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Enjoy the Summer: An African Goodbye and Summer Review

The 2011-2012 academic year has come and gone! It has been a fruitful and dynamic year, full of inspired and engaged learning and real individual growth. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the students and families of the Lower Elementary Upstairs class for a truly fulfilling school year.

Welcoming guests with bursts of African song!

AN AFRICAN GOODBYE  The final week of school was characteristically busy: Children were excitedly finishing projects and cooking

Students ready to answer questions about their projects and artwork.

in the classroom for our end-of-year African Art Exhibit and Food Festival. This term’s study of Africa was witnessed through an artistic lens, with emphasis on learning about the continent’s geography, ecology, history and culture by emulating its rich and diverse art forms. We were thrilled to have so many parents attend our end-of-year African celebration, and were delighted by parents’ interaction with the student guides and their enjoyment of our African feast!

One student explains the cultural significance of African shields while another student shows guests how to make their own.

Students loved fusing geometry, art and culture through various projects

Sharing mixed media patterns inspired by African textiles.

on African patterns. We studied the meanings, origins and tribal designs of various textiles from several African nations, discussing the significance of symbols and the origins of natural dyes. We then created our own patterns, inspired by the powerful patterns of various tribal textiles. We also created our own African shields, honouring the traditions of the Masaai, the Zulus, and the people of Sudan. Students applied their knowledge of symmetry and fractions to their work, creating designs that were bilaterally or radially symmetrical. Parents enjoyed viewing the shields and patterns, and some even benefited from one-on-one demonstrations from the students!

Connecting geomtery and botany in African patterns using legumes.

Geometry came into prominence once again, as students used legumes to create designs using different types of lines and angles.

A student explains her diorama of a home from Botswana.

This project was an enlightening way for students to understand the significance of hardy, starchy crops – in the form of various beans, seeds and legumes – in African cultures. We discussed and imagined the lives of farmers in the geographically diverse continent, and learned about the importance of having staple food sources that can be preserved and transported.

Parents listening to original myths inspired by African folklore.

Zoology took centre stage in our study of Africa, and students responded strongly to the need to protect the many beautiful but endangered animals of Africa. This was a wonderful opportunity to apply research and persuasive writing skills, with students writing research reports on the animals of specific African biomes and creating posters persuading the public to protect them. Students also stretched their imaginations by reading African folktales and then writing their own myths. Parents were treated to live readings of the myths in our African story circle.

A student expertly addressing the audience and explaining the African dishes that the children prepared.

Finally, parents and students alike sampled traditional African dishes from West Africa, Morocco, and the Ivory Coast, such as couscous, shrimp and celery with various dips, soup, and coconut and lime cakes. The entire menu was researched by one of our third-year students, who spoke eloquently and expertly on the culinary spread, and was prepared entirely by the children in class.

This cultural celebration was a joyful and vibrant way to end the school year. We would once again like to thank all of the parents, family members and friends who attended our classroom gathering!

OTHER NEWS:

The third-year students of 2012 are ready for Upper Elementary!

THIRD-YEAR STUDENTS CELEBRATE THEIR PASSAGE TO UPPER ELEMENTARYThe third-year students of LEU happily celebrated their passage into Upper Elementary by enjoying a quiet and enjoyable picnic lunch with Ms. Kristina and Ms. Denise. They delighted in sharing a meal together on the benches by the sea, right beside what will be their new classroom! We congratulate the third-year students on their hard work this year, and know that they will continue to grow, learn and achieve in Upper Elementary!

SUMMER REVIEW TOPICS Please CLICK HERE to view suggested summer review topics and links to web-based resources.

BEST WISHES, OLIVIA! We would like to wish Olivia and her family the very best as they embark on their new adventure at their new school! We will miss you and hope that you will come and visit!

Have a restful and enjoyable summer holiday! We cannot wait to see you next school year!

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