Expressing Gratitude to our … BLOG Fathers!

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

~William James

This is a post about being LOST. But … it’s ALSO a post about being FOUND! We hope you’re SITTING down, because it DOESN’T start OUT pretty!

Are you familiar with the fairytale Cinderella? Well, THIS is just a LITTLE bit like that … but … it’s ALSO quite a LOT different! Snuggle up with your FAVOURITE teddy bear because it’s GOING to be PRETTY bumpy for a bit! Don’t worry, though, MOST fairytales end on a BETTER note than they began! 😉

Once upon a time, there was a blog. It was just a LITTLE blog, run by a small but MIGHTY group of Grade Three students at Battalion Park School. As a matter of fact, THIS little blog was a history of their journey helping to build a library in a very rural and extremely poor weaving village in Q’enqo Peru over the past four years. Now, this tiny blog ALSO captured OTHER pieces of their learning journey, as they worked hard to flatten the walls of their classroom … to connect and learn with the world BEYOND their school walls.

One day, these lovely little bloggers awoke to discover that … their BLOG was … MISSING! Poof! JUST like THAT! After several weeks of trying VERY hard to find out what happened, they began to realize that maybe they WOULDN’T be able to do HUGE math challenges with the revolver map, or learn about the various countries that would visit the blog on the flag counter, ever again. There MIGHT not EVER be anymore posts about their journey, their discoveries, their wonders, their Skypes, their connections. They DIDN’T give UP, though … they KEPT on trying … and … they REACHED out and asked for help because they BELIEVED in the POWER of a FLAT class!

And … JUST like Cinderella was RESCUED by her SPECIAL Fairy Godmother … the Global Grade 3 Blogging Hawks were RESCUED by … NOT one, but TWO very special BLOG fathers! We’re even LUCKIER than Cinderella! WE have TWO!

This blog post is dedicated to these two VERY special people. Brant Parker and David CloutierTHANK you, SO much, for doing everything you could to bring our blog BACK to life! What follows is a special video to let you know just HOW much this blog means to us, and some of the reasons why we MISSED it SO much. We hope you enjoy it!

We think our BLOG Fathers ROCK! We WONDER if they can work MIRACLES on PUMPKINS, like Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother could!

PS THIS post is BASED on a TRUE story! 😉

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

~Dr. Seuss

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Creating Ancient Peruvian Masks with Connie Claymaker

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.

~Pablo Picasso

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We’ve had the privilege of working with Connie Claymaker this year! She came in to teach us how to make ancient Peruvian masks! What follows are our thoughts:

“Woo HOO! Connie’s here I said in my head. We were making Peruvian masks out of clay. The clay smelled like a pine tree! I liked the part when we dragged the skewers on the clay. My lowlight was that we couldn’t paint the mask today. The hardest part was cutting the eyes out. I wonder how hot the kiln is?” ~Mani

“Wow! This clay feels really soft, I said, rolling out the clay that Connie gave us for our masks. We were making Peruvian masks as a project with Connie Claymaker. I like her. She was really fun! I have some highlights! I was having trouble with the mouth, but then Mrs. Renton came along and saved my bacon! She brought along an empty tape roll and she squished it down so it looks just like a perfect mouth! Then, my other highlight was noticing that Connie remembered me! My lowlight was having to retrace the whole thing!” ~Oliver

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“When I got in the classroom, I remembered that we were making masks. Next, I noticed clay and paper plates on desks. I took off my coat and sat on the carpet. After we looked at some photos we started to make the form of the mask. I just got a bunch of pre-made parts and snipped at them. When we were done it was time to work with the clay.” ~Aleah

“Hi! Today we made Peruvian masks! One of my highlights was drawing the mask because it made it stand out. One of my lowlights was making the nose, mouth and eyes. If you want to make a Peruvian mask you will need: a paper plate, news paper, clay, paint. 1. Put the paper plate on the table. 2. Fold newspaper into a mouth or eyes or eyebrows. 3. Flatten the clay until it’s flat. 4. Put the clay gently on the mask. 5. Pat the clay gently until you see the mouth and nose. 6. To be continued!” ~Olivia

“My Peruvian mask, I think, is pretty good. Instead of doing fangs on my mask, I did a tongue and I did pretty much everything different on my mask than on my drawing. It was not an oval either. In my picture it is an oval.. My mask is going to be see-through through the mouth and eyes. My highlight is the tongue. It was fun and cool. I also really liked drawing in the clay. My biggest lowlight was doing all the clay on the face all over again. That was a huge royal pain!!!” ~William

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“Connie Claymaker is HERE I thought to myself. This is how we made the masks. Step 1. From a table, there are nose and eye forms and you tape them on. Step 2. Then you make the eyes and mouth and tape it. Step 3. You get clay and roll it with a roller. They once you’re done you place it on your mask. Step 4. You press with your hands softly. Setp 5. After you get a toothpick and design it. My highlight was rolling the clay. My lowlight was taping my eyebrows and nose.” Luisa

“After Connie Claymaker told the directions, we started with the newspaper and the tape. We stuck the rolled news paper on the paper plates. After she explained all the rules about rolling the mask with the rolling pin we formed our own mask with details on it. When it was time for Connie to go well all said thank you! It was really fun making my mask. Next time we will paint our masks.” ~Roxanne

“Wow! Connie Claymaker is here! Connie was here to help us make ancient Peruvian masks! First, we sat on the carpet and listened to Connie talk about shapes, folds and taping. First, I folded a piece of paper 7 times, then bent it into a mouth shape and taped it onto a plate. Connie had made eyes, noses, eyebrows and mouths so I chose to do the mouth and use Connie’s eyes, noses and eyebrows. After I taped those on I got a blog of clay and started to roll with a rolling pin. When the clay was the size I needed, (the size of the plate), I put it on top of the plate and pushed it down with my hand. Then I cut the eyes and mouth out with a knife. Instantly I started designing my mask. My favourite highlight was when we rolled the clay. I hope I get to do this next year!” ~Riley

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“Today we worked with Connie Claymaker on our masks. I’m very excited to do our masks. My highlight about making masks is when we roll the clay with our rolling pin. My lowlight was when I decorated it because I kind of cut it. I would NEVER forget that day!” ~Bryan

“Riinnnngg! The bell rang as I walked into the class. I remembered we were making Peruvian masks today I said to myself. I couldn’t wait to make my Peruvian mask because they look so fun and they were fun. First we had to make all the eyes and noses and mouths and eyebrows and tape all of them onto a paper plate. But it was really easy for me and some of my other classmates to do because we had things already done. Then we started working with clay. We rolled it. We shaped it. We designed it. It was really fun. I think my favourite part was the clay. I can’t wait to paint the mask. Oh ya. Thanks for reading!” ~Robert

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“My highlight is when we carved our designs on the Peruvian masks. My lowlight is that I couldn’t find the eye holes that I wanted to carve out. The hardest part for me was getting the eye shape I wanted for my Peruvian mask. What my wonder is that I wonder when after the masks are in the kiln why they are smooth.” ~Faith

“When I walked in the classroom, Connie was standing in the back of the class. First we made the eyes and then the nose and then the mouth. And, then we rolled clay into an oval. Then you put it on the plate.” ~Thomas

“My favourite part of working with Connie Claymaker was when I smoothed the clay down. My second favourite part was when I carved out the mouth and eyes. The hardest part was when I had to tape all the stuff down. The easiest part was when I cut out the mouth and eyes.” Adam

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“My highlight was sculpting the tongue to stick out and my lowlight was scraping the clay off my DESK! Anyway, the easiest part was rolling the clay and the hardest part was drawing with the skewer.” ~Liam

“Yay! Connie Claymaker is here. She helped us make our clay butterflies in Grade Two. Now we get to make something even better: Peruvian masks! My highlight was drawing decorations and it was the hardest part. My lowlight was rolling the clay because the clay stuck to my desk. I did not use eyebrows though. Other people had eyebrows and it looks a bit better than without. I regret not having eyebrows.” ~Colby

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“Wow! Connie was SO fun! The best part was designing. I wonder how Connie cooks it. It was so fun working with Connie. I can not  wait to paint the masks. The hard part was to roll the clay.” ~Prayers

“Highlights: I loved doing the designing with the skewers on the mask. It was SO beautiful, not to brag, though! Lowlights: it was hard to make a circle out of the clay. I don’t know why but I could not make a circle for some reason.” ~Sofie

“As I walked in the classroom I saw Connie talking to my friends! I was so excited to do the clay. My first lowlight was rolling because it kept sticking on my desk so I did it on my second time. This time it broke in half so my third time Connie helped me AND IT WORKED! Then I did the details and finished!” ~Alvin

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“Connie Claymaker is here? I said as I walked in the classroom. Then I realized that today WAS the day! As we were starting to make our Peruvian masks we folded paper like a THOUSAND times. Then, we taped three or four times. We folded and made the paper like eyes. We did this to make all the parts. My favourite part was when we rolled and shaped the clay. It was hard folding the paper but it worked out GREAT! I wonder what Peruvian masks were used for?” ~Marcus

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Thanks to Connie, we’ve had a WONDERFUL time exploring building and making structures with clay! Our masks are now FULLY complete … we hope you enjoy the slide show of our FINISHED masks!

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

~John Lubbock

We wonder:

  • Where did the ancient Peruvians get the colours to paint their masks?
  • Where did the clay come from?
  • Did they use the masks for a special purpose?
Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

An INCREDIBLE Surprise Arrives from AUSTRALIA!

If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it. ~Margaret Fuller

This blog post is dedicated to Ross Mannell … our OTHER teacher on the OTHER side of the WORLD!

We are SO sorry that it took SO long for us to share our excitement with you, Ross! Our blog has been shut down for over a month. It’s made us really sad because we haven’t been able to share our learning with the world!

After a LONG wait, and MANY emails and SO much help from two VERY special people, we finally got the good news this morning! Our BLOG is BACK! You should have HEARD the shouts of delight! We SURE hope THAT doesn’t happen again!

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SPEAKING of shouts … you should have HEARD the CHEERS when we opened your package and spotted Suzy Sunshine sitting inside the paper envelope! Imagine our surprise when we discovered that Suzy Sunshine wasn’t alone! We are having SUCH a GREAT time learning about ALL the animals in the Super Animal books collection you thoughtfully gave to us. We LOVE how much we’ve learned ever since we received your package. The card reader is REALLY cool because we LOVE swiping the cards for each of the animals. Hearing the sounds of each animal is AMAZING!

Every day, Mrs. Renton draws a table group out of our Popsicle sticks and that table group goes into our break-out room to explore the Super Animal book collection and cuddle with Suzy, during our independent reading time! We are already on our THIRD round spending time with our special treasures! Many of us find it VERY hard to let go of Suzy when we are done for the day!

We’ve enjoyed hearing what many of the Australian animals sound like … because we know you live there! It helps us to get to know a little more about Australia! We also love that the books are FILLED with ALL kinds of interesting animals from around the world!

We have used the card reader, and the cards, SO many times that we have ALREADY had to replace the batteries! Now THAT is impressive!

What follows are our thoughts:

“I LOVED swiping the Barn Owl card! My FIRST reason: I love owls! The SECOND reason: the screeching is absolutely majestic! Thanks SO for being SO generous to push our learning further! We are so glad you spent the time to give these to us. You are a GREAT man! I wonder what YOUR favourite card is? Oh, and congrats on 100 000 views!” ~Marcus

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“My favourite animal sound was the polar bear because the roar was scary but AWESOME! I liked all the animals but … mostly Suzy! And, the super animal books were spectacular! I hope Suzy will always be safe forever and ever!” ~Luisa

“My favourite part was swiping the python card, right when we got the package because if asked Mrs. Renton if she could swipe the python card, but she’s terrified of snakes. She let ME do it! :) Personally, my favourite card was the python because I like it’s fierce-some sound. We are so grateful that we won and that each class got the card readers!” ~Colby

“My favourite card was the barn owls. They were SO cute! My least favourite one was the mosquito. They kill 600 000 people a YEAR! I was extremely terrified when I heard that! Did you know that a barn owl flies silently?” ~Marah

“Hi Ross! I hope you’re having a good day! My favourite animal was the deadliest mosquito because it kills over 600 000 people a year. I like it because it is really deadly. I like the sound it made.” ~Alvin

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“I LOVED the chimpanzee card because they are my favourite animal! I am VERY grateful for all the stuff that you have done for us and educated us on. I showed Mrs. Renton the rattle snake card and she SHIVERED! Thank you SO much, Ross!” ~Oliver

“I LOVE the Super Animals books! I love them SO much that I can’t just pick ONE! But, I love the tiger because when I hear the tiger I feel I’m brave. I am really happy you gave us the books.” ~Prayers

“Hi Ross! Thank you SO much for sending the kit. When Mr. L. came into our classroom with the package I was thinking, in my head, what is that? When we opened the package I was excited to see Suzy Sunshine. I LOVE the card reader TOO! I don’t have a favourite animal … I LOVE listening to them ALL! I LOVE Suzy!” ~Saadia

“My favourite and my LEAST favourite animal is the mosquito because mosquitoes are the deadliest animal in the world! I like mosquitoes because their proboscis is interesting! I’ve discovered that mosquitoes kill 600 000 PEOPLE A YEAR!!! What I don’t like about mosquitoes is that they suck your blood and it’s TEMPTING to SCRATCH it!” ~Riley

“My favourite sound has to be the strawberry poison frog because when I hear it I feel like I’m deep in a rain forest! When I first saw Suzy come out of the package I exploded with happiness because she is SO cute!” ~Liam

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“My favourite animals are … ALL of them because I can’t just pick ONE! I like Suzy Sunshine because she is so fluffy and she smells so good! I discovered what a koala sounds like!” ~Adam

“Hi Ross! I loved that you sent us Suzy Sunshine and the Super Animal boos with the cards in them. It was fun getting a card and slipping it into the card reader. I loved all of the cards! Suzy Sunshine was cute and soft! You were so thoughtful and kind!” ~Roxanne

“My favourite animal is the king cobra. I liked the sound it makes. I think it looks cool too! I discovered that koalas sound VERY different from what I thought! I also discovered that listening to a mosquito with the sound reader buzzes your ears and tickles your ear drums! Do NOT try it … I’m warning you!” ~Anita

“My personal favourite animal is … ALL of them! Why is that? Because there are so many of them! But, if I had to pick ONE, I would pick the python, the emperor penguin and the koala. I think the sounds are extraordinary. The other animals are pretty cool as well. My favourite part is Suzie!!!” ~William

“My favourite animal is a Peregrine Falcon. It is the FASTEST animal in the universe! Thank you, Ross, SO much, for the Super Animals kit because it taught us about a lot of animals. I discovered what a peregrine falcon is!” ~Mani

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“I THINK my FAVOURITE animal is SUZY! The second time I went in the breakout room I could NOT let GO of Suzy! She is so awesome and … wait for it … CUDDLY! I discovered how many animals tropical and colourful.” ~Faith

“Hey, Ross! I love the Super Animals books collection SO much I can’t choose my favourite card out of the whole bunch! My favourite thing of the whole package was Suzy! I CAN’T describe how HAPPY we are!” ~Robert

“The animal that I love the most is the turtle frog! Wondering what a turtle frog is? It’s a pink lumpy little thing! Anyways, I can’t thank you ENOUGH for the AMAZING kit!” ~Shaye

“Hi Ross! I love how you gave each class a Super Animal kit. It was AMAZING! One of my favourite animals is the cuckoo bee. It DOES look cuckoo! Ha ha! Boy, it was fun!” ~Bryan

“Hi Ross! It’s TOO hard to choose what my favourite animal is from the Super Animal books! It’s TOO hard to choose because they are ALL so inspiring! I think it’s lovely that you would spend your own money to buy that for the 100 000th visitor competition!” ~Sofie

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“Ross, thank you SO much for the amazing gifts. You were SO thoughtful. My favourite animal was the narwhal because it made an amazing noise. The noise sounded WAY different than I expected a narwhal to make!” ~Carter

“My favourite animal in the animal book is the Arctic Fox. I like the Arctic Fox because it is really cute! Ross, thank you SO much for the Super Animal kit! I hope you have an AWESOME day!” ~Thomas

“I loved the card reader and the adorable Suzy Sunshine! My favourite card from the card reader and Super Animals pack was the hedgehog because, at home, I have a pet hedgehog! They may be prickly but they are cute! Speaking of cute, Suzy the koala plushy is adorable too! Some people think she smells like Africa!” ~Aleah

“My favourite animal is the cheetah because cheetahs are really speedy and I am too! Also, I like the AMAZING sound a cheetah makes. Did you know? It’s tail helps the cheetah make sudden turns during a chase!” ~Haya

We are SO grateful that we won the 100 000th visitor competition that you held for your blog and SO thankful that you’ve helped to push our learning even FURTHER … again! Suzy and the Super Animal books have become a very treasured part of our learning community!

<3 The Blogging Hawks

The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.

~Mark Van Doren

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Visit from Kristina!

We may sit in our library and yet be in all quarters of the earth. 

~John Lubbock

Yesterday, we were blessed to have a visit from Kristina. She has been working with Mosqoy for the past couple of years. She surprised us by asking if she could come to talk to us about the library that Grade Three students at Battalion Park have been helping to build and fill with books for the past four years! Kristina told us that the children in Q’enqo LOVE using the library! The part-time Librarian, Santiago, goes into the library TWICE a week to help children learn to use the library. He also spends time telling the children the local Quechua Folktales so that they keep their culture alive. Quechua is an oral language … so … there is VERY little of it written down. Santiago also goes into the market in Cusco, monthly, to purchase MORE books for the Q’enqo library!

Kristina told us about how even the high school students come into the library, in the evenings that Santiago has the library open, to use the space for homework and research! We learned that they don’t use the library in QUITE the same way that we use our libraries. Students can’t sign books out, but they are welcome to use them whenever the teachers or Santiago have the library open. Mosqoy still has BIG hopes for this special library … and so do we!

What follows are some of our reflections after Kristina’s visit:

Today, we got to meet someone from Mosqoy ... face to face! Kristina Zoller came to tell us ALL about how the Q'enqo Library Project is going!

Today, we got to meet someone from Mosqoy … face to face! Kristina Zoller came to tell us ALL about how the Q’enqo Library Project is going!

“Today we are going to meet Kristina, our teacher said. Do you know her? She works for Mosqoy. The most interesting fact that she shared with us is that the school in Q’enqo pays for the students. I wonder do the students need to bring their own lunch?” ~Bryan

“Mrs. Renton said this was the first LIVE speaker we’ve ever had from Mosqoy! Hey … when you think about it … it really does seem like we are a lucky class. Kristina was very kind to take time out of her busy schedule to come and see us. She told us about Peru, and the library we helped out with. She also let us pass around some of the blankets that Mosqoy purchased from one of the weaving villages in Peru. She told us about how she went to Peru and how scary it was to drive there because there were no lanes and everyone was going the exact same way and the roads were so thin. And, the scariest part was that there were NO guard rails! I’m pretty sure that it would be a long ways down if you turned and fell. She said that she had to wait an hour because somebody was going the opposite way she was and it took him an hour to decide how to decide how he was going to get around her without hurting anybody. I wonder what your favourite part would be if you were there?” ~Oliver

Kristina told us ALL about the WILD drive to Q'enqo from Cusco!

Kristina told us ALL about the WILD drive to Q’enqo from Cusco!

“When Kristina came in she shared her ideas about Peru. She even talked about how she got to go to the library. she even shoed a video about how long it takes to drive to the library. She ate guinea pig. I hope the library doesn’t close at all. I didn’t know they get (the colours for weaving) from bugs. Kristina told us how they make colours out of bugs. Then she handed me the clay fish. I asked her what the hole was for and she told me. My highlight was that the library was so beautiful and I liked how they painted the hummingbird (on it). When it was time for Kristina to go all of us said goodbye. Mrs. Renton gave her a gift to say thank you.” ~Roxanne

“Wow. Look at all the grade threes walking in I thought to myself. The interesting part was when Kristina said that the Librarian came to the school two days a week. Why? Because in our school the library is open every school day. I have three hopes for the library. One of my hopes is for them to have one more Librarian. My second hope is that the library would open more often. My last hope is for it to have more books. My wonder is that would they ever get another Librarian.” ~Adam

Kristina showed us photos of the Q'enqo library, from the beginning of the journey to now!

Kristina showed us photos of the Q’enqo library, from the beginning of the journey to now!

“Wow! How do Peruvians do pottery like that?!? My highlight was when I got to hold Kristina’s pottery. One was shaped like a fish and the other was like a sphere with geckos on them. That was my highlight because the pottery was handmade. Battalion Park also helped build a library in Q’enqo, Peru! It took roughly FIVE YEARS TO MAKE! The one Librarian’s name is Santiago. He’s the only Librarian there! It’s not just a library. There’s a cafeteria on the other side of a little wall. I wonder if we can help more? This is something I’ll never forget!” ~Riley

“As we walked into the classroom we saw this lady and then right away everybody started to whisper … hey, this the lady from Mosqoy. She was Mrs. Renton’s first live guest speaker she has EVER had … from Mosqoy! Her name was Kristina and she took a few pictures and videos to show us. It was nice to know that the Librarian, (Santiago), still worked at the library. I wonder if Kristina ever went in a guinea pig race? The usual sports that they play is soccer and volleyball. I wonder where else Kristina goes to share her trip and tell those people about the library? I wonder if it’s expensive in the market in Cusco for Santiago to buy the books for the library?” ~Colby

She brought in ARTIFACTS to share with us! This is a GORGEOUS piece of weaving that took over THREE weeks to make ... right from sheering the llama, to dying the wool ... to weaving!

She brought in ARTIFACTS to share with us! This is a GORGEOUS piece of weaving that took over THREE weeks to make … right from sheering the llama, to dying the wool … to weaving!

“Ever wonder about the mysteries of Peru? I did, and we had a presentation about it. I learned that the only bug that COULD make dye, (the cochineal bug), could only make red dye. I wonder what type of plant could turn red to purple or green or BLUE? I also didn’t know that there are alpacas in Q’enqo either. And, you can dye alpaca fur too. The library we had that presentation about can’t sign out books. I hope the children get to soon. They deserve to. The kids who go to the library LOVE going there. Santiago is the Librarian. He helps a lot.” ~Marcus

“I’m SO excited, I screamed in my head, walking into the room. Today, in the afternoon, a guest speaker, her name is Kristina, is going to tell us about the library project in Peru. I liked the part when she told us about the temple and how it was made. I hope the library gets bigger and LOTS of books get added. I wonder if they fill guinea pigs like Thanksgiving turkey?” ~Mani

She brought some of the MOST beautiful pottery done with designs like you'd find at the Nazca Lines!

She brought some of the MOST beautiful pottery done with designs from Incan times!

“I wonder if the library in Peru was built in the 1980s century. I wonder how many people in the school are in grade three. I learned, from Kristina, that Peru has huge mountain ranges. I thought that Peru was only hilly. One of my highlights was seeing the amazing designs on the clothes and blankets. Why? Because the cloth was handmade and must have taken hours and hours to make! I hope for the library to have more books in the future. I also hope that they can afford three computers for research and gaming. I really hope Peru develops in the next 100 years or so.” ~William

“Wow! Yesterday we had a guest speaker. Kristina was going to tell us about the library in Q’enqo. My highlight was seeing the pottery made by hands and the scarf or table cloth with the llama design and owl. I hope the library gets sports things like new soccer balls or volleyballs … a ball of any kind. I wonder if the library has changed or not. I wish Q’enqo could be like us and have clean clothes and good food like us. One more thing. I wonder what guinea pig babies look like!” ~Luisa

MORE amazing pottery!

MORE amazing pottery!

“We got to meet Kristina. She lived in Peru for two years. She talked to us about the library in Q’enqo. We are raising money for the library so they can have a lot of books to read and have a nicer school. I hope that the school is still improving and I hope they make a better park because the park is all rusty and crusty. I think that when she said you need to put a hole in the clay fish she shared was neat. You have to put newspaper inside so it doesn’t fall apart. But the newspaper burns to ashes and flows out when you put it in a kiln. We were SO lucky that Kristina came in”. ~Carter

“Ever wonder if there is a library in Q’enqo … because there is! The library has 200 books for 75 kids. But, I wonder if they have two of one book! I loved the weaving. It was so soft! And, I really liked the llamas. I bet it would be hard to weave all those designs. It was so cool to have someone from Peru come in to see us!” ~Liam

“She’s here! She’s here, I said to myself when I walked in the classroom. My highlight is when she shared the pottery and the woven quilt. She shared that one of the quilts was machine made and the rest are handmade. My hope for the library is kids have a lot of fun there. I really really wonder how long it takes to get from Canada to Q’enqo, Peru? I really loved having Kristina here.” ~Shaye

Each community has a DIFFERENT way of weaving designs that is passed down from generation to generation!

Each community has a DIFFERENT way of weaving designs that is passed down from generation to generation!

“Wow! That is SO cool, I thought, when I came into the class. All the beautiful weaving that was on the table near the not-so-smart smartboard! My favourite part was that Kristina actually tasted guinea pig. I think that is really bizarre. I really hope the library is ALWAYS gonna keep getting better and get more books. But, I wonder when the kids from Peru are going to learn how to sign out books. I have hope in them.” ~Sofie

“Wow! I love Kristina’s pottery. I love it because it is hard to make. I wonder how it was handmade. I think it was hard to get on a bus to Q’enqo.” ~Prayers

The children from Q'enqo sent us the MOST wonderful writing and art, done in Spanish, which Kristina translated for us!

The children from Q’enqo sent us the MOST wonderful writing and art, done in Spanish, which Kristina translated for us!

“I was excited to see Kristina. When she was talking to us it looks like she know everything. I hope the library gets bigger. I wonder if I should go to Machu Picchu. It looks like fun.” ~Saadia

“When I walked into the classroom Kristina was standing at the table. There was pottery which was made in Peru. There was one piece of clay with geckos on it. My favourite one was the pottery with the geckos on it. I have no part of it that I did not like. I hope the library can get more than 500 books. I wonder if the library can get bigger. I wonder if guinea pigs live in the mountains in Q’enqo. I wonder if llamas can go into the property. I wonder if they will repaint the library. I wish Kristina could come again!” ~Thomas

Thanks to Adam and Marcus for taking the photo while I kept our pile of 200 books from toppling over!

Thanks to Adam and Marcus for taking the photo while Mrs. Renton kept our pile of 200 books from toppling over!

“I wonder how many books are in the library? The answer: there are 200 books in the library! I hope the library gets more books. My highlight was the kids writing letters to us because it was sweet and they chose to make us letters. I wonder if Kristina was scared going on the one way highway in the mountains?” ~Haya

“When we were lining up from gym and getting ready to go back to the classroom I was so EXCITED to meet Kristina. I’m glad the kids in Q’enqo like the library. If I sat in the car for two hours I could get car sick for sure. I bet it’s a lot of work being the only Librarian. I wonder what kids of food they eat in the cafeteria other than potatoes. I also wonder how many kids are in each classroom. I really liked the artifacts Kristina shared with us. They’re so unique. My favourite one was three clay fish and the clay mug and the weaving. The animals on the weaving were so pretty and colourful.” ~Marah

As ALWAYS, we still have TONS of questions ... isn't that JUST the way LEARNING works?!?

As ALWAYS, we still have TONS of questions … isn’t that JUST the way LEARNING works?!?

“I wonder how bugs can make dye? My highlight is that I got to touch the clay fish pottery. It was neat. Especially with their beautiful colours and shades of black, brown and white. I hope that Q’enqo becomes more urban so the library can get more kids and the kids can learn more. I also wonder why Q’enqo is so rural. I wonder if there is any possible way to get to Q’enqo other than taking Mosqoy to Q’enqo? I wonder how many people in Q’enqo go to the library in 2014 – 2015. My lowlight is that I did not get to touch the waving or one of the pieces of pottery. I felt a little sad before the library was reconstructed. But now, the Q’enqo library is gorgeous!” ~Faith

“Wow! Kristina’s here, I said to myself as me and my classmates walked into the class and sat on the carpet. We were not the only class on our carpet. All four classes came in. One thing I thought was cool was called the Nazca Lines. They look like animals … like a spider or a hummingbird. that’s why the Nazca lines are cool. Google it and go on images and see for yourself. My highlight was getting to touch the pottery because I didn’t touch pottery in a long time. My lowlight was not being able to touch the weaving. I wonder how many books they will have next year? I hope the library gets a lot of books next year. Another thing I thought was cool was the tablecloth because it was so colourful. Another highlight was the library had over 200 books. All of us were really happy that Kristina came in and did all of this and answered all the questions.” ~Robert

We think we've got some BIG work to do for the next few months!

We think we’ve got some BIG work to do for the next few months!

This afternoon, we took some guesses to find out how tall 200 books in a stack would be. MOST of us thought the stack would be at LEAST as tall as Mrs. Renton! Quickly, after actually counting AND stacking 200 books, we discovered that 200 books is really NOT many. Not even HALF as tall as Mrs. Renton! As a matter of fact, after taking 200 books off the classroom shelves … there were STILL tons of books on our shelves. That’s when we decided that we NEEDED to continue to help Mosqoy with its work in Q’enqo. So … ANOTHER group of grade threes will CONTINUE their partnership THIS year in order to bring the love of books, with MORE books, to the tiny community of Q’enqo. We are EXCITED to SEE where this adventure TAKES us!

Below is the Prezi that Kristina made to share her Peruvian experiences with us. We hope you enjoy it as MUCH as WE did!

The richest person in the world – in fact all the riches in the world – couldn’t provide you with anything like the endless, incredible loot available at your local library. 

~Malcolm Forbes

We still wonder SO many things! We’ll just have to keep ASKING our PERUVIAN friends!

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Exploring Artifacts from AROUND the WORLD!

 “We live now in a global village and we are in one single family. It’s our responsibility to bring friendship and love from all different places around the world and to live together in peace.”

~Jackie Chan

Together, we spent a GLORIOUS day handling, observing and sketching some of the amazing Peruvian, Indian, Tunisian and Ukrainian artifacts from our Fort Calgary kit. We listened to music from these countries while we pondered their uniqueness, similarities and beauty. It FELT as though we were actually wandering through the MARKETS in each of these countries … picking up and inspecting each of the pieces we were drawn to … the camera snapping photos so that we NEVER forget the magic of the day … pencils shading and enhancing each of our visual representations of these treasures. What follows are our thoughts:

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“Through the windows of the class I noticed a bunch of objects laid out on desks. What are these, I wondered. And … why are they here?!? Everyone went to the carpet, then the teacher told us what we were doing. These are artifacts from the four countries we are currently learning about and we were going to sketch them. My favourite part was when me, Liam and Mani all sketched the trinket boxes. I absolutely loved a drum, but not just any old drum, an Indian drum with a blue swirl on the top. I liked it because the teacher, Mrs. Renton, let us lightly play it!  I wonder how long it would take to make a trinket box. I think I’ll Google it!” ~Marcus

“As I walked through the classroom doors, I noticed the artifacts from the day before on the desks. My highlight was seeing all the nesting dolls because I love how traditional they are and I think when you open them up the smallest one is the cutest because it is so little. My lowlight is how Mrs. Renton’s parrot flute broke because I really like the parrot flute. I love the nesting dolls because they are so traditional and cute. My favourite nesting doll was Mrs. Adamson’s because when you opened it up the tiny one was so small. It looked like a girl dressed up in tradtional clothing. I wonder why the pysanka from the Fort Calgary kit was not real.” ~Aleah

“Yes! I’m sitting at the Peruvian table. There’s artifacts like ocarina, (Peruvian instrument), pan pipes and all sorts of Peruvian stuff. My highlight was when I got a glimpse of the colourful ocarina because it was so decorative. I didn’t have any lowlights because everything was AWESOME! My favourite artifact was the mashroshka, (nesting doll), because one had ten nesting dolls inside! I wonder how many nesting dolls fit inside the biggest nesting doll ever? I wonder how they got the curve on the pan pipe? The ocarina will be something I’ll never forget!” ~Riley

“Mrs. Renton said class, today we will be looking at artifacts and tomorrow we will be sketching them. Everyone was excited. Everyone was tempted to see a certain thing and EVERYONE was excited to sketch tomorrow.” ~Mani

“Yeah! We get to sketch these artifacts! We get to sketch Fort Calgary’s artifacts. There are the four country’s instruments. And, Mrs. Renton even let us sketch hers. I liked Mrs. Renton’s more because she let us sketch her trinket boxes. I hope I can get some because I could hold some of my rocks and minerals in the trinket boxes. The things I remember most is the wooden pan pipe because I like to make sounds with it, and the trinket box because that was my favourite artifact.” ~Colby

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“Wow! I love the little blue box. I love the blue box because I like the little flowers. I wonder if the people who made the blue box painted the box. I love Mrs. Renton’s artifacts.” ~Prayers

“When I entered my classroom I didn’t know that Mrs. Renton had a lot of stuff in her box and when she took all her stuff from the four countries. One of my favourite things was the gold necklace. It even reminds me about my necklace. Then Mrs. Renton said to be careful with the things. It was fun sketching.” ~Roxanne

“Cool, I thought to myself, when I walked in the class. All the unique artifacts were on the tables. My best part was sketching the flags, even though I only went to two tables. I like sketching the flags best because I like flags and learning about flags. I wonder when I can get a turn at the Indian table. I wonder how long it took to make the nesting dolls?” ~Sofie

 “When I walked in there was a bin with artifacts in it. We passed them in a circle. My favourite artifact was the Ukrainian flute. My least favourite was … nothing! I wonder if the Ukrainian flute can do lots of notes? I wonder if the desert rose is a crystal. I loved today.” ~Thomas

“I wonder if the seed necklace is made out of coconut because coconut is really hard and the necklace is really hard too. My highlight is that I got to sketch the artifacts. Speaking of artifacts, have you ever seen Peruvian clothing? If you haven’t seen it, it is beautiful clothing! Here are the countries we study: Peru, India, Tunisia, Ukraine. Did you know that Ukraine is having a war?” ~Olivia

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“Wow! I like this artifact! Oh, I also like this artifact. Yes! We were looking at artifacts and one of my favourite artifacts was the Indian gold necklace because it looked really nice. My highlight was that we got to open up some boxes because I wanted to see the inside. My lowlight was being sick and not coming to school for the second day of artifacts. Another artifact I like was the nesting dolls. Mrs. Adamson’s nesting doll could fit in ten nesting dolls. I wonder who invented the nesting doll? Another reason I like the nesting doll is because it was really decorative. My second highlight was getting to play the drums. Thanks for reading!” ~Robert

“Um … um … um … is this a museum or am I in the wrong room, I thought to myself as I walked into the classroom. There were artifacts everywhere! My highlight was sketching the little bag that was made with weaving. My lowlight was an artifact was broken and it was Mrs. Renton’s. Why that’s my lowlight? I really wanted to look at that. My favourite was the little bag, as I mentioned earlier. It was my favourite because it was very complicated and very simple at the same time. I wonder if the weaving was done by a kid?” ~Shaye

“When I walked into the classroom this morning, I saw all these artifacts on our desks. I wondered to myself and thought what they were for. Then I remembered all the colourful designs and symbols. My favourite part of seeing all the artifacts is because all the artifacts show like symbols and traditional clothing on them like knitted dolls clothing which they use for real humans. My favourite artifact was the doll that had all the stuff on it to give to people that need to reach their needs. My lowlight was that Fort Calgary didn’t have many artifacts but luckily our teacher had lots of artifacts. I wonder why they call a desert rose a desert rose because it is a type of rock. It was SO fun because Fort Calgary let us use some of their artifacts.” ~Carter

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“Boom! When I walked into the classroom there was so much stuff on everyone’s desk, I thought to myself. There were so many artifacts. My favourite artifact was the desert rose, (gypsum). The desert rose is like a rose but rock solid and it has crystals growing from it. Why? Because I am rock crazy! My favourite part was when I got to hold the desert rose because the crystals were so cool. My least favourite part was when two of our teacher’s artifacts broke because I was sad they broke. I wonder why desert rose was called that.” ~Adam

“Wow! These artifacts remind me of our grade two artifacts. My highlight was when all the cool things I saw made me amazed because they must have been expensive. My lowlight was that it was too loud because we could have been sketching longer if it weren’t that noisy. My favourite artifact was the dolls with the woven clothing. It was the best ever. I loved the Peruvian dolls with the babies … even cuter. I wonder if I will get the artifacts in grade four? I hope I will get artifacts next year!” ~Luisa

“The Fort Calgary kit is so cool! My favourite one is Mrs. Renton’s seeded necklace. I wonder if she tried them on? I also like the Indian necklace. They’re so pretty, both of them. If I was Mrs. Renton I would put on the seeded necklace, bracelet and earrings as soon as I paid for them. I really liked the drums. I want to save time so I can go to Ten Thousand Villages. It sounds like a really cool place. I feel so sorry for Mrs. Renton. I understand how much those artifacts mean to her. It’s so sad to see her amazing artifacts broken. That’s why everyone has to be careful and treat all the artifacts with respect because it would be horrible if any of the Fort Calgary kit items broke. It would be the end of the Fort Calgary kit for us! It’s so much fun sketching all the artifacts and looking at the items.” ~Marah

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“When I took one step inside the classroom it was quite a surprise! I even thought it was a dream but, it wasn’t. When we passed the artifacts around I wanted them all at once! They were so beautiful! My favourite artifacts were the desert rose and the mastroshka, (nesting dolls). They were my favourite because the desert rose is a rock and it has crystals! The mastroshka is also my favourite because they get so tiny and I will be entertained with them!  My highlight is when I go to BC I can go to a rock shop and get a piece of desert rose! I don’t have a lowlight. I wonder how people carve and paint the mastroshkas! I felt amazing after we passed them around. I felt like we were so rich!” ~Faith

“As I walked in the classroom yesterday I saw our desks covered with artifacts from the four countries we are learning about. I started sketching the ocarina, then the drum, then the hand cymbals. I did really good shading on the ocarina and the drums. I saw how much money the ocarina was. It was $10.00. I felt really bad about what happened to Mrs. Renton’s flute.” ~Alvin

“I wonder how gypsum is made? My favourite artifact was the clay drum because it looks so cool with all the designs on it and the string that holds the drum is hard to sketch because the string is all twisted! My highlight was sketching the gypsum because there were lines. The other artifacts are cool too.” ~Alvin

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“Yesterday afternoon we were looking at the Fort Calgary kit artifacts. There’s a lot of them. Like the sopilka, (flute), and the hand cymbals. My highlight is that we got to sketch the artifacts. My favourite artifact is the desert rose because it’s a rock and I’m CRAZY about rocks!!! I wish we could keep them!” ~Bryan

“It was so much fun to look at the artifacts. What is my favourite artifact? The India gold necklace. It was so much fun.” ~Saadia

“Wow! What happened in here? The classroom is full of artifacts! My favourite is the golden trinket box because it is a perfect size and I like the gold. My highlight was sketching the trinket boxes because I like sketching challenges. I wonder if there are any other colours of trinket boxes. I wish we could do this every day!” ~Liam

“Wow! I think that EVERY school should have a Fort Calgary kit! And, PERMANENTLY!!! There are so many artifacts. Some of them were Mrs. Renton’s, though. The one that interests me most was the “Ekeko“, which means a man of good fortune. He gives out stuff that nobody usually has, like: money, tire sandals, drums, all that kind of stuff. He is a Peruvian doll, (or statue). There was one other thing called a huiro and it was like a flute. I wonder what your favourite artifact would be if YOU were at this school?” ~Oliver

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“We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin,

but we all belong to one human race.”

~Kofi Annan

We wonder:

  • how LONG it takes to make some of these amazing artifacts because most of them are made by hand!
  • why the desert rose is called a desert rose!
  • if the designs on many of these artifacts have special meaning?
Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A DAY of DRESS-Up AROUND the World!

People from different cultures have different definitions for beauty.

Isn’t that sad to judge others with our standards … rather than appreciate them?

~Mizuki Nomura

We’ve been working with the Fort Calgary kit this week! Today, we got to try on the traditional clothing from each of the four countries we investigate in Social Studies: Tunisia, Peru, India and Ukraine!

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Tunisia

What follows are our reflections on the day:

“When I came in this morning there were tri-folds up and they looked so life-like! My favourite clothes were the Peruvian clothes because their clothing has so many different colours. I wonder how you rap a turban? My highlight was taking the pictures at the Tunisian tri-fold.” ~Haya

“Huh, I wondered, walking into the classroom, seeing lots of tri-folds, (tri-folds are MASSIVE pieces of cardboard folded three times). Then, Mrs. Renton said we were taking pictures of us inside the tri-folds. At first I was confused, then I saw the head-shaped holes inside the tri-folds. Then I understood everything. We were going to put our heads through the holes that Mrs. Renton made. My favourite part was putting my head through the holes in the tri-folds. My favourite kind of clothes were India’s. I think the Indian sari and the Tunisian boy’s shirt are very similar.” ~Mani

“Today, when I came in, I was surprised to see the tri-folds and the traditional clothes. I feel like the tri-folds were real … and … cool. My highlight is seeing all of the tri-folds standing looking perfect. My lowlight was that some people were being funny and laughing and not making good choices. I loved the Ukrainian girl’s clothes because the flower strip is so beautiful.” ~Luisa

“Wowzers! Are we in the right ROOM, I thought! “Please don’t touch the tri-folds … please go around them”, Mrs. Renton said. “Okay, but what are these for” one of my friend’s whispered. She talked about the ground rules. When we started putting on the clothes I was so happy. The first station was the Tunisia one … it was fun! Why? Because it felt like you were wearing it and ACTUALLY celebrating a tradition!” ~Anita

“When I looked into the classroom there was cardboard all of the four countries painted on the cardboard. When we got to come in I first looked at the Ukrainian one which is my favourite. There was India, Peru and Tunisia too. I do not have a least favourite part. My favourite traditional clothing is the Ukrainian clothing because I like the ribbons on it. The Ukrainian traditional clothing for girls and boys both have ribbons on them. I wonder if Ukrainian dancer clothing is different in the country than the city?” ~Thomas

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Ukraine

“It feels like I am in all FOUR countries, I said to Mrs. Renton. We are taking pictures with the tri-folds Mrs. Renton painted with Mrs. D. My favourite part was taking the picture in the India tri-fold because it was very interesting and the clothing is amazingly pretty. My favourite piece of clothing is the dress for India because it is a very calm dress. What I noticed in the India tri-fold is that pretty much everyone is wearing a tunic or a sari. I think that’s because it’s a different way to worship their gods. I wonder what the clothing is made of?” ~Shaye

“As I walked into the classroom, I saw an amazing sight. Our desks have been moved and beautiful tri-folds of the four countries we are studying: Peru, Tunisia, Ukraine and India. I wonder what we are going to do with them? Mrs. Renton explained what we would do. My highlight was that we got to wear the traditional clothing. My favourite traditional clothing is the Ukrainian one because it is the most beautiful clothing in all four countries. I noticed that all four countries have a building or a house in the background, except the Tunisia one. I wonder if there is a mountain in all the countries.” ~Bryan

“What? Something’s different around here, I thought to myself when I walked into the classroom. Peru was my favourite part of the scenes. If you are wondering what I am writing about, well, there’s four tri-folds up and they’re from all the countries we are studying. There’s Peru, (my favourite), Ukraine, India and Tunisia. We are dressing up and taking pictures when we are dressed up. Let’s get back to the highlights and the lowlights. I like Peru best because I’m doing my marionette girl from Peru and because one of my bffs is half Peruvian. If you take off the hat on the Indian clothing then it looks the same as the Tunisian clothing.” ~Sofie

“Wow! What the HECK, I thought to myself as I walked in. When I got to the carpet Mrs. Renton told us what the tri-folds were for and what we were doing. I grew impatient. I really wanted to get started. My favourite one was the Indian one. I really liked the clothing. It was so much fun trying all the different clothes and poking our heads in the tri-folds. I can’t believe Mrs. Renton did all this. I wonder how long it took her to finish the tri-folds. It was just a little … a LITTLE hard to keep our hands to ourselves and we had to be careful not to make the tri-fold move. I’m so excited to go check the blog out tonight!” ~Marah

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Peru

“When I first came in the class my mouth got open. I had so much fun when we were getting in the clothes.” ~Saadia

 “When we walked in the doors Mrs. Renton told us to be careful with the tri-folds and to find a walk way that would not move or wreck the tri-folds. When we walked in there were tri-folds from Ukraine, Peru, India and Tunisia. My team’s first tri-fold was the Ukrainian tri-fold. The second tri-fold was the Peruvian tri-fold. The third tri-fold was the Indian tri-fold. And, the fourth but the last tri-fold was the Tunisian tri-fold. My favourite tri-fold was the Ukrainian tri-fold because it was the most decorated tri-fold.” ~Robert

“When I went into the classroom I was like … WOW! I loved the tri-folds. My favourite tri-fold is India because I like the girl’s sari! I like how Mrs. Renton put earrings in the Indian girl’s ears.” ~Prayers

“Wow! What happened to the classroom? It looked like the tri-folds at the zoo! What are we doing today?!? There was a Tunisia, Ukraine, Peru and India tri-fold with beautiful paintings on them. One of my highlights was getting my head in the tri-fold because it reminded me of the zoo! My lowlight was finishing the last station. My favourite traditional clothing was the clothing from India because it felt like a silk uniform. I recognized that the Peruvian clothing was more decorative than the others because they represent different things that they celebrate. I wonder if Peru has more than one type of traditional clothes?” ~Riley

“When I was walking the bell rang. I knew I had to run to the office and go to my class. When I came in I didn’t know we were taking pictures! I was excited to take pictures. But Mrs. Renton told us to be gentle. Then she set us up in our groups. We even decided how we were going to do the clothing. One of my favourites was the sari. It even had earrings. I also think that every clothing was different because that’s how they keep themselves safe. I wonder if all people wear traditional clothing.” ~Roxanne

“As I walked into the classroom I noticed that our desks were moved and there were four tri-folds. I was wondering what they were for. Right away I peered. There were carved circly oval shapes. Then I noticed on the backside of each one there were the names of that country. And, they were our Social Studies countries. Then most of everybody in the class was saying that we get to put our faces on the tri-fold to pretend w were wearing the traditional clothing. My highlight was sticking my head through the Tunisia tri-fold because there’s only one carved circly oval shape thing that you stick your head through. I wonder how Mrs. Renton could paint that?” ~Colby

“Wow! When I looked through the window I was extremely surprised! I could not wait to try out the tri-folds! My highlight was that I got to try all the girl’s clothes in all four countries. That is my highlight because I am making a girl marionette and I a a girl and girls are cool! The good thing is, I don’t have a lowlight! My favourite traditional clothing was the Indian clothing because we are on the third book of the Indian trilogy. I don’t think any of the traditional clothing has any similarities. I wonder why our traditional clothing and different traditional clothing isn’t the same?” ~Faith

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India

“When I came into the classroom I saw four tri-folds. Sofie and I were trying to guess what countries but we thought Tunisia was India because the boy clothing looked kind of Indian. My highlight was dressing in their traditional clothing. If you’re wondering where we got the clothing, we got the clothing from Fort Calgary.” ~Olivia

“Wow! As I walked into the classroom this morning, I noticed tri-folds set up all over the classroom. I was looking at the tri-folds wondering what they were for but then I remembered we were learning about the four countries: Peru, India, Tunisia and Ukraine. My favourite traditional clothing was from Ukraine because it looked really detailed with all the colours and designs. My least favourite part was, well … actually … I didn’t have a least favourite part! The clothing was a lot different from Tunisia and India.” ~Carter

“As I walked in the doors of the classroom I noticed four tall tri-folds in the middle of the room. Wow, I said, as I noticed, from the painting on them, that they were from our four countries: India, Peru, Ukraine and Tunisia. But, they had cut-outs in the people’s faces that were on the tri-folds. Mrs. Renton said we were wearing traditional clothing from the four countries. My favourite part was putting my face in the cut-outs in the India one. But, I didn’t like having to go on my tippy toes and almost falling over. I absolutely LOVED the Tunisian clothing because of the cool gold designs on it. I have noticed that in every country there was a hat to go with the clothes. The Tunisian clothes look a lot like the man’s clothing on the Indian tri-fold. I wonder why every piece of clothing has a hat to it.” ~Marcus

“Huh? What are those, I thought when I came into the classroom. Are those tri-folds? They are HUGE! Wait … that’s India … that’s Peru … that’s Ukraine … and that’s Tunisia. My favourite is the Peruvian one because I like the way they are dressed.” ~Liam

“When I went into the classroom tri-folds where there. Mrs. Renton did a lot of work with the tri-folds. Mrs. Renton was a very detailed artist. Another teacher helped her with the tri-folds. It was fun taking pictures with my friends.” ~Alvin

“When I walked into the classroom I saw four big cardboard stuff. But, then I walked in a little bit more. Then I saw all four countries we were studying. Then I noticed all their heads were cut out. My funnest thing was when I got to stick my head through them because it was fun to stand on the chairs. My least favourite thing was when I was almost too short to stick my head through one of the people in India. When we were dressing I noticed that India has almost the same pants as in Ukraine because they were red and designed the same way.” ~Adam

“Wow! Mrs. Renton? You did this all in one night?!? No … that would be physically impossible! We are talking about tri-folds that Mrs. Renton put up. She painted four of them but she said it took weekends and weekends and weekends … even WITH Mrs. D.’s help! There was one for India, Ukraine, Tunisia and Peru! Each tri-fold was very decorative. each station came with the traditional clothing of the region. They also came with the types of headwear that people would have in different regions, but we couldn’t put them on because we were worried that they had head lice!” ~Oliver

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The day FLEW by, in the BLINK of an eye! We have a LOT of new wonders BECAUSE of this experience:

  • Why are traditional clothes SO different from country to country … could it be the CLIMATE? Could the COLOURS hold special MEANING?
  • Even WITHIN a single country the clothing can vary from region to region. Why IS this?
  • Do many people in these four countries still WEAR their traditional clothing … or … do they just wear them for special celebrations?
Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

What’s the BIG Deal about Fair Trade?!?

There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness.

~ Mahatma Gandhi

It's HARD to believe that this ENTIRE post began because of an opportunity to buy Rafiki Chains through our Student Council!

It’s HARD to believe that this ENTIRE post began because of an opportunity to buy Rafiki Chains through our Student Council!

A hundred times a day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labours of other men.

~ Albert Einstein

Our Student Council group is selling Rafiki Chains. This is a part of the Me to We Foundation that has been working hard, for MANY years, to bring about positive change in the world. We were VERY excited to discover that we had an opportunity to help with the amazing work that Craig and Marc Keilburger have been doing for years now. And, the COOL part? They started out wanting to make a difference when THEY were kids too!

At first, we were a LITTLE disappointed to discover that these chains would cost us $10.00 EACH. They seemed like such SIMPLE chains to make … just a string of beads in a single strand. THAT’S when we started to delve DEEPER. We discovered that Rafiki means FRIEND in SWAHILI … and … even BETTER? EVERY chain that is PURCHASED helps to “break the chain of poverty” in the communities these chains are MADE in. MOST of the money goes right BACK to the community to help them with “school supplies, access to clean water, healthy meals, financial tools, and health care!”

Wow! It made us all feel SO good to know that buying our own Rafiki Chains would help to make the world a BETTER place!

Wow! It made us all feel SO good to know that buying our own Rafiki Chains would help to make the world a BETTER place!

THAT’S when FAIR TRADE popped into the conversation. We talked about being paid FAIRLY for the work that we ALL do. We began to wonder what in the world FAIR trade was … and why EVERYONE wasn’t getting paid fairly for the work that they do. We were EVEN shocked to discover, as we got FURTHER into our wonders, that something as HORRIBLE as CHILD labour exists in the world.

We found some great sites during our search to help us with our questions and an AMAZING post that was easy for us to understand, since we’re only seven and eight years old. It’s called F is for Fair Trade.

We were SHOCKED to discover that MILLIONS of children around the world have to work and don't even get to go to school. ALL this just because of a LITTLE Rafiki Chain.

We were SHOCKED to discover that MILLIONS of children around the world have to work and don’t even get to go to school. ALL THESE discoveries, and MORE, just because of a LITTLE Rafiki Chain!

What follows are some of our reflections:

“Fair Trade gives farmers or whoever a fair price for the food, tea and other stuff they grow or make like fruits, peanuts, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, clothes and more. Fair Trade allows “sellers” to get enough money for food, medicine, clean water and shelter. It also helps stop child labour.” ~Mani

“Fair Trade is making sure that people in developing countries get a decent amount of money for the things they have worked very hard on. Fair trade is important because it can help to stop child labour. If you spend ten dollars you can buy a Rafiki necklace which means “friend chain”.  It helps Mothers in developing countries afford education for their kids and clean water and safe food to eat. I think that people in developing countries should deserve to get a decent amount of cash. They deserve to live with clean water but unfortunately they cannot because not everything is Fair Trade. :( Some people in developing countries LIVE on Fair Trade. I think fair trade is a great idea.” ~Marcus

“Fair Trade is an important thing. Fair Trade is important because if somebody worked for three days making a whole purse you would not give them 25 cents. You would probably give them 25 dollars. Some kids that are poor get forced to work at the age of seven years old instead of going to school. People are paying lots for Rafiki chains. Five dollars goes to the Me to We foundation and five goes to the people who make them. People should get a fair amount of money for how much work they put into whatever they’re making. If I put lots of work into something and only got like 50 cents for it that wouldn’t be a fair trade.” ~Carter

We know that artisans around the world work HARD to make a living. This beautiful doll was sent to Mrs. Renton from Ashli. Ashli is the co-founder of Mosqoy. Mosqoy is a non-government organization we have helped to build a library with in Q'enqo Peru. Mosqoy works hard at FAIR TRADE.

We know that artisans around the world work HARD to make a living. This beautiful doll was sent to Mrs. Renton from Ashli. Ashli is the co-founder of Mosqoy. Mosqoy is a non-government, not for profit organization we have helped to build a library with in Q’enqo Peru. Mosqoy works hard at FAIR TRADE.

“I think that Child Labour is just CRUEL! They work for no more than maybe ten or eleven dollars a week. I wonder what kind of parents would send their kids away for probably only like $175? Fair Trade is NOT something where farmers can make crops like honey, peanuts, coffee beans … anything you can farm … and they get only like 25 cents. That’s not fair to the farmers. So, Fair Trade makes sure the farmers get enough money to put food on their table. Children in Africa, Asia and a TON of other countries have ten year old kids working for free. That, my dear readers, is a GREAT example of CHILD LABOUR!” ~Oliver

“Did you know that MILLIONS of kids have to work in places like factories and other places? Did you know that there are five different kids of Rafiki chains? They are for food, health, water, education and income. I also wonder how long it takes to make a Rafiki chain. I would feel sad if I made something and it took me one or two months and I got five or ten dollars. I hope more people start doing Fair Trade.” ~Robert

“Did you know that some people put all their hard work into making a doll or food and all they get is a little amount of money? I really wonder why they spend so much time on things and get a little amount of money. Some children have to work but they get a little amount of money and the rest of the money goes to the parents or other people who don’t even do the work. I feel really sad that some parents do that to children. I wonder why some people don’t do Fair Trade. It is really rude.” ~Olivia

Ashli ALSO sent these BEAUTIFUL hand-woven Peruvian bags .... purchased through FAIR trade. We LOVE the work that Mosqoy is doing in Peru!

Ashli ALSO sent these BEAUTIFUL hand-woven Peruvian bags …. purchased through FAIR trade. We LOVE the work that Mosqoy is doing in Peru!

“Did you know that MILLIONS of children work full days? Fair Trade is getting a fair price for what you made or grew. Amazingly, 9924 TONNES of Fair Trade hot chocolate was drunk in the UK in 2011. 75% of Fair Trade producers are farmers. Surprisingly there are more than 4500 Fair Trade products with the FairTrade mark. I would feel like a slave if I had to work full days. I wonder if parents get slaved like children. I wish that more people would pay a fair amount of money for what they get.” ~Riley

“I, William, really think tourists that go to developing countries really should give more money to the people who make things. I do really wonder how long it’s going to take for almost all of Africa to develop. I know it is going to take a long time but I still wonder. Another wonder I have is why do people say “I will pay $4.00″ when something is $12.00. I just don’t think it’s fair. It’s really NOT fair. I learned through Fair Trade websites that Fair Trade is NOT charity, which I thought it was. But, I get it a LOT more now. When I learned about Rafiki necklaces/bracelets I was surprised they were $10.00. I was ripped off about that but when I learned more about it it was a GOOD deal. I just can’t wait until my Rafiki necklace gets here.” ~William

“Did you know that half of our Rafiki chain money goes to the Mamas that made them? Fair Trade is if you make or grow something that took you a day to make or grow you should not sell it for a dollar. It should be sold for at LEAST 17 or 25 dollars. Fair Trade products are selling in more than 120 countries now. I wonder how many countries are developing countries and how many are rich countries. Bad child labour is having to work ALL day! I wish that more people would get the amount of money they need!” ~Colby

In Calgary, there are MANY places to purchase hand-made goods through FAIR TRADE. These huiros were purchased at Ten Thousand Villages. It makes us feel GOOD to know the person who made these was paid FAIRLY.

In Calgary, there are MANY places to purchase hand-made goods through FAIR TRADE. These Peruvian huiros were purchased at Ten Thousand Villages. It makes us feel GOOD to know the person who made these was paid FAIRLY.

“OK … so … Fair Trade all started when we were talking and learning about Rafiki Chains. Rafiki means friend. We have quite a few … uhh … facts and wonders! Fair Trade helps to make sure that working conditions are REALLY safe. Fair Trade can SURELY help to protect children and STOP child labour. Fair Trade helps developing countries. Fair Trade ISN’T charity. MILLIONS of farmers in Africa and Asia do NOT get Fair Trade for ALL the food they grow. I wish all the developing countries and also the wealthy countries would get Fair Trade. A LOT of people in developing countries can’t make a decent living because they have to sell their goods at such low prices.” ~Faith

“Why is Fair Trade important? Because millions of people across Africa, Asia and Latin America are getting a better deal and a better living because of fair trade. My wonder is if no one did Fair Trade would they stop making stuff? The people that make Rafikis … are they just girls? If it was a boy doing it, would the Rafikis be the same? In many different poor countries kids have to do grown up work. That’s child labour.” ~Shaye

“There are millions of farmers who don’t get Fair Trade for their crops in Africa and Asia. Fair Trade is not about charity. It’s about giving the right amount of money to the person. So, if I grow tomatoes and it took me three days and someone said I will give you one dollar for it … that’s not a fair trade. I wonder if I made a rainbow loom bracelet and it took me five hours how much money that would be?” ~Adam

“If kids work like six hours and they only make 30 cents that’s not even close to a fair trade. Fair Trade helps with living.” ~Liam

This drum, from India, was ALSO purchased through Fair Trade at Ten Thousand Villages.

This drum, from India, was ALSO purchased through Fair Trade at Ten Thousand Villages.

“What is a Rafiki? Rafiki is a Swahili word for “friends”. Can I be Rafiki? Certainly you can. You can buy a Rafiki friend chain AND you can buy as many Fair Trade items as you can!!!” ~Anita

“I feel so sorry for all those kids and adults that work so hard and don’t get a fair price. Think about it. All their hard work for such a little price. That’s not fair. Fair Trade is important because is helps people make a living. I wonder why someone would do such a thing … not giving someone a fair amount of money? Why? Why? WHY? I suggest that everyone should pay exactly, I repeat … EXACTLY the price the person who made the item needs. That is fair.” ~Marah

“Fair Trade is important because some people don’t get a fair price for the stuff they worked really hard on and also because they need money for their family. In school people are selling Rafikis and they don’t keep the money. They give it to the Mamas because they are the ones who made the Rafikis. If you do not know what child labour is … well … it is when children do a job at a young age. Some of them are lucky and they still get an education. One of my wonders is how did they come up with the Fair Trade symbol?” ~Aleah

“Children all over the world work hard for a living. A Rafiki chain is about helping women in Africa and a Rafiki is $10.00. I wonder how many kids do this child labour. I think Fair Trade is important.” ~Prayers

“I wonder if rich people can do anything? Some children are poor and they don’t have houses or food for themselves or their family. Some are forced to do work and some have no families. Some countries are really poor.” ~Roxanne

There are SO many wonderful links and books ... we've only just BEGUN to delve into the issue of Fair Trade and human rights. Keep checking back! There's MORE to COME!

There are SO many wonderful links and books … we’ve only just BEGUN to delve into the issue of Fair Trade and human rights. Keep checking back! There’s MORE to COME!

“I wonder if Fair Trade is like fair trade money. The Rafiki Chain: half of the money when you buy a Rafiki goes to the people who made them and the other half goes to the Me to We Foundation to help in other ways. Fair Trade is important because if you didn’t get Fair Trade you wouldn’t have enough money to feed your family and you will starve.” ~Haya

“Fair Trade is giving a fair amount of money. If someone takes five hours to make a doll or a drum or something then give them a fair price.” ~Alvin

“Fair Trade can be for coffee, rice, sugar, flowers, honey, vanilla and fresh fruit. Fair trade is something that when a person spent hours making something they will get a good deal when they sell it. In some countries there is not Fair Trade. So people will not have that much money.” ~Thomas

This GORGEOUS "kantha" blanket was purchased by a Blogging Hawk family, online, through Dignify.

This GORGEOUS “kantha” blanket was purchased by a Blogging Hawk family, online, through Dignify.

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

This Fair Trade chocolate can ALSO be purchased online. We wonder if you can buy it in stores in Calgary?

This Fair Trade chocolate can ALSO be purchased online. We wonder if you can buy it in stores in Calgary?

The CHALLENGE is ON! We VOW to keep our EYES peeled for Fair Trade items being sold around us. We MIGHT even take PHOTOS of these items and add them to this post over time! We MAY be SMALL … but … TOGETHER? We can ALL make a difference!

LOOK! Since writing this post ANOTHER Blogging Hawk found some FAIR Trade chocolate in town! I guess we JUST have to keep our EYES peeled!

LOOK! Since writing this post ANOTHER Blogging Hawk found some FAIR Trade chocolate in town! They FOUND it at Shoppers Drug Mart.  I guess we JUST have to keep our EYES peeled!

We wonder:

  • Do you try to buy “Fair Trade”? We’d LOVE to hear about it.
  • Besides going to places like Ten Thousand Villages to buy Fair Trade goods, where ELSE can you find them in Calgary? *Since first writing this, we discovered a link to where you can purchase Fair Trade items in Calgary!
  • Is there Child Labour in Canada?
  • Is all our stuff made in factories in Canada? (Oh oh! Now we’re looking at our CLOTHING labels!)

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Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.

~ Sally Koch

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

The Grandparent Diaries … All about the Dyeing Process!

What do you actually need? Food, clothing and shelter. Everything else is entertainment.

~Aloe Blacc

We’ve had a TON of fun investigating the emails we are receiving from Carter’s Grandparents, who have been travelling through India. One of their emails told us about how fabric is “stamped” using wooden blocks and natural dyes made from the plants and spices they have around them!

In India many people decorate fabric with a technique called BLOCK printing! Here, they are using a wooden stamp and green dye made from SPINACH!

In India many people decorate fabric with a technique called BLOCK printing! Here, they are using a wooden stamp and green dye made from SPINACH!

WHAT? Did you say SPINACH? Yup … SPINACH! On THIS fabric, they used the green to OUTLINE the design. Oh, oh … here goes a bunch MORE wondering! By NOW, you shouldn’t be THAT surprised by our natural curiosity!

That YELLOW tub ... at the FRONT of the photo ... is a mixture of CURRY and MUSTARD! Wow! AMAZING!

That YELLOW tub … at the FRONT of the photo … is a mixture of CURRY and MUSTARD! Wow! AMAZING!

The YELLOW was used to fill in the GREEN outline made by the SPINACH! It must take SUCH a long time to complete stamping a piece of fabric to make a tablecloth or a sari. It must take a LOT of PATIENCE! If they can use SPINACH and CURRY and MUSTARD … we wonder what ELSE they can use to make bright, beautiful colours to decorate the fabric with?

Once the fabric is "stamped" then it's dipped into a SALT solution!

Once the fabric is “stamped” then it’s dipped into a SALT solution!

It’s TRUE … once it’s DONE, it’s DIPPED into SALT! But, we don’t understand why the SALT solution turns the piece of fabric RED! Hmm. We’ll have to do some more RESEARCH! After ALL the drawings are done, then they put them together to make a sari … or a tablecloth … or something else that is JUST as beautiful!

Wow. Is THIS how they make some of these saris? Carter's Grandma is SO lucky!

Wow. Is THIS how they make some of these saris? Carter’s Grandma is SO lucky!

We ALL agree that it sounds like a VERY complicated process. We LOVE that we are learning more about India through Carter’s amazing Grandparents. ALL of these photos have been taken by them and shared with us. We are blessed! Because of their adventures, we’ve discovered that MANY cultures around the world dye their fabrics using plants for natural dyes … INCLUDING the PIONEERS! We even managed to find a GREAT website that told us how we could make our OWN natural dyes. Several of us are going to save our avocado skin and pits because we REALLY don’t believe that they can produce a PINK dye! After all … avocados are GREEN!

We STILL have a TON of wonders:

  • What OTHER cultures use natural dyes to make clothing?
  • WHY does the salt solution turn the fabric red?
  • Have YOU ever made your own natural dye? We’d LOVE to hear about it!
  • What OTHER things can be used to make natural dyes.
  • How in the WORLD did people FIRST discover that you could use PLANTS to dye CLOTH?
  • Would natural dyes work as well as the Rit dye we used on our GEODES?

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

~Scott Adams
Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Grandparent TRAVEL Diaries … and the REAL Adventure Begins!

“A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.”

~Moslih Eddin Saadi

We are SO lucky! One of the Blogging Hawks’ GRANDPARENTS are travelling through INDIA right now! India happens to be one of the FOUR countries we explore in our Grade Three Social Studies curriculum! We have received SEVERAL emails with the most WONDERFUL pictures and descriptions of their travelling adventures!

We were actually SO close to SKYPING with them, one morning last week, which would have been a TRULY amazing experience because WE discovered that India is 11 1/2 hours AHEAD of us. That means that at 9:00 am OUR time … it would be 8:30 PM in INDIA!!! It’s pretty hard to Skype with ANYONE in India, during SCHOOL hours, unless you are LUCKY enough to have GRANDPARENTS who are willing AND able to connect IN-BETWEEN their adventures! Phew … OURS wanted to … but … SKYPE wasn’t behaving for us! Don’t worry … we are persistent!!! We don’t give up EASILY in the face of a challenge!!! So … now that Skype is “FIXED” … we WILL find time to connect with these amazing Grandparents … even if it is AFTER they are back at HOME … so that we can ask them even MORE questions! 😉

We are using our broken smartboard screen as a place to capture some of the wonderful photos and learning happening through The Grandparent Diaries right now!

We are using our broken SmartBoard screen as a place to capture some of the wonderful photos and learning happening through “The Grandparent Diaries” right now!

As ALWAYS, when we DISCOVER something … we wonder EVEN more!!! It’s CRAZY how that happens! This post will share just SOME of our wonders and SOME of our discoveries while learning through “The Grandparent Travel Diaries”! We are SO grateful to Carter’s Grandparents for sharing their adventures with us, for deepening our understanding … and for helping us to FURTHER wonder about the world around us!

Recently, we received an email from them telling us about the wonderful saris that some Indian women wear. We discovered that not ALL Indian women wear these beautiful dresses made from a long, LONG length of fabric. (Sometimes that fabric can be over NINE METRES in length!) WOW! Many women dress the same way that WE do … but … MANY wear saris. We ALSO discovered that saris are wrapped in DIFFERENT ways … depending on what REGION you are in in India!

Mrs. Renton's sari is only about FIVE metres long ... it's HARD to believe some are almost TWICE as long as that! She was LUCKY ... one of her "old" bloggers gave her this GORGEOUS sari at the end of the YEAR! THANK you, Chelsea!

Mrs. Renton’s sari is only about FIVE metres long … it’s HARD to believe some are almost TWICE as long as that! She was LUCKY … one of her “old” bloggers gave her this GORGEOUS sari at the end of the YEAR! THANK you, Chelsea!

Mrs. Renton brought HER sari in to show us. It was GORGEOUS but we couldn’t even BEGIN to imagine how to WRAP that much material so that it would look as BEAUTIFUL as the one that Carter’s beautiful GRANDMOTHER was wearing:

Carter's Grandma  ... looking FABULOUS in a GORGEOUS sari while out and about in India. Wow! We wonder if she could give us LESSONS on how to WRAP that much material!

Carter’s Grandma … looking FABULOUS in a GORGEOUS sari while out and about in India. Wow! We wonder if she could give us LESSONS on how to WRAP that much material!

Well … WOULDN’T you know it … THAT’S where the INTERNET helped us out! Last year, while dressing her marionette in traditional Indian clothing, even Mrs. RENTON didn’t know how to wrap a sari. She found an AMAZING video showing her EXACTLY what to do!

You will giggle … but just about EVERYONE wanted to wear the sari! How much FUN is THAT? We actually even had to “draw popsicle sticks” so that it would be FAIR! Don’t worry, we’ll probably wrapping the sari for WEEKS to come so that EVERYONE who WANTS a turn gets to try it on! So … we WATCHED the video, and PAUSED the video … and “REWOUND” the video … and wrapped … and TUCKED … and FOLDED … and wrapped some more!!! We hope you enjoy the slideshow … we had a TON of fun trying to wrap this sari “professionally”.

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GULP … it was HARD … but … we know PRACTICE makes PERFECT! *The photos for this slideshow were taken by one of the Blogging Hawks. THANKS, Riley, for CAPTURING our ANTICS!

We EVEN discovered that MANY old saris are “reworked” into GORGEOUS table runners and wall hangings and then sold at market:

At once we noticed the geometric shapes and wondered WHY they were done like that. They are SO beautiful ... the SARIS must have been SPECTACULAR!

At once we noticed the geometric shapes and wondered WHY they were done like that. They are SO beautiful … the SARIS must have been SPECTACULAR!

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure.

There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

~Jawaharial Nehru

We wonder:

  • Have YOU ever tried to wrap a sari? We’d LOVE to hear about it!
Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Wonders Lead to … DISCOVERIES!

Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of the human being’s desire to understand.

~ Neil Armstrong

Phew! We KNOW what you are THINKING! FINALLY … a NEW post! It’s just that we’ve been very, VERY busy. Thank you for your patience … you are NOT going to be SORRY for the wait … we KNOW you’re going to enjoy THIS learning adventure! Are you COZY? It’s going to be a LONG one!!! 😉

We’ve been exploring Rocks and Minerals in Science. Lately, we’ve been CRAZY about GEODES! A few of us have been bringing in some of our treasures to share with everyone. A few geodes came in. Some of them held the most AMAZING tiny little crystals. Others were COMPLETE solid. A FEW of them looked like they were actually DYED! WHAT?!? Well … you know how THAT goes … and THEN we BEGAN to wonder!!!

How are geodes FORMED? How LONG does it take? Where do you FIND them? Can you REALLY dye them? Well … if you can DYE them … can you make FAKE geodes? Welcome to our AMAZING journey of WONDER! We’ve discovered some pretty AMAZING things about geodes! Did you know that geodes take millions of YEARS to form? Yup. It’s TRUE! And … people even DYE geodes so they look BRIGHTER! 

You can definitely tell when a geode has been dyed because the dye kind of "bleeds" onto the outside shell.

You can definitely tell when a geode has been dyed because the dye kind of “bleeds” onto the outside of the rock.

We were AMAZED to discover that geodes take MILLIONS of years to form. Even Mrs. RENTON didn’t know how geodes were formed. We ALL learned something pretty cool when we found out that they can even be formed in old abandoned animal burrows!!! It’s TRUE … but … it sure doesn’t happen over night! Our quest continued. If you can DYE geodes … can you make a FAKE geode? Surprisingly, the ANSWER is YES!

With some AMAZING help from volunteers like the FABULOUS Mr. B., we began to create our OWN geodes!

With some AMAZING help from volunteers like the FABULOUS Mr. B., we began to create our OWN geodes!

We needed VERY specific materials to do this:

  • washed, dried, “seeded” eggshells (some of us chose to do “snowflakes” instead … they are JUST as beautiful)
  • boiling water
  • borax (only do this with an adult because borax is a chemical … you want to wash your hands after handling it)
  • dye (the kind you use for clothes … food colouring isn’t strong enough)
  • a well washed VERY clean “big-mouthed jar (not too big otherwise it will use too much borax)
  • patience (because it takes at LEAST 24 hours for good-sized crystals to form)
Some of us decided to do "snowflakes" instead. That meant we needed to cut a pipe cleaner into three equal pieces then suspend it from string into our jars.

Some of us decided to do “snowflakes” instead. That meant we needed to cut a pipe cleaner into three equal pieces then suspend it from string into our jars.

What follows are our reflections: 

“First step: you put hot water in your jar. Second step: put borax in then stir the borax. Third step: put in a colour. Fourth step: stir the colour that you picked. Fifth step: leave it until it has tons of crystals on it.” ~Adam

“I love how my geode looks like a tiny city the way it sparkles. It looks totally natural. We made them with this borax, hot water, glass jars, and shirt dye. I wonder why they get so shiny.” ~Shaye

“My geode is really cool, in my opinion! I hope I can make a snowflake at home. I hope I remember what to do! I THINK here’s what to do for the geode: take a no yolk egg. Wash it out very good. Take a jar … a CLEAN jar and put boiling water in it. Put borax in the egg. Then, put clothing dye in the jar. Mix VERY good. I wonder how the borax and the boiling water makes stars?” ~Faith

The clothing dye creates much richer, more vibrant colours than food colouring.

The clothing dye creates much richer, more vibrant colours than food colouring.

“I picked blue because my birthstone is aquamarine and aquamarine is blue. How we made the crystals on the geodes? It looked so cool! It looks really, really real! Plus, we are going to put sand on them and it will look even more realistic! Mr. B. helped us put 3 tablespoons of borax and 1 cup of hot water. Then, we mixed the borax until it’s see-through. I wonder if I can make my name out of borax, hot water and pipe cleaners?” ~Haya

“I loved the sparking obsidian-looking dark purple crystals shining inside of the fake geode. The light caught the purple crystals, making them sparkle. We made them with borax to make the crystals! Some of the ingredients included: borax, boiling water, shirt dye, eggshells and a jar. My Grandpa came in to help us and he was incredible because he helped us measure the cups of borax and measure the water to pour. I wonder what ELSE borax is for.” ~Marcus

“I dyed mine green but it turned out kinda blackish! We made them with borax and hot water in a glass jar. My snowflake is a bit skinnier than all the others but I like that really much. I wonder why it turned out black.” ~Liam

We had jars of borax EVERYWHERE! It was SO exciting but it was VERY hard to be patient!

We had jars of borax EVERYWHERE! It was SO exciting but it was VERY hard to be patient!

“Our materials: borax, egg shell, hot water, glue, spoon. First, we poured a half cut of hot water. Not a moment too soon … we put three tablespoons of borax in the water. After that we stirred and stirred and stirred until it was clear. Finally, we put a paper white eggshell with borax inside the boiling hot water. And the challenge began. Every morning since, I dashed to the break-out room window. It felt like MONTHS had past. Until now we got a glimpse at everybody’s. They scientifically looked life like. I wonder how tall was the biggest geode?” ~Riley

“My geode is so shiny from the inside. It’s crystally from the outside. It is beautiful. I wonder why we have to use hot water.” ~Alvin

“How you make geodes. Step one: take borax and then pour it into a cup of boiling hot water. Step two: put the eggshell in the water. Make sure that the eggshell fits in the jar. Then you add shirt dye into it. Right after that you stir with a spoon until you see no cloud in it. You wait and wait and wait until you see crystals and … you’re done! I wonder if you have to use the borax to make the crystals.” ~Anita

“This is how we made our geodes. Step 1: first we pour really hot water into the jar. Step 2: then we put 3 spoons of borax in. Then you mix it until it is clear. Step 3: then you put in the clothing dye. After you stir up the dye. You slowly place the egg into the jar. then wait 15 hours. Check your crystals. If there are crystals, lots of them, then pull it out with a spoon. If there are not crystals then try putting them in for a bit longer. They look very cool and shiny. The blue crystals turned out REALLY beautiful. I chose red like rubies because I like how they’re all red and shiny. I wonder if every rock can make a geode.” ~Carter

Ooh! They're SO beautiful ... but ... they are NOT finished yet. This is our FIRST peek!

Ooh! They’re SO beautiful … but … they are NOT finished yet. This is our FIRST peek!

“My geode is SO pretty. It has, well, a MILLION cazillion crystals. That’s what I think when I look on it. One side shimmers. Inside it’s a little dark but you can still see. I wonder what would happen if I put borax and mixed but not until it was clear.” ~Marah

“I wonder how the borax mixed in with the clothing dye. I did not think that it would turn out spectacularly like it did. I wonder how crystals formed because whenever I make crystals I need to use epsom salt. My brain wonders how and why crystals grow on a pipe cleaner because I think that that is really CRAZY! The materials we used for great snowflakes are: clothing dye, boiling water, pipe cleaners, wool, glass jar and a marker. The snowflake looks like there are reflections on it. If you look closely you can see a little bit of the white pipe cleaner I used. This is probably one of the most beautiful things I have ever made in my life before.” ~Colby

Ahh! My EYES! The geode is so shiny! It looks so spectacular. I wonder if I put it in water again if it would grow a lot bigger. I wonder if I put in dye again it would turn rainbow too. It is glowing so much. I wonder if I could fake sell it for lots of money. I want to do it at home so badly! All you do to make them is get boiling water and put borax in it and then mix it up until it’s not cloudy anymore and then put the dye in. Put the egg shell in next. Wait a day or two. And, then take it out and you have a geode. But, that’s not it. You still need to let it dry. after, put glue all around the outside than then dip it in sand and let it dry and that’s it. That’s how to make a geode. Now, all you need to do is have fun with your geodes.” ~William

Ohh! ANOTHER sneak peek! We can't WAIT to put the finishing touches on!

Ohh! ANOTHER sneak peek! We can’t WAIT to put the finishing touches on!

“I’m really proud I made a snowflake. It’s really cool but I am not bragging. I chose royal blue because that’s my birthstone colour: sapphire. And, it’s my favourite colour. Did you know that sapphire is the strongest mineral? I wonder what is the next strongest mineral? I also want to say that the geodes were extremely cool too. It’s cool how minerals can form. Mr. B is rally good with kids like us! I wonder if he is coming back soon?” ~Sofie

“At first, we started making the geodes and we thought it would take one day for the crystals to form. But, it actually took two days for the crystals to form. We needed a clean glass jar, a clean egg shell, borax, boiling hot water, and red, purple,, green or blue dye to make the geodes. When I was mixing the borax, boiling hot water and dye I saw the dye getting darker. I wonder how many days it would take to make a bigger geode. My geode was purple because I thought it was the original geode colour. My geode has a lot of very shiny crystals. Did you know that these are fake geodes? Real ones are up to 1000 years old.” ~Robert

“Did you know that you could make a FAKE geode? This is what you need: borax, a clean jar, a clean egg.” ~Olivia

“So, how I created my geode. You buy borax and use hot water. And, if you want colour, you buy dye. To get colour you pour the water on then you put the borax and then you stir it up and then you put the dye in if you want. And, then you stir it up. Oh ya. You have to clean the egg and put it in the jar. And then you wait two days. I wonder if geodes can change.” ~Thomas

Yup ... SUCH an exciting journey!

Yup … SUCH an exciting journey!

“Here is what I can’t believe. When you look  VERY closely with a magnifying glass, the inside looks ladies and gentlemen BLACK! I can’t believe that it looks black. I mean … that’s INSANE! I wonder if it would work with tide laundry powder. Most of the class, including me, think blue and red look the best. WOW. You can kind of stare on the inside of the geode … I think it looks exquisite! Thomas thinks his geode got disturbed. I hope not.” ~Mani

“The coolest thing was making them. First you had to put hot water. Next you get a paper.” ~Saadia

“Yay! My very first look at a geode. I think I am proud of my work because it is cool and I worked hard to get it to shape. I can’t wait to bring it home when my mom and dad’s face see it they’re gonna be proud of me. I just know it. I wonder if I could do the experiment at home but first I need to get the materials so I can do it. Or, I can make a snowflake. I wonder if this will work at home. I don’t know.” ~Luisa

“I made a snowflake. wow! So how I made this snowflake: you need borax and hot water and coloured dye and the last thing is a jar. So you are going to pour hot water in the jar. Then you are going to put borax in the jar. Then you are going to get a spoon and stir it all up. I wonder if you can do it without borax.” ~Prayers

We're all feeling very, VERY proud of our creations!

We’re all feeling very, VERY proud of our creations!

“My geode is a clear purple with a touch of sparkles. When you feel the inside of it it feels like a real crystal! I wonder if when you break the eggshell open will the inside of the eggshell be white? Is the dye that strong? I don’t want to break mine but I’m still curious. We used the following: borax, clothing dye and finally an eggshell washed very carefully.” ~Aleah

“On my way to school today I was thinking about my fake geode. it would be AWESOME! After lunch my teacher handed out our geodes. Mine has a little crack but it is still awesome! first, the crystals looked a little blackish. Then, it turned into dark green. And the shell was blue! Silly, don’t you think? There’s a small piece that fell out of it. I am very gentle to it because it is very delicate. The shell was an eggshell. And, the crystals formed by borax. The green was very good and the colour was made from dye. I wonder how the borax changes into crystals. I wonder what happens if you don’t put dye in it.” ~Bryan

“I’m glad I didn’t make a geode! These snowflakes are uncanny! I took a magnifying glass and took a really good look at it and I could see the crystals glistening in the sun. It’s made with: borax, clothing dye, a jar, hot water, pipe cleaners and a ruler. What you do with the ruler is: you measure the pipe cleaner up to the ruler, and then get some scissors.” ~Oliver (to be finished tomorrow).

“” ~Roxanne (to be finished tomorrow).

You’d THINK that would be the END of the “fake geode” adventure … but … it’s NOT! We had a LOVELY volunteer come in to help us glue SAND to the OUTSIDE of each of our geodes … to make them look even MORE realistic. We don’t quite know WHAT happened … because we didn’t get a SINGLE picture of Mrs. D. working with us to help us put the sand on and make special little BOXES to keep them in! It’s STRANGE because Mrs. Renton is camera CRAZY. We wonder if the fire drill in the middle of the afternoon put her off her groove?!!? We had SO much fun working with Mrs. D. and the boxes will keep our geodes and snowflakes SAFE!

WAIT! The learning STILL isn't over!!! Ugh ... who thought MATH would creep into this?!?

WAIT! The learning STILL isn’t over!!! Ugh … who thought MATH would creep into this?!? Ahh, yes possums … math creeps into ALL aspects of life! Are you ready for ANOTHER adventure?!?

Cotton Ball Math

This was a TOUGH challenge! WOULD there be ENOUGH cotton balls in Mrs. Renton's old bag of cotton balls? Or would she need to buy some more?Hmm. Off to work!

This was a TOUGH challenge! WOULD there be ENOUGH cotton balls in Mrs. Renton’s old bag of cotton balls? Or would she need to buy some more? Hmm. Off to work!

Luckily, we discovered that we DIDN’T need to send Mrs. Renton out for MORE cotton balls. There would be TEN left over in the bag! Phew! THAT was CLOSE! What’s AMAZING, though, is how DIFFERENTLY we all worked through this problem. We SHARED some of our thinking with one another and learned a LOT about the different ways you can work through problems. Check THESE possibilities out:

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All in all, this was an AMAZING learning journey! Just LOOK at how gorgeous our treasures are:

The boxes and the cotton balls COMPLETE the process! THANK you, Mrs. D.

The boxes and the cotton balls COMPLETE the process!

There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.

~ Walt Streightiff

Thank you to Mr. B. and Mrs. D. for helping us to "fake" our OWN geodes ... and special snowflakes! You ROCK!

Thank you to Mr. B. and Mrs. D. for helping us to “fake” our OWN geodes … and special snowflakes! You ROCK!

The world will never starve for want of wonders, but only for want of wonder.

~ G.K. Chesterton

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments