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Rama Central's Grade 2/3 teacher, Miss Wigle, invited students in our class to illustrate a story that her class wrote in collaboration with classes in two other schools. We decided to make this a Grade 5 outreach opportunity.

The publishing project Write to Give is an initiative of World Teacher Aid, a Canadian charitable organization. The story we illustrated will be published in book form, and sold to help bring education to students living in rural Kenya.

Below, you will see our book illustrations. There is also a picture of a tortoise adoption certificate. Miss Wigle was kind enough to adopt a Galapagos Tortoise from World Wildlife Fund, to thank our class for helping with the book. That means this outreach project benefits both children in Africa AND Tortoises in South America! (Click on any picture to enlarge it.)

For more information please visit these websites:

Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@mail1.scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

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This morning, the Grade 5/6 class from Mnjikaning Kendaaswin Elementary School visited our school with their teacher, Laura Lateic, one of their Elders and two Educational Assistants.  They met with the Grade 6 students at Rama Central, who are starting a Social Studies unit about First Nations people and European Explorers.

Elder "Two Bears" shared some important and wise life teachings.  Students seemed to really respond to his down-to-earth and engaging manner.  They also enjoyed hearing about his experiences as a student at Rama Central P.S.  Two Bears transferred from a one room schoolhouse to Rama Central the year it opened.  At the time, he was in Grade 4.  As a Grade 7 student he designed the Rama Central logo we still use today, and his Grade 8 class was in our classroom!

After Two Bears' talk, the Grade 6 students from our school broke into four small groups.  Each group learned about a different topic having to do with Aboriginal culture and traditions, with students from Mnjikaning acting as presenters and discussion leaders.

Our visitors from Mnjikaning also gifted us with some wonderful keepsakes:  a large Rama First Nation Flag for our school, signed by students in their Grade 5/6 class, a beautiful dream catcher for our classroom and a lovely beaded lanyard for Mrs. Black.

Here are some pictures from our visit.  (Click on any picture to see it enlarged.)

Over the next few weeks, each group of Grade 6 students from our school will delve into their particular topic in greater detail and then make a presentation to the whole group.  The four topics are as follows:

  • Turtle Island
  • The Seven Grandfather Teachings
  • The Medicine Wheel
  • Contributions of Aboriginal People and Ideas

Our new friends from Mnjikaning School have offered to act as resource people, should we need any information or advice as we progress with our Aboriginal Studies unit.  We also plan to visit with them again later in the school year.

Miigwech!  THANK YOU SO MUCH to Two Bears, the Grade 5/6 class at Mnjikaning, their teacher and their helpers for coming to see us today, and for their friendship and kind assistance!

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Thanks for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@mail1.scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

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Today, two staff members from Scales Nature Park, in Orillia, brought a variety of live turtles and snakes to Rama Central. Their all-day visit to the school was funded by Environment Canada; the goal was to help students to better appreciate the variety of amazing reptiles that live in our area.

Scales Nature Park owner Jeff Hathaway and his assistant started off the day with a presentation in the gym. Then, throughout the day, each class had its own scheduled time to return to the gym so students could ask questions and handle live snakes. Students seemed to really enjoy and appreciate today's hands-on learning opportunity.

To facilitate follow-up, Jeff has loaned our school a wonderful resource kit containing lessons for all grades, fact sheets about snakes and turtles, a reptile identification card game, a turtle shell, some snake skins and some turtle eggs.

A few months ago, our class offered to write persuasive letters in support of the Georgian Bay Turtle Hospital, which will soon be opening on the Scales Nature Park property.  This morning, our class met with Jeff Hathaway, who is sponsoring the hospital, to find out what the he needs most and what companies might be most likely to donate goods.  In between the morning assembly and our opportunity to return to the gym to handle snakes, students began work on their letters. This is our very interesting and productive day, in pictures (click on any image to enlarge it; use the back button on your browser to return to this page):

Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@mail1.scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

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This morning, two volunteers from the Alliston & District Humane Society (ADHS) made a two-hour round trip drive to Rama Central, to pick up the brochures our class designed to help ADHS educate children about animal welfare.  The brochures, which were completed as a Media Literacy project, were featured in two previous BLOG posts:
Using Media Skills to Educate Others, Part 2
Using Media Skills to Educate Others, Part 1

During today's visit, students engaged in a lively discussion about shelter animals, rescued pets and animal care with Audrey and Jim.  Our visitors thanked us for all our help with "Princess the dog" and with their educational project.  Audrey and Jim also brought the class donuts, for which students were very grateful.

We want to thank Audrey and Jim for visiting our class, and the Alliston & District Humane Society for providing us with an opportunity to complete a school assignment with a real world purpose!

Here are some pictures of pamphlet/flyer authors with Jim and Audrey:

Pamphlet topic:  How You Can Help the Humane Society

Pamphlet topic:  How Kids Helped Princess

Pamphlet topic:  Proper Animal Care

Pamphlet topic:  Pet Over-population

Pamphlet topic:   Kids and Aggressive Dogs

Flyer topic:  Fun Animal Facts!

Next step:  Audrey and Jim will show our brochures to members of the ADHS Board of Directors.  Then, the best of what we created will be desktop published and used to help educate children who visit the shelter.

Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@mail1.scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

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Over the past month, students worked in pairs to plan, research and create informative flyers and brochures.  These brochures fulfilled curriculum requirements in media literacy, and fulfilled a real purpose. The Alliston & District Humane Society will be desktop publishing the best of what our class produced and using these materials to educate young people about animal welfare.

A previous BLOG post shows students researching and planning their brochures:  Using Media Skills to Educate Others, Part 1.

Here are the finished products.  Click on any photo to enlarge it:

Students found "working for a client" to be highly motivating.  The quality of most of their work is exemplary.  At the end of the process, the finished brochures were circulated around the class and students had an opportunity to contribute ideas about each brochure's strengths and deficits.  These ideas were written on post-it notes and affixed to the brochures.  Two representatives from the Alliston & District Humane Society will be coming to our class on Wednesday, March 8, 2013 to pick up the brochures and thank students for their hard work.

Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@mail1.scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

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On Friday, March 1st, Mrs. Thompson’s Grade 6/7 class and our Grade 5/6 class decorated ceramic bowls to help combat homelessness in Simcoe County.  These bowls will be used by participants in a fund-raising event to benefit Couchiching Jubilee House, in Orillia. Students received a visual arts mark for their work on this project.

Here are pictures of some of the students in our class painting their bowls. Click on any photo to enlarge it:

More information about Couchiching Jubilee House and the "Bowls for Beds" fund-raiser is provided in our Community Service Projects BLOG post.  Couchiching Jubilee House is the fifth project listed in that post.

Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@mail1.scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.