By Lucie Roy
Morinville – Students and their parents were taken on a learning journey at Notre Dame Elementary School Jan. 26. The evening program, which encompassed the school’s gym, hallway, and one classroom, had students travelling the various locations with a passport, stamped at each stop for an opportunity to win prizes and an opportunity to learn the joys of good books. Approximately 100 parents and students attended the event.
“This was all part of Family Literacy Day to raise awareness of the importance of reading and participating in literacy related activities as a family.” said teacher Diane Hutton. “The parents and kids would travel the world, from Jasper, China, Hawaii, Germany, technology world, Narnia and other stations and work on a project.”
In China teachers Sarah Lutgen, Laura Winsor and Catherine Chan had the students write a fortune for each other, paint numbers in Chinese and make an origami star. Chan said people count differently in China. For example instead of saying thirty-five they would say three-ten-five. The children had to try to make the numbers 47 and 89 with the Chinese number symbols.
In Hawaii Grade 3 teachers Nicole Lloyd and Kathy Mahoney had students learn how to read maps and learn about elevation and mountains.
On their journey to the Morinville Public Library they learned about the library’s Chill Out Winter Reading Program for Grades 1-9, a new free program taking place in February. This program gives students an opportunity to read new books and have a chance to win a free KOBO e-reader.
At the Morinville Museum stop students learned about Les Progress, the first newspaper in town as well as what style clothes were worn in 1919. They got look at pictures of historical items, including a Brownie camera, typewriter, spinning wheel, cream separator and tried to identify what they were used for.
Another popular stop was Jasper, Alberta, operated by Grade 2 teacher Kim Chichak who was set up with tent, trees and wildlife all around her. At Chichak’s stop on the world tour, students used binoculars to find five animals that live in Jasper National Park, got to read a book in the tent and find a hiking trail and points of interest on or near Jasper.
But the real world was not the only one replicated at the Family Literacy Day event; teacher Ryan Plamondon had students enter the secret world of Narnia, the realm of the novels of C. S. Lewis. There they visited numerous stations and performed various activities at each one, each related to the popular novels. The Chronicles of Narnia is a book series covered on the curriculum and the station gave students an opportunity to identify with the many characters, talking animals, scenery and surroundings Plamondon selected and created from the book they have been studying.