Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Movies as Literature - The Scarlet Pimpernel

It was great to see our first student led session in our Movies as Literature class. I think that because we have been doing this class for a while now, the students really know what is expected and how to lead it. Our first brave girl started us off and it was great to see her leading with such confidence. I only interjected once or twice with a few questions of my own, but other than that I was definitely a “silent partner” in this endeavor! Here are her questions.

There was lots of literary value in The Scarlet Pimpernel and there were enough twists and turns in the plot to make it interesting. I enjoyed seeing how the discussion went and I always enjoying seeing the students chat in the chat bar. It doesn’t seem to distract from the class at all - however it does make it challenging for the person leading the class. These students participate for social reasons as well as the educational content and that is something that I support fully - I truly believe in learning from each other!

Last year we studied the French Revolution so this helped in adding context to the study of the Scarlet Pimpernel.
There is such value in having the Google Doc open and reading other’s responses as well as adding to the document “real time”. The students covered everything from substance abuse to trust in marriage and many other topics as well. They answered the questions with thoughtfulness, honesty and sometimes humor ;)
I appreciate this class so much!
Blessings, Natalie

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tom Sawyer Session 3

It was great to finish up Tom Sawyer with a great afternoon filled with fun and drama! But first we did the academics! 

As I have in the past, the third session is all about conflict, theme and literary devices. For Tom Sawyer I added in a little poetry too!

First, we brainstormed all of the conflicts that the students could remember from Tom Sawyer. This was great seeing so many of them participate!

Next, I had them break into small groups and play “What’s my Theme”. In their groups they were to think of a theme and then give three statements about that theme without telling us what the theme was. 

This was a bit confusing so if I did this another time, I would do some brainstorming first of possible themes in Tom Sawyer. We then got back together and the groups gave their statements and we were to guess the theme. Here is the “What’s My Theme” sheet and the Answer sheet.

Next I had our students break up into small groups again and I gave them 2 literary device cards. They were to search the book and come up with examples from Tom Sawyer. Some of these were quite challenging and we only had a short time to do this. Here are the literary devices cards.

Finally I had our students do redacted poetry from pages from Tom Sawyer. I randomly ran off 16 pages from the book which I got from this site. They then redacted the pages and created poems. 

It was great to see some of the students who loved poetry, really got into this and presented to the group.


An hour isn’t a lot of time, so it was definitely full this week. The highlight of the day was definitely the drama! Seeing our students put on the play Tom Sawyer. I know I keep saying it, but we really do have a gifted drama leader. 

She writes these dramas with such skill so that each student has a great part, so that the essence of the novel shines through and most of all that the students can have a great time presenting it! 

Tom Sawyer was no exception! It was extremely well done and great to see our students dress up and really get into their characters!

Well, another Literature Learning Camp comes to an end. I think it is safe to say that our students will never forget Tom Sawyer! Blessings, Natalie

Monday, November 3, 2014

BC Legislature

It was great visiting the BC Legislature last week. I hadn’t been on the tour for many years and I appreciated getting a reminder of the history of BC and of our government. Francis Rattenbury certainly designed beautiful buildings and the Parliament buildings are no exception. 

The docent who led us through the Legislature was very knowledgeable and gave us several art lessons from the intricacies of the coat of arms to the beautiful stained glass in the waiting room. She pointed out the architecture and really made the building “come alive”. 

She also explained to us about the Legislature, how it runs what we would see when we went into the question period. We had the opportunity to see government in action.
Being in the gallery really helped us to see what a regular day in government looked like, I heard more children come out and say, I am not going to ever be a politician, but Elizabeth found it interesting.

We had a visit from the MLA who is from his riding in Kelowna. It was great to have Norm Letnick visit us as Heritage Christian Online School is certainly part of his centre of influence. He also shared with the students that he is the current Minister of Agriculture for BC. He handed out cards and let us know that the students could contact him with any concerns.

Experiencing the Legislature and question period really put into perspective that governing is happening each day they are in session and that it takes real representatives who have the people’s best interests at heart to govern in a responsible way. 
We had just been reading about representative and responsible government and I think this really deepened that understanding.
Blessings! Natalie

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Confederation Co-op

What a great day we had in our Co-op session on Confederation. 

First we had our study of Hermeneutics. It is great to see all of the students bibles open and them studying. This session was all about - what is the bible and can it be trusted? I am so thankful that we have such a great pastor leading our children like this every co-op - what a great blessing!

Next it was on to Confederation. The first thing that I had the students do is draw a very "out of scale" map of Canada - they then worked together and added when their province joined Confederation and why from this site. 

I only had long thin paper to use so our Canadian map - good thing a scaled map was not the purpose of the exercise ;)
They then presented for their group each province and why they joined Confederation. There were definitely some reoccurring themes the students recognized.

After this the students broke out into groups of 3 or 4 and I gave them one of the reasons for or against Confederation  on this pageon this onethis one and this one. They then did a newscast skit based on their points. 
At the end of the class we then watched a video about before, during and after Confederation to reiterate the main points and review what we had learned. It was from Discovery Education.

The kids (and adults) enjoyed lunch and then it was off to art! The students finished up their Picasso based collages. It is so great to see them enjoying art!

They work together, chat together and enjoy each others company during this quieter time.

Wrapping up the day was PE with soccer at the indoor arena. It is so great that we have access to such a wonderful facility. 

A long wonderful day filled with learning and fun!! 
Blessings, Natalie