Friday, 29 April 2016

Earth Day Projects

At the end of the year families in our community often send their old wall calendars to the school for us to reuse/repurpose.  I like to think that we celebrate Earth Day whenever we --

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle or Repurpose something.

Throughout the year, we then have a nice selection of pictures to use in social studies, art classes etc.  This year I did two variations of the same project with two different art classes.

Calendar Projects 

Two Picture Project

Palm Trees
With my grades 3 - 5 group, I had each student pick 2 pictures, preferably two with contrasting colours.  I then provided each with long sheet of paper (at least as long as both pictures when they are side-by-side).  I actually use continuous feed heart monitor paper that was given to me by an uncle who had to spend a lot of  time at Brandon General Hospital getting dialysis treatments.

Sunflower Field
I use a paper cutter to cut off vertical 1" strips from one end of the picture.  Students must make sure pictures are aligned properly so that the strips are always cut on the same end!  I get them to think patterns and name their pictures A and B and glue them to the white paper accordingly - a strip from picture A, then a strip from picture B...
Sunflowers in the Tropics
 Once all the strips are glued, they trim off the access paper and accordian fold the entire project.  It's interesting to walk past the bulletin board where they are displayed.  From one angle you see picture A and from the opposite angle you see picture B.  When you look at the project head on, you see both pictures.  You sort of see "the best of both worlds".

Three Picture Project

 This is similar to the two  picture project; however here you use three pictures and them A, B and C.  You glue them to your background paper using A, B and C as your pattern.  Rather than making accordian folds, you fold so that strap A will  lie flat, strip B comes up and strip C folds back down.  The folding pattern is across, up, down.  Once the entire project has been folded, all  strips B and C are folded back to back.
In this project, you get three views: one from each angle and one from the front.
City Scape (left Angle)

Calendar Weaving

Snow in Summer
 For this project, we selected 2 calendars.  I feel it looks best when you choose pictures with contracting colours, for examlple, a sunset and a floral picture.  When you cut the vertical strips, you don't cut them apart totally, leave about 2 centimeters attached at one end.  For the horizontal strips cut only 3 or 4 at a time, weave them into the horizontal strips, then cut more.

The Earth

 I found this project on Pinterest at Proud to be Primary.  

The blogger does a good job with her description, so I won't reinvent the wheel. My pictures don't do the project justice.  I like hanging them in the window because the light and/or sun shining through them has a beautiful effect.
To complete the project, each students write a brief description on how he/she reduces, reuses and recycles.

Let's celebrate Earth Day, every day!

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Anne of Green Gables


Anne Exhibit
Recently, while house-cleaning, the mother of one of our students came upon a lovely souvenir plate from Staffordshire, England.  Since it depicted the famous Green Gables house, she sent it to the school and I was promptly urged to create an “Anne of Green Gables” display for the showcase in the front hall of our school.  During noon hour, I found several Anne picture books, the original series and even an Anne doll.  Before the bell rang in the afternoon, several little girls were already gathered around, eyeing my little exhibit.
How many generations of girls have grown up loving the delightful, red-haired, chattery orphan girl adopted by Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert?  In my childhood, I missed out on the charming Anne.   Our school copies of L. M. Montgomery’s novels were somewhat tattered and worn by the time I was introduced to them.  I clearly recall my sister Linda showing me “Anne of Windy Poplars” one summer and urging me to read it.  “It’s a really good book!”  Unfortunately, I was deprived of Anne’s escapades, since I “judged the book by its cover.”

Read Aloud

Several years ago, when we were still in our old school, I read a condensed version to my primary class.  My students were totally engrossed in the story-line.  They laughed at Anne’s childish capers, grumbled about Marilla’s stern ways and mourned Matthew’s passing.  The latter is especially memorable for me.  I was reading them the sad chapter of Matthew passing away, at the end of the day.  The atmosphere in my classroom was not unlike that of a funeral.  When the chapter ended, my students somberly got up and walked to the hallway to put on their boots and coats.  The older students were also there, getting ready to go home.  One of the little girls in my classroom sadly shared the news, “Matthew passed away,” in the same tone she would have used, had a favourite uncle died.
“Matthew? What colony is he from?” an older student questioned.
“Not from a colony, from Anne of Green Gables,” my student soberly replied.
“Oh,” came the response with the wave of an uncaring hand. “That’s not so bad then.”
Clearly he had not been introduced to “Anne of Green Gables” yet.
I’ve since listened to the entire series while scrap-booking and thoroughly enjoyed every word of it.  I’ve read this book to other classes and showed them the movie and plan to introduce our current generation of students to our 'Anne with an “e”.'  

Annette Shirley
Annette Shirley

And I especially look forward to introducing "Anne of Green Gables" to my two- year-old niece, our very own red-headed Annette Shirley.


The excitement and gleams in their eyes tells me that the girls in front of our show case are already feeling the itch of the “Anne” bug.  Actually, one copy of our books has already found its way into the book bag of one of the girls.