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Hands-On Learning Through Artifacts

Posted by on January 12, 2017

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

~Linda Ellerbee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~Oliver Wendell Holmes


18 Responses to Hands-On Learning Through Artifacts

  1. Mr. R.

    Oh my gosh! How cool is it to travel the world and still make it home for dinner? Sounds like a great adventure to me! Mr. R.

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Mr. R!

      Thank you for leaving this wonderful comment! Some of us felt like, when we were beside the tri-fold and trying on the clothing, that it was like going to the country we were at! It was kind of hard to put your head in the tri-fold without your head touching the tri-fold but we were very careful because we want the tri-folds to last!

      Keep checking back! Have a wonderful day!

      The BPS Bloggers 🙂

  2. Maxine

    What a wonderful time you all had! Thank you for sharing.

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Maxine!

      Thank you for the lovely comment! We DID have a wonderful time doing the tri-folds and wearing the clothing from each of the countries!

      Keep checking back! Have a lovely day!

      The BPS Bloggers 🙂

  3. Renee

    How exciting to learn and experience different parts of the world right in your own classroom….such and adventure. Loved reading all your thoughts and interests with such interesting artifacts.

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Renee!

      Thank you for the sweet comment! We also thought it was fun going to different parts of the world … in our own classroom! It kind of actually felt like we were really there! We’re happy that you enjoyed reading our blog … it makes us feel GREAT to know that people are reading and enjoying it!

      Have a great day! Keep checking back!

      The BPS Bloggers 🙂

  4. Grandma Mary

    I’m very impressed with the wonderful experiences you are having. I enjoy reading all your comments and seeing your photos. What a fun way to learn about these different countries.

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Grandma Mary!

      Thank you for this awesome comment! We are SO glad that you like learning about the things we are doing on our blog! It makes us feel good to know that people are enjoying the work we are sharing! We are working very hard but we are having TONS of fun!

      Mrs. Renton says thank you for the giggle and the lovely compliment, Grandma Mary! You made her day!

      Have a wonderful day! Keep checking back!

      The BPS Bloggers 🙂

  5. Zari

    Hello class,
    I love learning about our 4 countries!
    I wonder what we’ll learn about them next?

    Check out this link showing pics of Tunisia with Tunisian music:

    Check out this Wiki page all about Tunisia:


    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Zari!

      Thank you for leaving a lovely comment! We liked the Tunisian music and the Tunisian page with information about Tunisia. We like learning about our four countries too and never know what Mrs. Renton will have in store for us next!

      Have a great day! Keep checking back!

      The OTHER BPS Bloggers 🙂

  6. Reid

    I wonder if there is another fort Calgary kit? Well the kit was WONDERFUL!!! Anywase I don’t have much to say so BY! – Reid

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Reid!

      Thank you for this great comment! It’s okay if you didn’t have much to say … we just think it was awesome that you left a comment for us! Mrs. Renton says there won’t be another Fort Calgary kit for us in Grade Three but there MIGHT be one in Grade Four or Five! What do you think might BE in those Fort Calgary kits? We thought the Fort Calgary kit was awesome as well! What was your favourite part of having the Fort Calgary kit?

      Have a wonderful day! Keep checking back!

      The OTHER BPS Bloggers 🙂

  7. Vivian

    Hi everyone!

    Sorry for not leaving a comment in a while! I’ve just been SO busy lately! The kit was SO cool! I wish there where more artifacts though! 😉 I wonder why there where only SO few artifacts and SO few artifacts on Tunisia? What was YOUR favourite artifact Mrs. Renton? Mine was the pan pipes probably.

    See you tomorrow!


    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Vivian!

      Thank you for this amazing comment! No need to apologize for not leaving a comment in so long … just look at how long it took us to reply!!! We don’t know why they didn’t have very many Tunisian artifacts … maybe it was hard to find Tunisian artifacts for the kit. Gosh, Vivian, it’s really hard for Mrs. Renton to decide which artifact is her favourite … if she could tell you three, that might be easier! She would say the Peruvian dolls, the hojotas, (car tire sandals) and the Indian necklace!!! Many of us loved the pan pipes too!

      Keep checking back! Have a wonderful day!

      The OTHER BPS Bloggers 🙂

  8. Leah

    I really loved dressing up in the close, it was so fun! Ok see ya latter

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Leah!

      Thank you for this short, lovely comment! We liked dressing up in the clothes too. What was your favourite part about dressing up in the clothes and what was your favourite country to dress up in?

      Keep on checking back! Have a wonderful day.

      The OTHER BPS Bloggers 🙂

  9. Zari

    Hello class!

    I have an EGG-SITING DISCOVERY. Did you know 53 pounds of force can crack an egg when it is standing up on its end. It takes 90 pounds of force to crack an egg on its side!
    Isn’t that weird!

    The marionettes are going REALLY WELL! I love making them.

    au revoir,

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Zari!

      Thank you for this lovely comment!

      We discovered that how the force is applied to the egg makes a big difference. If the force is over a very small area, like when you crack it for baking, it takes way less force to break than when the force is spread over a LARGE area!

      You are right! Making marionettes did go really well! Some of us thought it was really hard … but we did a great job of helping each other!

      Have a great day! Keep checking back!

      The OTHER BPS Bloggers 🙂

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