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Exploring Artifacts from AROUND the WORLD!

Posted by on February 6, 2015

 “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:


“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


“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


“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


“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


“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


“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?

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