Well yesterday was the first day of school-mind you I only had my 10 former grade sixes and one student for an hour but after two days off always a bit of a shock to the system but always the excitement and anticipation of the first day... I don't get my whole "real class" until Friday as we make sure the numbers fall in the correct directions. I have decided to start the year with a bit of a unit on Newfoundland including beginning with the science unit on geology and social studies unit on artifacts. My read aloud will be Charlie Wilcox by Sharon E. MacKay. I am keeping all my last year's grade six students and they were actually wildly enthusiastic about studying about Newfoundland if it involved project work. They love projects. Also I am happy to say that they all seemed to read this summer as well. I am so excited with only having to deal with one grade level curriculum and always thankful for my wonderful teacher-librarian!
Now as I unfold more of my recent journey you will hopefully see the connections. My journey along the Marine Drive where I took some of the pictures on my last blog. When we visited Middle Beach and saw all these rocks my mind turned to Grade Seven Science. We returned to St. John's and went up Signal Hill which we could always see clearly out our hotel window. Then we drove out (with a little confusion due to one way streets and two bridges) to Cape Spear, Canada's most easterly point. We saw the most incredible sunset! I realize we should have perhaps done sunrise but sunset was amazing!
Thursday we set off for Brigus and Cupids. Brigus was highly recommended by Verena, and it was an amazingly beautiful place. Once a major sealing port with a harbour filled with ships it now is a town rather lovingly restored. The streets are narrowed and windy so I happily abandoned the car in a lot as Ginny and I explored. We ended up in Hawthorne Cottage, home of Captain Bob Bartlett, famed Arctic explorer, I began thinking that Brigus seemed strangely familiar. Sure enough, when I asked the helpful tour guide, it was indeed the setting for Charlie Wilcox, a boy who sneaks off to board a sealer rather than go to high school but instead finds himself heading to Europe during World War 1. Captain Bob also figures in Wayne Johnston's great adult novel, The Navigator of New York.
When we went up to the old church on the hill, I thought of Charlie running up there to see if his father's ship had come in.
Next we ventured off to Cupids, the oldest English language settlement in Canada. Only the week before it celebrated it's 400th anniversary. There is also an extensive archeological dig there and an interesting display from the National Art Gallery of reproductions of famous Canadian portraits on the street but I must say a highlight for us was a late lunch at Cupid's Haven and then a walk that included wild blueberry nibbling. Okay, again I need to go to work. Stay tuned for more!