Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Festival du Voyageur!

We kicked off our Festival du Voyageur Week on Tuesday (Feb.17) with a visit from none other than the Festival mascot, Louis laTuque!

On Wednesday, Mr. Badiuk did some special Festival du Voyageur music activities in his classes.  Students learned how to play spoons!

On a very cold and frosty Thursday, students from Grades 3 and 4 as well as students from Grades 7 and 8 went to the Festival du Voyageur. (Our Grade 5 and 6 students were at Camp Arnes.)  Be sure to check the Grade 3 and 4 teachers' blogs for their photos.  The photos below are of the Grade 7 and 8 students.

One of our students demonstrates how to prepare for the elements.

When all else fails, one can find the heating tubes in the Festival du Voyageur tents!

Our first venue was Fort Gibraltar where were learned about the various roles that different voyageurs had while working for the North West Company.   We learned about the roles of the 'hivernants' who were the tough voyageurs that signed a 2-3 year contract to stay in the remote interior of Canada to work for the North West Company.  The 'lard eaters' were voyageurs that had a much easier role, working between the Great Lakes and Montreal. 

Our favorite snow sculpture

Our second venue was the "Maple Forest" where we learned about how maple sap is extracted from the sugar maple tree and how maple syrup is produced.

We sampled the delicious results!

After lunch (and warming up!) we enjoyed the Festival du Voyageur playground.  We had fun posing in the cut-outs in the huge wall of snow, sliding down the snow hill and finding our way through a snow maze.

In our afternoon workshop, we learned about the fine art of trading.    

Students were divided into three groups, the First Nations people, the Métis and the Europeans.  Each group had a suitcase of goods to attempt to trade with the other.  It was a very good exercise in trying to determine the true value of goods based on their usefulness and durability.  Students learned that in trading, one must determine what goods to choose based on what one's needs truly were. 

Un grand merci to the organizers of the Festival du Voyageur for putting on such a great cultural event!

Finally, Friday was an action-packed day for the whole school with a dress up day, food tasting and gym activities.

For our voyageur/pioneer dress-up day,  all who participated had their names entered into a draw for a couple prizes. Please check the blogs of other teachers for more dress-up photos.

 Mr. Badiuk ran some Voyageur gym activities:

Team skiing gave us an idea of how the voyageurs had to work as a team in rhythm with one another to paddle their canoes efficiently.

The "Pillow Battle" was a favorite event!  In the winter, when the voyageurs were not working, they enjoyed "les concours du meilleur" (competitions of the best).  These were friendly competitions that helped them pass the time and have fun during the cold, long winters.

Please see the previous post for photos featuring the "taste of the Festival".  On Friday students sampled pea soup, bannock and maple syrup.  A recipe for pea soup is also included in the previous post.

Un grand merci to all the parents and teachers who helped to make our Festival du Voyageur week a great success for another year.  It could not have happened without all your help; what a great school community we have!

Bonne semaine!

Mme Christensen

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