Many thanks to Clayton Gauthier – Cree/Dakelh Artist who kindly gave us permission to draw inspiration from his wonderful book The Salmon Run.
We are so proud of this collaborative Learning Commons project which included every student at our school. Everyone was able to participate in different ways, from design, sanding, drilling and painting. It was an entirely inclusive project.
Each division looked at the life cycle of the salmon from an Indigenous Perspective and discussed Clayton Gauthier’s powerful images about showing true colours, persevering in the face of struggles, following your heart, honouring your ancestors, protecting the environment and the interconnectedness of life. Safety First from Kindergarten to Grade 7: Sanding the wood and drilling the holes. Thanks to Brian Newbold for the jigs. The painters each did one part of a salmon and were totally engaged in this cooperative, communal project. Over 500 students made 100 fish.The project took one full month to complete, including our discussions and developing an understanding of the perspectives of The Salmon Run. This involved scheduling entire classes as well as small groups into the Learning Commons. The space was taken over by tarps, newspaper, wood and paint cans for the duration of the activity. Our next step is to celebrate this Indigenous project with the school community. We will be hosting a parent tea with The Salmon Run theme and showing a video of images from our learning.
For next time I would remember: Outdoor paint goes a long way – don’t buy too much. Match the drill holes better to the size of the wire. Get very fine sandpaper for the exuberant sanders. Don’t worry about the carpet – we didn’t spill one bit of paint, not one! Regular sweeping keeps the sawdust under control. Wash the brushes immediately. Buy better quality brushes. Most importantly, just jump right in.
Clayton Gauthier. Dakelh translation by Francois Prince.
Penticton, BC: Theytus Books, 2016.
20 pp., stapled pbk., $9.95.
Click image for CM Magazine review.
Students in Grade 2 and 3 used Lego to show their learning about skyscrapers in Tokyo. They cooperatively created a neon-lit street scene in Akihabara. As a group, we used Superimpose App to place our buildings into a Japanese photograph. No green screen required. Here is how we did it:
1. Begin by importing a background from photos using the square icon on the top left.
2. Repeat by importing a foreground from photos, again using the square icon on the top left.
Students created buttons to show their love of reading. We used colourful pages from discarded picture books and pages of text from old paperbacks to create our People Press pins.
We have been getting ready for our First Peoples in Residence program to be held Feb. 5th to 9th. Students in Grade 4 have been exploring the powerful messages in Clayton Gauthier’s book The Salmon Run.
Mr. Gauthier graciously agreed to allow the students to gather inspiration from his art. To celebrate the journey of the salmon and to help to share our learning, students painted their own versions of the salmon on T-Shirts. We will wear our shirts at our welcoming assembly, our closing gathering and throughout the week as we enjoy a variety of workshops.
The colouring images of the salmon were kindly provided by Mr. Gauthier. We blackened the lines so they would show through the fabric and pinned them in place. We used fabric paint by Tulip Brand that will withstand the washing machine if turned inside out.
We completed the painting in two sessions to allow the initial colours to dry before adding the final outline. This gave students a chance to cover over or re-do any parts they wanted to change.
Salmon from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.
We are looking forward to a further project with this book after the Spring Break.
This was a collaborative project by Grade 2 and 3 students. Focus was on appreciating and respecting the work of their peers as well as exploring how to combine styles from two different artists: Hokusai and Barbara Reid. Following explorations of the artists, the first class created the blue background with plasticine. We used the cardboard sleeves to present our work.
The second class imported a photograph of the background into Doodle Buddy and added the details. It was uploaded to Dropbox for sharing. The final group added white plasticine and the images were displayed in the hallway.
Art inspired by Hokusai and Barbara Reid from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.
Students in Grade 4 have been learning about different styles of Japanese writing. We chose some powerful words to put on display using old DVD cases. Students chose words such as Kindness, Beauty, Truth and Peace. We used calligraphy brushes purchased at an inexpensive Japanese Dollar store (Daiso in Richmond).
We have been exploring the significance of the lotus in Japanese culture. Students were up for the challenge of using a linear tool to create a circular design.
Students shared the ideas in How to Catch Santa by Jean Reagan. We discussed different kinds of traps that might work and students worked in groups of 2 or 3 to build a mini-machine that would trap Santa. Students had to work cooperatively and were able to give detailed explanations as to how their trap worked.
In a collaborative effort, two Grade 3 classes contributed to the making of a set of trees to decorate the Learning Commons. Given time constraints, I hot glued the pine cones into the small dixie cups in advance. Activity linked to Winter Trees by Carole Gerber.
The first class painted the base and the green tree. This allowed the first coat to dry before the next class added the white paint and glitter.
Rather than each student have to leave the room for clean up, or try to squeeze to use the sink in my office, I put out a shallow container of soapy water and a pile of paper towels.
Update: The class that did the painting decided to gift the creations to the class that did the glitter. Great practice on how to wrap presents.
Students learned about holly (ouch) and painted wooden decorations. We created a fireplace mantle from unused textbooks and picked out some themed books to add to fire place.