designs. My lowlight was there were only four clothes. My favourite artifact was the pan pipe. My favourite tri-fold was the Peru one because it was interesting! My favourite clothing was the Indian clothing because I loved the hat. I wish there were more artifacts for Tunisia! I hope there is another Fort Calgary kit. My favourite memory is the nesting doll because there’s something smaller in each one!” ~Eric

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The longer we live, the more we find we are like other persons.

~Oliver Wendell Holmes


Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Exploring Crystals … Looking Deeply.

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.

~Ellen Parr

The Lost Crystal Caves ... WORTH the time to watch!

The Lost Crystal Caves … WORTH the time to watch!

It’s hard to believe that it is mid November … and … we are STILL rock crazy! We’ve learned SO much about the layers of the earth … and zoomed in even closer to learn more about the rocks that make up the crust beneath our feet. We’ve even learned about what dirt is made of … and SAND! Each and EVERY day at least ONE person walks into class with a special rock just BEGGING to share its brilliance with everyone else!


An AMAZING crystal made at home!

Our latest focus has been on crystals. We’ve learned about the tiny crystals we are spotting in our rocks, the crystals we’ve purchased at Gem and Mineral events and the AMAZING crystals you can find in the Lost Crystal Caves in Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico! They are BREATH taking and SO big that they DWARF an ADULT standing beside them!

ANOTHER crystal from home. We just can't get ENOUGH of rocks and crystals!

ANOTHER crystal from home. We just can’t get ENOUGH of rocks and crystals!

While we watched an amazing National Geographic video all about the Lost Crystal Caves, we learned how to sketchnote! Sketchnoting is a creative way of capturing the interesting information we don’t want to forget while we research or listen. Mrs. Renton even shared how she uses sketchnoting in HER learning!

I do, we do, you do.

I do, we do, you do.

We also discovered that there are TONS of interesting ways to create your OWN crystals … some of them YUMMY … some of them just SO beautiful! We experimented with borax crystals. Some of us chose to make geodes and some decided to make snowflakes. We hope you enjoy this post with all its highlights and photos!

Wow! We have some TALENTED sketchnote artists!

Wow! We have some TALENTED sketchnote artists!

First … the process of making our borax solution:

We needed borax, boiling water, clean jars, egg shells that were seeded with borax, spoons and food colouring if we were making geodes. We needed pipe cleaners for snowflakes.

We needed borax, boiling water, clean jars, egg shells that were seeded with borax, spoons and food colouring if we were making geodes. We needed pipe cleaners for snowflakes.

“The geodes are so, so cool! The geodes are shockingly cool! I wish my geode wasn’t broken. I was so excited about the big reveal!” ~Alex

“Two things I really loved about learning about crystals are that I loved making our magnificent geodes! They turned out spectacularly and were chalked full of borax crystals! Another star was sketchnoting about the absolutely gorgeous Lost Crystal Caves. I did just about four whole pages of interesting things in my sketch book. I wish we could do it every year and all year! An awesome memory is watching the Lost Crystal Caves video. I wonder how long people have been making borax geodes?” ~Payton

“My two stars were making the geodes. It was fun. And my second one was seeing how spectacular all the crystals looked! They were awesome. I wish we could make geodes every year!” ~Alinah

“I made a geode that’s fake. I love it. This is how you make them. One jar. One cup of borax. Stir until clear. Add food colouring. Stir a few seconds. Add an egg. I forgot about adding hot water.” ~Will

“My star is that we got to make borax crystals because they are beautiful and shiny! I wish that we got to do TWO! My memory is that I made a snowflake crystal. I wish that we could make more. I loved making the crystals. The crystals were so fun! I was really excited for the big reveal!” ~Brooklyn

“I loved that we even got to make the geodes and snowflakes. I wish that we could make both of the things. I will never forget my geode. I wonder how the geode broke in the jar? I loved the beautiful geodes and snowflakes.” ~Emily

“I loved making the geodes because they have so much glamour!!! I loved stirring the boiling hot water because it was cool how the water started foggy and changed to see through! I wonder how did the borax and hot water and food dye make a geode? I wish I could have everyone’s geodes. I will never forget making geodes!” ~Eric

“My first star is making my snowflake. My second is how awesome it turned out. I wish there was more crystals on my snowflake. A memory I’ll never forget is when it turned out so realistic. I wonder how borax can make crystals?” ~Evelyn S

“I wish the geodes were real. I loved making the geodes and snowflakes. I really liked seeing the fake geodes and snowflakes because they were beautiful and shiny. I will remember how to make geodes again. I wonder if we can make geodes again?” ~Beyazit

“One of my favourite things was making the borax geode because it was fun. Another of my favourite things was sketching our geodes because we got to look deeply at our geodes. I wish the crystal cave video was more exciting. I will remember we made borax crystals.” ~Reid

“My geode is lovely. I’m amazed my geode turned out well even though I broke mine. I wish I would be more soft with my fake geode so it didn’t break. I remember that we put borax and food colouring in. I wonder if I can fix my geode.” ~Zari

“I loved how people’s crystals turned out gorgeous. It was great how people LOVED their geode crystals. I wish no geodes or snowflakes broke. I will never forget my geode. I wonder if I can make my geode have more crystals.” ~Colby

“My favourite part about the crystal stuff is making geodes because I liked all the pretty colours and the geodes turned out great! I also loved studying the Crystal Caves. I wish that we could have done more things with crystals. A memory that I will never forget is watching how cool the Crystal Caves were because I thought it was awesome that they wear HEAVY protective gear because it looked so cool!” ~Vivian

“My memory is my geode and making it is a really great memory! A wish is that my blue geode, (crystal), did not turn so black!!! My wonder is that how does it form crystals and how our teacher got egg shells. My two favourite parts are that they had lots of crystals and they were gorgeous, but they were fake. Here are the steps. They are as simple and easy as get a cup full of borax and boiling water and a spoon to stir it so it is clear. The next day it is a geode! Awesome!” ~Maya

“I love when I saw my snowflake has so many crystals. I loved when I stirred my snowflake because I liked the sound of the spoons hitting the jar. It was like music. I also remember that three geodes broke. It was very sad. I wonder why did the geodes not have a lot of crystals?” ~Arash

“I loved when we got to make a borax crystal. How I made it was with very hot water, some egg shells, a spoonful of borax and some food colouring. We only had to wait for five days. I wish that we could bring them home and have them rolled with sand. I will never forget how to make borax crystals so I can have a lot of crystals in my room. It will be so pretty!” ~Katherine

“We made borax crystals that were not crystals at first. They were pipe cleaners with borax in it and it became crystals. I love crystals. It was very fun.” ~Nic

“I liked how my crystal turned out. It was so awesome and another time I liked was when we got to have a deeper look at the crystals because the crystals looked so red. I really wish my crystal was filled with crystals and I want it to be way bigger. I will remember everything. I wonder if they are growing right now.” ~Tareq

“I like making borax crystals. I enjoyed watching the Crystal Caves movie. I wish I could have made a snowflake. I remember the Lost Crystal Caves movie. I wonder when we can watch the Lost Crystals.” ~Rowen

“I loved that we could pick to do a geode or a snowflake. I also loved how they turned out. I wish mine was bigger though. I will never forget how excited I was when they were growing. I wonder if it dries out if you can put it back in the boiling water for it to get crystals again?” ~Connie

“When we made geodes I was really excited. I wish I could make a yellow geode. I wonder what a green geode looks like? I really liked watching the Crystal Caves.” ~Evelyn L

‘I love how sparkly and shiny my geode was!!! I like tat it looked like a little Crystal Cave! I wish they would stay sparkly forever. And, I wish they were not so broken. I loved pulling the geode out of the jar because it was shocking how shiny they were!!! I wonder hoe the borax crystals get so shiny!” ~Colter

“My favourite part was that I got to make a geode from an egg shell and searching how it really looks. I wish that I could make another one! Something I would never forget is that I got to make a fake geode! I wonder how many crystals can grow on it!” ~Sky

“My class made geodes and snowflakes. I made a geode. They turned out spectacular, beautiful and glittery. I love that mine is unique because it goes light, dark, light, and a little bit of glue. I also like that it is so shiny. I wish that they had more crystals. I will never forget how to make it: glass jar, pour hot water in the glass jar, add borax and stir, then add special food colouring and carefully push an egg shell into the water and wait. I wonder how borax makes crystals.” ~Leah

“Borax crystals are so cool and fun also. We used food colouring, a jar, boiling water and also a spoon. We made snowflakes and geodes because we learned about it.” ~Daniel

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Here’s a slide show of “looking deeply”:

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Stay tuned … we will add some photos of our FINISHED geodes and snowflakes … once we’ve added the sand to our geodes. They’re all in very SPECIAL home made boxes now!

There are no foolish questions, and no man becomes a fool until he has stopped asking questions.

~Charles Proteus Steinmetz

We wonder:

  • What’s the coolest crystal you’ve ever seen?
  • how do we keep borax from turning chalky white when they lose the moisture out of their crystals?
Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , | 22 Comments

Rock Museum

Nature composes some of her loveliest poems for the microscope and the telescope.

~Theodore Roszak

Our Rock Museum was an AMAZING success!

Our Rock Museum was an AMAZING success!

What? It’s OVER? It seems like we were just TALKING about this … in … SEPTEMBER! We’ve had such an AMAZING learning journey … wondering, researching, discovering, wondering MORE … and discovering SO much about rocks and minerals over the last month and a half. To be honest, we are CERTAIN we could continue this inquiry over the entire course of the YEAR and still not be done wondering and learning!

There were SO many wonderful questions from EVERYONE who visited with us this afternoon!

There were SO many wonderful questions from EVERYONE who visited with us this afternoon!

Interspersed throughout this post are our HIGHLIGHTS of the afternoon! Thank you to EVERYONE for helping to make our Rock Museum such a HIGHLIGHT!

“My two things that I really loved was getting to share all of my favourite rocks with so many wonderful rock loving people. And, getting to see everybody smiling and enjoying the Rock Museum! I wish we could do it every year and have people vote for the best rock collection Something I will never forget is when a little girl came up to my station and having her point to my geode and say that one is the prettiest and that is my favourite one of all!” ~Payton

“I liked everything and all the rocks. I wish that I brought my rocks. My memory is that I did not bring my rocks.” ~Emily

“I liked everything. I liked –‘s rocks. I wish my mom could come. A memory is that — had a billion rocks!” ~Arash

“I loved that mine was busy. I also liked –‘s grown crystals. I wish I had a big amethyst! I’ll never forget that Alex said he really, really liked mine! Yay!” Evelyn L

“I love that we got to walk around and see other people’s rocks and fossils! I wish that my brother came. I will never forget that I shared my crystals with people!” ~Brooklyn

“I loved that so many people came to our rock museum. I love that my dad came. I wish I could stay for the whole time. I will never forget how many rocks there were!” ~Will

“I loved how all the rocks were so fascinating. I wish this would happen every year except maybe a different unit. I loved –‘s crystals because she made them. I will never forget how many amazing rocks there were!” ~Alinah

We have a HUGE bunch of collectors in this room!

We have a HUGE bunch of collectors in this room!

“I loved how people asked so many questions. It was lovely how people respected people’s rocks. I wish I had a rock collection. I’ll never forget the Rock Museum.” ~Colby

“I loved that people asked me lots of questions. It was awesome that people were giving good compliments about my rocks. I will never forget how fun it was! I wish that we got more time to look at other rocks.” ~Colter

“I love that I saw all my friends when we had our Rock Museum. I also loved that my mom and dad came. I wish that my sister could come but she is too busy. I’ll never forget how many people were in the classroom! There were SO many!” ~Connie

“I wish I knew more about my amethyst and where I got it in Banff. I’ll never forget that I did a Rock Museum! The two things that I loved was that people liked my collection of rocks and that I will never forget it!” ~Maya

“I wish that I had coal because it is so cool. I loved –‘s pyramid and –‘s geode. I wonder how she made it. I will never forget –‘s geode.” ~Eric

“I love that my Dad came. I wish that I had a lot of rocks and minerals. I know that I will not forget that I loved having everybody in our class!” ~Katherine

“I loved setting up the rock museum. I loved seeing my parents. I wish I had a cool rock!!! I will always remember the rock museum!” ~Alex

At one point it even SEEMED like it was a special event at a museum because it was PACKED!

At one point it even SEEMED like it was a special event at a museum because it was PACKED!

“My favourite part was that my mom came because she took pictures of me and the other thing is I almost rocked out Mrs. Renton! I wish that we could always do a Rock Museum!” ~Sky

“I love when people liked my geode. I also love when they compliment me! I wish I had more rocks. A memory that I’ll never forget is when I saw my friends at the Rock Museum!” ~

“I liked that my video was displayed! I loved –‘s Spy Rock thing because it was so HARD! I wish the museum was longer. I’ll never forget my video!” ~Rowen

“I really loved that my sister and Grandma and Grandpa went out of their way and came to my rock museum. I also loved when people had so many wonders. I wish that we could do this again. A memory is that my sister lent me her very, very, very special ammonite!” ~Leah

“My favourite parts of the Rock Museum were seeing my little brother and showing people my rocks. I will always remember that one of my rocks had sand in it. I wish I had crystals to share!” ~Reid

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We wonder:

  • What was YOUR highlight of our Rock Museum?

The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he’s one who asks the right questions.

~Claude Lévi-Strauss

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , | 29 Comments

Happy National FOSSIL Day!

Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.

~Edwin Powell Hubble

This is how we began our day … happy National FOSSIL Day! Let’s get into small groups! I’m going to pass you a fossil and a magnifying glass! Talk about what kind of a fossil you THINK it is, and why, in your groups!


Gosh … what IS it? It’s tiny … and light … and full of crevices. Hmm. What do YOU think?

What IS it? Here are some of our FIRST thoughts! Give up? Yup! Well, it’s called COPROLITE! What? It’s COPROLITE! Does that help us? Nope! Okay … what should we DO? Let’s GOOGLE it! Okay! Are you SURE? Yes! Are you REALLY sure? YESSSS!


We sat for  QUITE a few minutes, while everyone looked at the Google search on the SmartBoard … then … SUDDENLY … one brave soul said OOOOHHHH!


There were quiet whispers … WHAT?!? It’s … DUNG!!! EWWWWWWW The groans spread across the classroom. They COULDN’T believe that their TEACHER would hand them a piece of … fossilized DINOSAUR poop! The SCIENTIFIC word? Coprolite!

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Okay … DON’T worry … it’s not THAT bad! It’s FOSSILIZED … it’s NOT like holding REAL dung! Check it out … does it SMELL? WHAT? You want us to SMELL it? Go on … what do you have to lose?


Hmm … she’s RIGHT … it DOESN’T smell! It’s not so bad!

Oh my goodness … what a WONDERFUL day! We shared our OWN small collections. Mrs. Renton shared her HUGE collection!

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We read BOOKS … and Mrs. Renton told us all about the Courtenay Museum, on Vancouver Island! That’s were she FIRST learned how to REALLY dig for fossils! She looks for these things called MUD balls … tucked in the shale beds … only SHE likes to call them KINDER SURPRISES for fossil HUNTERS! This video from the Courtenay Museum will show you what it looks like when you’re digging for them:

We spent a GLORIOUS day using our magnifying glasses to look DEEPLY at all the amazing fossils that had appeared in our classroom:

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We EVEN got to spend a little time with Bill NYE … and he told us even MORE about fossils:

Wow! WHAT a day! Here are some of our reflections:

“Hi! I learned that poop could turn into a fossil! I can’t believe today! I was holding a 65 million year old piece of poop! I really enjoyed it! It was fascinating! I wonder if a fossil can re-fossilize. So, like … you put a fossil in the ground then would it get another layer of stone? Fossilized poo is called Coprolite!: ~Rowen

“I like that I saw obsidian. I learned that fossils can break. I wonder if there are fossils in the dirt?” ~Beyazit

“I liked everything because it was fun looking at the fossils and the movie was great! I learned that you can make your own FAKE fossil! IU wonder how many fossils there are in the world?” ~Connie

“I liked when we did sketching because I am good at it. It was fun. I learned that plants can be fossils too. I wonder how long a fossil can be?” ~Evelyn L

“I liked looking at the fossils in the morning and watching Bill Nye. I learned that fossils are dinosaur bones. I wonder if there’s a lot of emeralds inside of fossils?” ~Tareq

“Hi! I like the part where Bill Nye showed how wood turned into stone! The coprolite was 65 million years old! Cool! I learned that fossils can be found.” ~Daniel

“I really liked when I got to look at samples of the fossils because it let’s me have a closer look. I learned that fossils are everywhere. I wonder how many there are in the world?” ~Leah

“I like that a lot of fossils can be found in many different places and they are all different! I learned that fossils that are all a part of the same animal can be far away from each other. I really wonder if there is a rock and a mineral in a dinosaur fossil?” ~Katherine

“I learned that all fossils are sedimentary. I wonder why rocks are formed with pressure?” ~Maya

“What I learned was that you can find HUMUNGUS prehistoric fossils at a river bank! I also learned that you can make fossils! But, then they are fake! I wonder if you can find a fossil on a snowy mountain?” ~Vivian

“I like the part when we shared fossils as a group. And, I also liked when we found a fossil … it’s actually dinosaur poop! We even held it too! I learned that fossils could turn animals to stone. I wonder why can’t fossils work on every animal?” ~Evelyn S

“I learned that fossils can be found anywhere. I love fossils!” ~Nic

“Did you know that a fossil that is so easy to guess is so hard? It’s dino dung! I wonder if fossils can spread. I learned that you can make a fake fossil with paint.” ~Zari

“I like Bill Nye because he is funny. I wonder if bugs can be fossils. I learned that mud balls can be hard.” ~Emily

“I like fossils. They’re good things so that I can remember stuff from a long time ago. I learned that fossils can be in mountains and deep under ground. I wonder how many fossils can there be in one rock?” ~Sky

Something that I learned today is that coprolite is fossilized dinosaur dung! Ewww! I liked looking at so many cool fossils and some of the fossil hunting tools. I liked it because if I go fossil hunting now I know what to look for and what to bring. I wonder if there are fossils in my backyard or if there are some really good fossil hunting sites in Calgary or near my community?” ~Payton

“I learned that it takes like a million years for a fossil to form. I liked exploring the fossils in the room, and learning about them. I learned that poop 85 million years ago can turn into a rock in 85 million years!” ~Colter

“I loved Bill Nye because he is funny!” ~Eric

“I liked the Bill Nye movie because it showed me the size of a dinosaur footprint. I learned that petrified wood needs water to turn into petrified wood. I wonder how scientist know how long ago dinosaurs were alive?” ~Will

Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , | 29 Comments

What’s the BIG Deal About PATTERNS?

The essence of mathematics is not to make simple things complicated, but to make complicated things simple. 

~S. Gudder

Hi! Welcome to our very FIRST post of the year! It’s an EXCITING one! Why? Because we have been looking at PATTERNS! What’s the big deal? Well, patterns are EVERYWHERE! Patterns aren’t just about math … we can find them in nature and they also help us to make sense of and organize the WORLD! They keep animals SAFE through CAMOUFLAGE and they WARN us from DANGER! They help us keep track of time through days and nights, weeks and months; through the passage of seasons. Patterns are AMAZING!

We began our learning adventure by looking at patterns on our September calendar. It was amazing how even THIS simple task generated MORE wonders:

Patterns ... looking at the September calendar.

Patterns … looking at the September calendar.

Moving beyond the simple repeating patterns we could see, ONE of our classmates came up with a complex NUMBER pattern and then we worked hard to try to figure out how to EXTEND that pattern:

Okay ... who's up for a NUMERICAL pattern challenge? Apparently we ALL are!

Okay … who’s up for a NUMERICAL pattern challenge? Apparently we ALL are!

Oh, oh! When Mrs. Renton could see that we looked like “Pattern PROs” … THAT’S when she put a number pattern up that had NOTHING to do with our Calendar. We talked about it with partners. We grabbed the mini whiteboards and persevered through her challenge:

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Now … you MAY notice one or two calculation errors on our whiteboards … because we were beginning to add some pretty HUGE numbers! We learned a LOT about rechecking our calculations because … when each new number relies on the LAST … one small error can change the entire pattern! What matters is that we were on the RIGHT track … we had decoded the pattern, which is NO small feat!

You WON’T believe this, but … SOME of us BEGGED to take our whiteboards outside at RECESS to CONTINUE this mathematical journey:


Then, Mrs. Renton surprised us with some SPECIAL information about this pattern. It is called the Fibonacci Sequence! What’s even MORE amazing? This pattern can be found in NATURE!!! WHAT? Yup. You read that right. MANY plants … and even some ANIMALS … grow using the Fibonacci Sequence! We decided we needed to find out MORE!

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We NEEDED to try and PROVE that Fibonacci could be found in nature. See if you can SPOT Fibonacci in some of the things we found outside:

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That’s when we hit a roadblock! Yes, we DEFINITELY found some flowers with FIVE petals … and a WHOLE bunch of THREE leaf clovers … but … when we counted the swirls on our PINE CONES … we were NOT getting Fibonacci numbers like in the YouTube video below:

Hmm. We thought ALL pine cones would follow this amazing sequence of numbers. While we were perplexed … we were NOT dissuaded … THIS adventure had pulled us DEEPER into our learning journey! What did we discover, you may be asking yourselves? Well … there is a LESSER known sequence that some plants follow. It’s call the LUCAS sequence:

2, 1, 3, 4, 7, 11, 18, 29, 47, 76, 123, 199, 322, 521, 843 … and on and on and on

If you are wondering … we managed to figure out THIS sequence pretty quickly TOO! And, SOME of us BEGGED to work on it at RECESS again! Since then, we’ve been coming up with our OWN complicated number patterns and we’ve been challenging one another to SOLVE them. We’ve ALSO begun to notice the Fibonacci and Lucas sequences ALL around us … even during breakfast and dinner:

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We met FIB the PINEAPPLE and discovered that FIB followed the Fibonacci Sequence … we EVEN shared our pineapple adventure with the Grade Twos in Mrs. JENSEN’S class:


So … the NEXT time you’re at the grocery store, or out for a walk or eating dinner … think about what you are seeing! You may be SURPRISED:

Is it really JUST a pretty flower? Or ... is it something MORE!

Is it really JUST a pretty flower? Or … is it something MORE! Photo courtesy of MR. Renton.

Wonders lead to the quest for answers. Answers lead us to MORE wonders … oh, oh! Do you see what WE see? Wonders, answers, wonders, answers … MORE wonders, MORE answers … it’s … a … PATTERN! But, don’t get us started … it’s like the song that has NO end!

Go down deep enough into anything and you will find mathematics. 

~Dean Schlicter

We wonder:

  • Why is the Fibonacci Sequence named after an Italian when it was discovered in another country LONG before that?
  • How many things are there that have Fibonacci numbers in the world?
  • How did anyone even figure OUT that 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144 … was IN plants and nature?
  • Why do SO many plants grow using the Fibonacci OR the Lucas number sequences?
Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , | 28 Comments

Welcome to GRADE Three!

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

~Pablo Picasso

You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

~Wayne Gretzky

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , | 9 Comments