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Learning About Other Cultures Through Their Artifacts

Posted by on December 31, 2015

 “Human diversity makes tolerance more than a virtue; it makes it a requirement for survival.”

~ René Dubos

Welcome to part TWO of our amazing exploration of the Fort Calgary kit prior to our winter break! We had SO much fun exploring the traditional clothing from our four countries: Ukraine, Peru, Tunisia and India … but … we couldn’t WAIT to get our hands on the ARTIFACTS nestled gently in the big black box! What follows are our reflections and wonders! Enjoy!

What a BEAUTIFUL Indian necklace!

What a BEAUTIFUL Indian necklace! Notice the white museum gloves? They’ll help us protect the artifacts in the Fort Calgary kit! They make us feel pretty special, too!

“Guess what? We got a Fort CALGARY kit!!! I LOVED it! My favourite artifact was a pysanka or a sopilka, (flute). It was long and round like a recorder. I wonder if I could make a pysanka? I loved it!” ~Cooper

“Have you ever touched real artifacts from India, Peru, Tunisia and Ukraine? Well, we get to! Why don’t I tell you about it! Okay. Let’s start with Peru. My favourite is the peruvian wooden pan pipes because I am going to do flute lessons. So, they are kind of the same. My next favourite in Peru is the Ekeko. It’s my next favourite because it is carrying a little flute … and … I told you already … I LOVE flutes!” ~Mary

“Have you ever touched a matryoshka? It is a nesting doll. I have! The nesting doll is from Ukraine. It goes teeny-tiny! There are also pysanka, which is a painted egg that is painted by hand. It is so detailed. There were also spoons. The spoons were so pretty. They had designs on them that were fruits and vegetables. Peru had a knitted (woven) purse, car tire sandals and a gourd huiro! India had a clay drum, two gold necklaces and a rosewood flute. Tunisia had two desert roses and hand cymbals. My favourite artifact is the nesting doll. I hope we can do this again!” ~Elise

Check out this GORGEOUS Ukrainian pysansky!

Check out this GORGEOUS Ukrainian pysansky!

“My class turned into a museum because of Mrs. Renton’s Peruvian, Ukrainian, Tunisian and Indian collections. Our job was to draw the artifacts and write about them. I drew the ceramic ocarina, seed jewelry, a purse, a jewelry box, a flute and a necklace. My favourite was the ceramic ocarina, necklace, seed jewelry and a purse that was from Peru. My highlights were getting to see and touch all the stuff from Peru, Ukraine, Tunisia and India and get to hear the music. My low lights were not getting to sketch all the stuff. If only I could, I wish I could find one of the ocarinas and jewelry boxes. I really wish I knew where Mrs. Renton got that stuff!” ~Ella

“Yay! We have the Fort Calgary kit today! We discovered a lot of things. My favourite one was the nesting doll. I liked seeing how they were shaped and how tiny they were. They were invented in Ukraine. Some nesting dolls are as small as my pinkie finger. Some were as big as my thumb. Pysanka is an egg. I also like the Indian golden necklace. It sparkles. I liked the folktales from Ukraine.” ~Alvin

“Yes! We have another Fort Calgary kit. No, not the clothing, but the artifacts from Peru, Ukraine, Tunisia and India. The class looked like a museum. Everybody had white museum gloves on. Lots of people are still bringing in nesting dolls. I think having weaving as a job would be very hard but fun. Clay drums would be very hard to make but I have made a candle. I wish I had some desert rose. It would be very cool. I love Fort Calgary kits!” ~Daniel B

Wow! If they weren't dusty I'd LOVE to blow on this Peruvian panpipe!

Wow! If they weren’t dusty I’d LOVE to blow on this Peruvian pan pipe!

“YAY! The Fort Calgary kit artifacts are here. Let me see what I am going to first! Oh look! There are artifacts from all of the four countries: from India, Peru, Tunisia and Ukraine. I went to Ukraine first because it had a nesting doll. I also went to Tunisia. It had not that many things. It had hand cymbals and a desert rose. I think Peru was my favourite one because I had more good drawings. I mostly like Peru because it had lots of things. It was an awesome day!” ~Alexia

“Have you ever seen drums from India? We had some artifacts come in from Fort Calgary. My favourite artifact was the nesting dolls. I liked the nesting dolls because they kept getting smaller. I also liked the Indian drums. I liked the Indian drum because I want to play drums. I liked the Peruvian dolls. I also liked the pan pipes. I really liked the Indian jewelry. I liked the Peruvian huiro because the designs looked cool. I really liked the Tunisian desert rose. I wonder what the nesting dolls are made of. I wish we could do this again!” ~Simos

“Wow! My class is like … a MUSEUM! My class had a Fort Calgary kit come in. It was weird because even though it was from Fort Calgary it had stuff from Tunisia, Ukraine, Peru and India. There was about ten things from Fort Calgary but Mrs. Renton had brought in about thirty things she had collected over the years. My highlights are: getting to have the kit in our classroom, getting to sketch them and having a peek into other countries!” ~Aimee

Check out this Tunisian desert rose! What a beautiful sedimentary rock with gypsum minerals!

Check out this Tunisian desert rose! What a beautiful sedimentary rock with gypsum minerals!

“Oh! I forgot! Today is our Fort Calgary kit day! Yeah! When we got into our class we came to the carpet and Mrs. Renton told us about the Fort Calgary kits. We got to pass around the Fort Calgary kit stuff with gloves. There were things from Peru, India, Tunisia and Ukraine. And, plus, Mrs. Renton had WAY more stuff than the Fort Calgary kit even had! In the Fort Calgary kit there were a desert rose, ocarina, one gold necklace and more! Mrs. Renton ALSO had a gold necklace, a desert rose, ocarinas and more! My favourite thing was the ocarinas and the pan pipes. I found that there was not much stuff for Tunisia from the Fort Calgary kit OR Mrs. Renton! I ALSO found that Mrs. Renton had a LOT of stuff from Peru! I am SO glad that we got to do the Fort Calgary kit! It was SO fun!!!” ~Sarah

“I love the Ukrainian nesting dolls. I actually have one. The colour is so unique. In Ukraine, they call nesting dolls matryoshka! I had a trip to Mexico and I saw wooden pan pipes. In Peru they play wooden pipes! Tunisia has rocks that are called desert rose. There are crystals outside of the rock. India has amazing jewelry. I love the stuff in the Fort Calgary kit.” ~Evan

“That was so much fun! Oops, excuse me! I was just talking about the things I did with the Peruvian, Indian, Tunisian and Ukrainian artifacts. I really liked the Indian artifacts. But, I also liked the matryoshka, (nesting dolls). But the pysanka was very nice, (painted egg), and they were both from Ukraine. One of my favourite things was the trinket boxes from India. Another favourite is the clay drum from India. Oh, and the rosewood flute. There was a lot of things from the kit … and a huiro. A huiro is an instrument from Peru. It is made from a gourd!” ~Tanek

We were CRAZY over the Ukrainian matryoshka ... the nesting dolls!

We were CRAZY over the Ukrainian matryoshka … the nesting dolls!

“Yay! The Fort Calgary kit is here again! Only this time, it’s artifacts! What’s this? A painted egg? What??? What’s more … it’s called pysanka!!! And, it’s from Ukraine! It’s beautiful. So beautiful. I wish I could have taken it home!!! What? Now a gold necklace from India? I wish I could WEAR it! Guess what else … a rosewood flute! I hope it happens again soon!” ~Carissa

“OMG! The Fort Calgary kit artifacts are here today!!! They’re the ones from our four countries: India, Tunisia, Ukraine and Peru. My favourite artifacts were the drums and the nesting dolls. I liked the drums because they are one of my favourite instruments, even though I don’t play them! I wonder if the INdian people play them using the little green dots that are on the drum. The lowlights I had about the drum was that I didn’t get to play the drums for that long and also because I didn’t get to be at the station that long. I also liked the matryoshka, which was a nesting doll. I liked the nesting doll because you could take it apart and see how small it could go. Thank you Mrs. Renton.” ~Jamie (You’re welcome, Jamie … it was thrilling for ME too! 😉

“Wow! These Peruvian artifacts are so cool! I wonder how the Ukrainian people make matryoshkas. I wish I could have my own rosewood flute. I also wish to have some hand cymbals. I wonder how you make hand cymbals. I wonder how Peru’s weaving is so neat. I wonder why and how pysankas are made.” ~Omar

We LOVED investigating these artifacts. Some of the details we were able to record in our sketches were AMAZING!

We LOVED investigating these artifacts. Some of the details we were able to record in our sketches were AMAZING!

“Last week, or so, we had the Fort Calgary kit artifacts. They were so cool! It was SO fun that day. The artifacts were so cool! SO cool. My favourite station was India. My favourite one was India because it had a cool drum. I might draw the drum. Oh, this is fun! Right now we are listening to music from Peru. After I sketched a picture of the drum from India I went to Ukraine and sketched a picture of a nesting doll. It was so fun that day!” ~Ryan

“Ahh. Nothing is better than going to a bake sale on a sunny day. Look! There it is! The bake sale! Look at that layered cake. It is SO pretty. Eeee!!! They have strawberry with whipped cream on the cake!!! I’m going to tell them about … not their baking … but … something different. I am going to tell them about … wait for it … the FORT CALGARY KIT ARTIFACTS!!! The first artifact I’m going to tell you about is the Ukrainian painted egg, which is called a pysanka. It usually is coloured red. They usually have flowers or patterns on them! That’s all for now. Now I’m going to eat some cake!” ~Mila

“On the blog we have a post about our four countries: Peru, Ukraine, Tunisia and India. This post is about our four countries ARTIFACTS! My favourite artifact was the ocarina from Peru. An ocarina is a whistle. My second favourite artifact is the flute from India. I hope you like it!” ~Madison

This Peruvian ocarina was a HUGE hit ... Mrs. Renton bought it at Ten Thousand Villages!

This Peruvian ocarina was a HUGE hit … Mrs. Renton bought it at Ten Thousand Villages!

“I thought the clay drum was really cool because I love the sound so much! The next thing was the desert rose – it had some crystals in it. I loved the wooden pan pipes! I am so happy that we got the Fort Calgary kit. The class was like a museum! The golden necklace was SO cool. I hope we get the Fort Calgary kit again!” ~Fahad

“On Wednesday, the artifacts came in to the classroom and all the things were so cool. It was from our four countries. My favourite was the nesting dolls because they look cute and how small they get as well. It was so fun drawing as well!” ~Aboudi

We hope you enjoy the slideshow of our adventures with the Fort Calgary artifacts even HALF as much as we loved having the kit for the week!

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“Preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.”

~ Cesar Chavez


6 Responses to Learning About Other Cultures Through Their Artifacts

  1. Caroline

    I loved your recent blog posts about your exploration of other cultures. I can see from the photos and your comments that you all enjoyed the experience very much!!! The costumes and artifacts from each country were so interesting – and I found that I learned much from your observations and notes! Thank you! Grandma (Mrs. Renton’s Mom)

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Grandma!

      Thanks for the fantastic comment! We are really glad that you are checking out our blog! We also learned a lot of stuff exploring the artifacts and trying on the traditional clothing. We had so much fun looking at all the different instruments that they use in our four countries and listening to the music as we sketched!

      Have a nice day! Keep checking back!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂 (PS Mrs. Renton says “Hi, Mommy! Thanks for the LOVELY comment!”)

  2. Alison

    I am truly amazed by how much you are learning about these countries. Being able to touch and see artifacts is fantastic experience. I don’t remember having this experience when I was in grade 3! Have any of you traveled to these countries? Has Mrs. Renton?

  3. katherine

    I am super excited to have stumbled upon your site tonight. I am a grade 3 teacher, looking for a neat way to teach about cultures. What you have done in your class has inspired me to study cultures that are IN our classroom, as we are quite diverse. It is my hope that I can gather artifacts, food, clothing etc from the homes of my students to learn about each others cultures. What I AM wondering though, is I saw that several students mentioned ‘drawing’. May I ask if you had student respond in a variety of ways throughout the days as they looked at the kit or how did you ‘solidify’ their learning ? Can you share a little more about your study? I have the inspiration I have been looking for!!!! 🙂 Thank you!!

  4. Jennifer

    I love how excited Daniel B. Is about this project. He brought his marionette home and showed me videos on Tunisia. What a wonderful project!
    From, Jenny (Daniel’s Aunt from Kansas City)

    • The Grade Three Bloggers

      Hi Jennifer!

      Thanks for the awesome comment! We like how Daniel showed you videos of Peru and Tunisia! We had fun with this project! We think it is cool that Daniel showed you our blog when you were visiting him from Kansas City!

      Have a nice day! Keep checking back!

      The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

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