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Right now, the class is in the middle of an interesting inquiry project.

Students in Grade 5 are working in groups of five, researching what it would have been like to live in ancient China, Egypt or Greece.  Based on their research, each group is building a scale model of a fictional colony belonging to one of these civilizations and creating a Power Point presentation, BLOG or GLOG (graphic blog) to introduce their civilization and explain the various elements of their model.  This is a Social Studies project, designed to complement the work on ancient civilizations our Grade 5 students are doing with Mrs. Torrey.

Students in Grade 6 are doing the same project, but their work is based on their current science unit (space).  These students are working in groups of six, researching information about either Mars or the Moon and what humans would need to travel and live there.  They are using this information to construct scale models of colonies that might exist in these two places, circa. 2030 (the year NASA hopes to take astronauts to Mars).

All group members must be involved in planning, research, construction and presentation of their project.  In order to be cost-effective and environment-friendly, students are repurposing items from the school recycling bins to construct their models.  Once the models and electronic descriptions are completed, each group will have an opportunity to present their work to the class.

Here are some photos of groups in action! (click on small photos to enlarge them).

We will post another update later, with pictures of the finished products.

This project is loosely based on the Homesteading Mars Project-based Learning project:

Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.   If you have any questions or comments, feel free to e-mail me: or to add a comment to this page.


Our Grade 6 study of Canada's Links to the World examined several different aspects of the topic.  The Learning Goals are shown below:


During this unit, Grade 6 students:

-- engaged in a "webquest" (guided search for information on the internet) about Canada's Trading Partners

-- read relevant sections of our Nelson Literacy text

-- watched and discussed a thought-provoking video entitled "The Story of Stuff"

-- analyzed posters about the life cycles of three products

-- researched and mapped the location of the raw materials needed to make these products (see map below)

-- brainstormed a list of global issues that might impact us in Canada, and researched what impacts these issues might have on our lives

Since it also tied in with the Grade 5 Science unit "Conservation of Energy and Resources," the Grade 5's also watched and discussed "The Story of Stuff" and examined the map that the Grade 6's created (shown below).

During this unit, we learned that trade between nations is much more complex than, for example, Canada buying oranges from Florida and Canada selling maple syrup to Japan. Many of the manufactured products in our homes, such as cell phones, CD/DVDs and soccer balls are made from raw materials that are harvested all over the world and shipped to factories, which are typically in China. Then the finished products are shipped halfway around the world to stores near where we live.

Through "The Story of Stuff" we also learned that many manufactured products that we purchase are thrown away within a year. So when we buy disposable products, or products with a short lifespan, we are in essence channelling energy and resources from all over the world into our local dump. This has HUGE implications, in terms of trade links, our economy, energy usage and the environment.

Here are some images of our large wall map, which illustrates the flow of materials required to bring a cell phone, CD/DVD or soccer ball into your home:

These are the products we examined.
Each was assigned its own colour of wool for our map.

Raw materials from all over the world are shipped
to factories, typically in China.

Our base map, showing the flow of materials required to make and ship to North America each of the products we examined.
At the bottom are the stages in a product's life cycle.

Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.   If you have any questions or comments, feel free to e-mail me: or to add a comment to this page.


by Alise

Right now, the Grade 6's in our class are studying First Nations people.  We are doing an inquiry project.  We are researching things like what different Aboriginal people ate and made, where they lived, how they travelled, and how their society was set up before the Europeans arrived.  We are going to learn so much! 

This is the project outline that the students and Mrs. Black created together:

If you click on the picture above, you can read about our project.

Mrs. Black set up a display of her books and books from the library, to help with our project.

We are also using computers to do our research.

The Grade 5's are continuing their Government unit, with Mrs. Torrey.

We will write again later to tell you about some of the things we learned...


Text and photos by Brandon S., Julia B. and Spencer B.  (Grade 5)


Over the past three weeks, the Grade 5's have been going down to the library to learn about the upcoming election, with Mrs. Torrey.

We learned about the different parties and how many seats are in the Ontario Legislative building.  We also learned about the different electoral districts and different types of governments: autocratic, democratic, oligarcic, etc.

On October 5th, we voted in the Provincial Election through the "Student Vote" organization.  "Student Vote" is a non-profit, non-partisan group working with educators to engage young Canadians in the democratic process.  Their website is located at:

These are pictures of the Student Vote Polling Station Mrs. Torrey set up in our school library:

Here are the results of our school vote:
Click on "voting info."

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