Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Aboriginal Thanksgiving Celebration Day!

Ms. Meehan and Ms. Marra's grade 3 classes celebrated HARVEST this passed Thursday.
After exploring the lives of Aboriginal people living in Canada, we decided to spend a full day as though we were Aboriginal Canadians!

Here is a summary of some of the things we did!

- We enjoyed traditional "storytelling" from the "elders" in our community. These stories were tales that taught us about life.
Friar D. even visited our classes to tell us stories that he has learned through his life. We noticed that our lives at school are similar to the Aboriginal way of life because "elders" continue to tell us stories that teach us important life lessons! I guess we're not that different after all...

- We continued our art projects today too! We used our natural products from our environment to develop our Aboriginal art pieces with creative textures and colours. We were inspired by real Canadian Aboriginal artists' paintings; the colours and themes were carefully used in our art pieces.

The sun was such an important part of Aboriginal living.
Developing our ideas in our art notebooks first, before adding it to our masterpiece!
We listened to the traditional Aboriginal drumming while we designed an artistic Aboriginal symbol.
Birchbark canoe!
Using warm and cool colours throughout our art pieces.
We used blending and our knowledge of Primary and Secondary colours to create new shades!

- We participated in an Aboriginal drama activity where we danced to authentic Aboriginal drumming and singing. We allowed our bodies to move freely to the sounds of the drums and voices. It was such a fun activity! We also created our own percussion sounds using noise makers from a basketball game. 

- After learning about the staple foods that were eaten by the Aboriginal people, we said a prayer of thanks and enjoyed a harvest feast together as one community. The day before our feast, we joined together to learn about the different types of squash. We even cut the squash together and each student was able to remove the seeds to prepare for the cooking the following day. Ms. Meehan and Ms. Marra then cooked the prepared squash and we all had a part in preparing our food.

We compared the types of squash by looking at the similarities and differences!

We got to try: freshly made butternut squash, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, corn, green beans, wild rice, and "rabbit". It was delicious! We are going to continue comparing our lives to that of the original people and settlers of Canada.

We are also learning about the nutritional value of such foods and the ways in which the crops are and were grown (then and now). 

Aboriginal Harvest (Thanksgiving) Feast

We sat in a community circle to discuss our meal and then began with a prayer.

We used wooden sticks to eat which helped us imagine how different (or similar) it might be from utensils we use at home.

We continue to compare our lives to those of the Aboriginal Canadians.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Let's Create Aboriginal Art!

In social studies we have been learning about Communities in Canada from 1780–1850.  We have been discussing Aboriginal people in Canada and decided to study some Aboriginal art.  Students were shown a variety of pieces of art and began to think about them and develop an awareness about the meanings, messages and symbolism present in the pieces of art.  We began to discuss connections that we could see between what we have been learning about Canadian Aboriginal people, and the pieces of art that were viewing.


After viewing Aboriginal art, we decided that we wanted to make our own!  In our discussion we talked about how we could use natural objects to create different depths, textures, shapes, forms and lines

When we brought back the items to class we began to practice using our objects and paint to create a variety of effects in our artist's books.  

Check back next week for our final pieces of art!

Text in our Community

Ms. Marra's and Ms. Meehan's classes have been discussing kinds of text.  We decided to continue our learning by investigating text that exists all around us in our school community.  With our clip boards in tow we were off!  As soon as we exited the front doors of our school text came popping out of everywhere.  There is so much to read even right outside our doors.

As we continued our walk we heard excited voices and many fingers pointing to the text that seemed to be newly illuminated for our grade threes.  We heard many comments including:
"Wow there's text over there!"
"There's text on the fence!"
"There's even text on the sidewalk!"
"The street sign has text on it!"

After we returned to our classes after the walk we began to share the different types of and places that we found text on our journey. The lists were very long and students proudly compared their notes from the walk. 

Next, in groups, students were given two questions to discuss:
1. Where did we see text? 
2. What was the purpose of the text?

Students had to use critical thinking skills to evaluate the type and purpose of text.