In Social Studies this past week, we were lucky to have some Inuit artifacts from the Royal Alberta Museum in our classroom. We learned about many interesting aspects of Inuit culture, and were able to use a variety of items including an ulu (multipurpose knife), traditional pulling game, kimiik, art, and a soapstone carving. We’re lucky to learn about such an interesting group of people in grade two! Each student became the expert on an artifact, and our friends in 2A, 2S, and 2W came to visit our mini-museum and learn about the artifacts form our class. You can watch the video above to hear from some 2B experts sharing about these fascinating artifacts, and watch the video below to hear Inuit throat singing.
We had a great time learning about Chinese New Year this week! We learned from books and some online research about this special holiday, and the students were especially interested to learn about their Chinese Zodiac sign and learn how to do some Chinese calligraphy. Our class learned about the history of the Lunar New Year celebrations, and we got to partake in the celebrations with our own Hongbao (red envelopes) and special New Year candy. Happy Year of the Rat! Gong hei fat choy!
In our first unit in Social Studies, we learned about the land in the communities of Iqaluit in Nunavut, Meteghan in Nova Scotia, and Saskatoon in Saskatchewan. We will now revisit the communities and focus on people and culture in those communities—the Inuit, the Acadians, and the Ukrainians. Through stories, activities and research, we will:
Your child will be better able to make connections with material presented in class if he or she has experiences and knowledge to draw on. Here is how you can help:
We invite you to share your cultural background with us. Would you be willing to come to class and share some information? Do you have any materials you could lend us?
Here are some specifics of what we are looking for:
Traditions—Are there any traditions, celebrations, special foods or recipes, special games or objects you could show or talk about?
Language—Is there another language spoken in your home? Perhaps you and your child could share some simple words or books in that language with the class.
Music or Art—Do you have any music or art that reflects your culture? Can you show us any traditional clothing?
You can watch the video above to see a glimpse of the lovely people in Iqaluit!
On Tuesday this week we celebrated Ukrainian Christmas in 2B! We pretended to wait to eat lunch until we saw the first star outside (as some Ukrainians would do to remember the wise men following the star), and learned how to say Merry Christmas in Ukrainian (Veseloho Rizvda or Веселого Різдва). We decorated our classroom with a Didukh that symbolises the large wheat fields in Ukraine and means 'grandfather spirit' to signify people's ancestors being with them in their memories. The students went caroling like many Ukrainians do (singing “'Koliadky”), and we listened to the famous Ukrainian carol “Schedryk” (it has the same melody as “Carol of the Bells”).
We set up our own class nativity scene like Ukrainian families would often do, and made our own paper snowflake decorations like Ukrainian children sometimes make to decorate their houses at Christmas. We read the beautiful book The Christmas Spider’s Miracle to learn about why spiders are so important to some Ukrainian people at Christmas and why there are often spider decorations on their Christmas trees. Finally, we drank some warm uzvar which is a national Ukrainian beverage, cooked with dried fruits and berries.
This week we’ve been learning about traditional Christmas celebrations from communities around Canada. We kicked off the week with an Acadian Christmas today. We ate lunch in the dark by firelight as though it was Réveillon, which is a special Christmas meal late at night, often after Midnight Mass. We watched a bit of a real Midnight Mass, and learned how to chair dance like true Acadians (you can see the video below to try it for yourself!).
The students even learned a couple of Christmas carols in French that would be commonly sung in Atlantic Canada. Our class learned about the Christmas tradition of godparents giving their godchildren a large biscuit shaped like a little person called a “naulet” that we decorated our own paper versions of. The most popular tradition of all though was when we got to eat our Bûche de Noël!
We've been paying attention to the federal election in 2B since the beginning of the year, and it was very interesting to watch how everything unfolded with the vote results on Monday! Our class had been viewing news coverage of the election during our current events time in Social Studies, and after looking at a brief synopsis of party platforms the students even participated in their own pretend election with ballots and voting screens with the help of Student Vote. It's always exciting to watch history unfold with the students in 2B!
This week we commemorated Orange Shirt Day to remember and recognize children who were affected by residential school's in Canada's past. The students showed great compassion and respect, and we had great conversations about how we can ensure that children are never treated like that again in our country. You can watch the videos in this post to learn more about Orange Shirt Day and see the stories we read to better understand the meaning of this day.
Given that we are quickly becoming experts on Canada here in 2B, and the fact that Greta Thunberg is visiting Canada this week, 2B set to work making a short video with important Canadian facts and places so that she can get the most out of her trip. The students were very excited to share their knowledge, and to see the news coverage of when Greta came to Montreal today!
We have begun a new unit in Social Studies in 2B about life in three communities in Canada. One purpose of this unit is to help your child appreciate the diversity and vastness of Canada’s land and peoples. The specific communities we will study are:
Students will learn about the weather, geography, language, history, daily life, and economy of these three Canadian communities. There will also be opportunities to make connections to Alberta and Spruce Grove.
You are invited to be part of our unit in a variety of ways, for example:
The students already have a sense of the geographic and weather differences between the communities, and are becoming experts at the communities where Zenia (Saskatoon), Kenojouak (Iqaluit), and Jean-Louis (Meteghan) hail from. We’re looking forward to an exciting unit!
The students' Canadian Career Fair was a great success! They've put so much thought and effort into their businesses, and it was neat to see that work pay off as they pitched their companies to prospective employees from 2W and 2S. There were many big hires made, and it was great to see 2B share their learning and creativity with their peers. You can watch the video below to get a sense of our exciting morning!
Mrs. Barker is a grade two teacher at Millgrove School. She loves science and reading, and lives in a little brick house with Mr. Barker and her kids Jack and Ellie.