Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Social Studies Project+ Just a WEE Bit Of Snow

Well, it's still winter.  Wiarton Willie says it will be an early spring, but I doubt it.
We spent one day at  Grandma and Grandpa's, where Grandpa had piled all the snow into sledding hills and snow forts. Grandpa had also been trimming back the old willow tree in the yard in preparation for it's quick spring growth, and the children were happy to help pile the sticks and brush.  So as a bit of reward, grandpa built them a willow fort in the shape of a First Nations Teepee. It had no covering but it sure was fun to play in. It had a snow platform with steps cut out of the sow to climb up to it.

It was a fun day, and it helped a little with the understanding of our Canadian social studies program. We have been watching Billy Connollys North West Passage (best known as "McSquizzy" in Open Season) documentary on Netflix. As we watch, the children follow his progress on maps they have labeled and colored themselves. It has been wonderful for them to see the people that live in our country, and hear the history and see how it influences the present.The documentary discovers the past and present of our eastern Islands, northern country and BC, and all 4 episodes have been a joy to watch.

 Being in the most extreme North of our country, he visits a number of Inuit villages.  Some are still traditional villages with a gentle touch of the modern world, and some have been kicked hard in the teeth by the western influences.  In Episode 2, the children felt a small connection and a glimpse of understanding about our first nations people, having been a big part of the work it took to create their wood stick fort.  Their favorite part was the throat singing demonstration. Littlest Dude (who's 4) even gave it a try after watching that part of the documentary! Their "Eww Gross!" moment wasn't when they skinned a seal, but when the Inuit children ate some raw.

*A quick note, there is a occasional bit of swearing in it, as Billy's  Scottish humor jumps in occasionally, and the occasional drinking scene. But drink is a reality in our country. And as an abstainer I think it's fair for our children to realize that it is a choice for me and my parents and our friends not to participate in that part of our culture. And I  explained as such to them when we see drinking in media or in public.

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