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Eastern Canada G6

Grade 6 Eastern Canada Trip: History, Politics, & Culture

All Grade 6 students participate in the annual trip to Eastern Canada as part of the curricula. It is a tremendous cultural and educational experience, one not readily available to tourists.

The Eastern Canada Trip provides the setting for the ultimate experiential, Inter-Disciplinary Unit. G6 teachers put together a programme designed to enhance the standard curriculum and to give the children invaluable experiential understandings.

The programme integrates many subjects, including the Humanities (government, Pre- and Post-Confederation Canadian History, First Nations History, Canadian geography), P.E. (How has Canada’s harsh winter climate affected recreation?), French (both language and culture), Art (National Gallery programme “Perspectives on Canadian Art”), Science (Canadian biomes), Performing Arts (National Film Board of Canada) and Career and Personal Planning (university tour and Mulgrave alumni interviews).

In a jam-packed trip, the students visit attractions such as Canadian Parliament, the Rideau Canal, walk the Plains of Abraham, and enjoy a host of other organised activities. Not only will the students complete activities whilst on the trip, they will continually draw upon their experiences back in the classroom through Grade 6 and beyond.

TRIP BLOG

September 22nd

To all our loyal fans!

I knew today was going to be a successful one when we pulled out of the Mulgrave parking lot at 6:00am on the dot! Everyone was on-time and ready to go. Thank you to all the parents for making that happen. It made for a very smooth start!

There was a wonderful buzz on the buses as we drove down Granville St. Excitement was in the air, that's for sure. When I asked Emma if she was excited she answered, 'How could you NOT be excited? This is awesome!'.

We arrived at the airport and the agent met us at the doors with our pre-printed boarding cards. Well done, WESTJET. We lined up in our groups to check our baggage and went around the corner to pick up our bagged lunches from Subway. We went through security with ease and went to gate B13! We had a quick stop at the washrooms and then boarded the plane. It always amazes me that it takes close to two full hours to check in a group our size. The time certainly flies by!

The flight was smooth and they were happy sitting alongside their friends. They played cards, UNO, and checkers. They read their books, drew pictures, origami, made bookmarks, and coloured. The flight attendant spoke with Ms. Yakachuk at the end of the flight and said she was so impressed with how respectful our students were. It happens every year and it is always nice to hear. Credit goes to their parents! Well done!

We arrived in Montreal to clear blue skies and sunshine. We walked in our groups to retrieve our luggage. Thankfully, every bag arrived. We boarded our coach buses and headed for the hotel. Montreal is a construction zone as they are building new highways and bridges. Traffic was busy, but we flew through in the bus lane.

We are all on one floor on the end wing of the hotel. It is perfect. Our dinner consisted of pizza with salad and water. They devoured the delicious pizza! While we ate, Mrs. Read read us three stories from one of her favourite books. We all sat immersed in the stories. I forgot how wonderful it is to sit and listen to someone read out loud! You could have heard a pin drop, alongside the crinkling water bottles!

We went through the agenda for tomorrow and had our team meetings. We talked about our highlights of the day, who was helpful to them, and what they were looking forward to. We posed for our group photos, which are linked below. The teachers are currently walking the hallway to make sure the lights are out and they are quiet.

It's great to see so many of you following us on our twitter feeds. As I said in our parent meeting, we don't keep track of who is in the photos so please don't fret if your child isn't in some of them. We try our best, but we can't always guarantee that every child will be in every photo. I'm sure you will understand.

We have a great day planned for tomorrow! It's going to be full of highlights!

Your angels are all doing very well and having a wonderful time.

I wish you all the best for a nice evening!

Karyn, Christine, Gareth, Xi Chen, Jose, Nicola, Jessica and Rhonda

Link to team photos

September 23rd

Greeting from Montreal!

Today was a truly 'incredible' or en francais 'incroyable' day! If you were following along on Twitter, you probably got a sense all the amazing things we did!

Our visit to the Biodome and the Montreal Tower was hugely successful. The Biodome's many different ecosystems made the walk through very interesting. The kids loved seeing all the different animals from the different parts of the world. The highlights were the red monkeys, the puffin's, the penguins and the bats!

The Montreal Tower was also a hit. It is the tallest man made leaning tower. We rode up the funicular to the top and got to see views of Montreal and the surrounding area. For those of us that are a little scared of heights, the trip up was a bit daunting but it was a lot of fun. We really enjoyed it.

It was also very neat to be on site of the 1976 Olympic Games. I went to those Olympics with my family in 1976. I was 12 years old then. We saw Bruce Jenner win the Gold Medal in the decathlon, we saw Greg Joy in the highjump and we were part of the excitement when Nadia Comenici and Olga Korbut score their perfect 10's! It was neat to share that experience with the kids today.

We had our lunch in the cafeteria below, boarded the buses and went to see the Notre Dame Basiilica. We had two great tour guides that taught us all about the history of the church and it's many stories. In case you didn't know, there are 7000 pipes in the church organ! I would love to hear it being played someday.

From there our bus drivers, Danny and Ivan, took us to McGill University where we were met by Sophia Gupta (Mulgrave grad 2014) and Jamilla Janmohammed (Mulgrave grad 2015). These two engineers, one Chemical and one Civil, talked about their experience at McGill and why they chose to go there. Our kids asked them insightful questions and were very interested in finding out about what university was like. My favourite questions were:

1. Is University harder than Grade 6?
2. From your perspective, do you think Mulgrave prepared you for university?.
3. What has been your biggest challenge?

It was incredible for us to watch these well spoken and smart Mulgrave graduates talk about their experiences. Both amazing role models and ambassadors for Mulgrave and McGill! We are so lucky!

After our two-hour tour, we had a 30 minute break on the grass near the gates of McGill. A nice chance for the kids to play manhunt or just a chance to relax and enjoy their new found friends. It was a lovely sunny day and so nice to see them playing!

We walked about six blocks to the restaurant for dinner, Weinstein and Gavino's Pasta. We had soup/salad, pasta of our choice, and a yummy piece of chocolate cake for dessert. The waiters were lots of fun. It was a great place for a big group dinner. We all enjoyed ourselves and we were all well fed.

From there, as if that wasn't enough, we boarded the buses and headed to the Monument-National theatre to watch Cirque Eloize 'Saloon' show. It was absolutely specacular. The 90-minute show went by so quickly as we watched them sing, play banjo's, fiddles, and drums and the most incredible acrobatics that I have ever seen. The theatre was small, so it was a much better experience than Cirque de Soleil! We were all blown away!

We ended the day with a quick team meeting, a photo and an overview of tomorrow! They are all asleep in their beds now and the hallway is quiet!

I have attached the photos, you will see that even after a long day, they are all smiles!

They are a happy group and really easy to travel with!

I trust you are all enjoying this adventure from afar!

Enjoy your evening!

Karyn, Christine, Gareth, Jessica, Xi Chen, Jose, Rhonda and Nicola

September 24th

Good evening from Quebec City,

We had another fantastic day today! Lots of new friendships being formed and we are getting to know each other well! It's been a true pleasure.

To start our day we enjoyed our delicious breakfast, boarded the buses and headed towards Mont Royal. It was a beautiful morning. Sun was shining and it was lovely and warm. The buses dropped us off at the top of Mont Royal park and we had 90 minutes to walk on the paths and enjoy the gorgeous park. We went to the lookout first, had our group photo taken and enjoyed the lovely views of Montreal. We spotted McGill quickly and enjoyed the public piano that some of our experts played for us. It was fun.

After the lookout we walked down the hill to the lake and the playground. We had 15 minutes of free time and we had a great game of manhunt. It was a perfect spot as there were lots of big trees to hide behind. After our break we walked back to the buses and headed to the restaurant for lunch. We had traditional Montreal style smoked beef sandwiches, fries, coleslaw and a pickle. We chased that down with a delicious piece of Maple cake! It doesn't get better than that! The kids loved it. Our vegetarians had delicious spaghetti with tomato sauce and they were happy too!

After lunch we boarded the bus and headed towards Quebec City. We had the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on Bus 1 and the Great and Powerful Oz on Bus 2. Good ol' classics that most of them haven't seen. We stopped half way for a bathroom break and were so surprised to step off the bus into the 30 degree temperatures! The air conditioned bus kept us nice and cool. Its unusually hot for this time of year!

Our bus drivers dropped us off in Old town Quebec where we had our first crack at shopping. Each group wandered the shops with their teachers. The rule was that you couldn't go in a store that another group was in. Not very challenging as there are about 20 shops that sell all the same stuff. They found all kinds of gorgeous trinkets, snow globes, fancy pencils and decks of cards. They were so excited to be spending their money.

At 5pm we met at the restaurant, Cotes a Cotes which translates in English to Side by side. And after learning that they served us the most delicious ribs, a fantastic salad, and french fries. The vegetarians and the non pork eaters had a lovely vegetable risotto dish. It looked yummy. For dessert we had white cake with maple syrup and chocolate dusted on top. Ms. Read didn't like hers (wink wink).

After dinner we all walked up to the Place D'Armes. A few of the kids asked me if the Chateau Frontenac was the hotel we were staying in! I chuckled to myself and let them know we were staying at the Holiday Inn Express! Same idea just a little different!
We met our tour guide, got into our groups and each teacher was given the outline of the Scavenger Hunt. We had one hour to find the answers to all the clues. The group with the most correct answers was promised a prize. We learned that Madame Beaupre and Ms. Jones are competitive. Their groups were neck and neck until the very end. It turned out that Ms. Jones group got the most answers correct with 17/20.It was a fun adventure and a neat way to learn an introduction to Quebec's history. We boarded the buses at 8pm and were off to our hotel.

We checked into our rooms and had our team meetings. They all showered tonight and they are fast asleep. LIghts were out at 9:30pm.

Wake up calls in the morning at 7:30am so they will have a good long sleep tonight.

We have had another fantastic day. Tomorrow is going to be a full day of history which I know they are going to soak up.

In the meantime, I'm off to sleep. Thanks so much for all your messages of support.
Please see photos here.

Enjoy your evening!

Karyn, Christine, Nicola, Gareth, Rhonda, Xi Chen, Jessica and Jose

September 25th

We had another outstanding day today. It had a great variety of outside activity, engaging learning activities, walking and Quebecois culture. It was a truly fabulous day. The weather was gorgeous and warm and it was so nice to be outside for most of it. A nice change from last years trip that was very cold and rainy!

We had our breakfast in shifts this morning. Girls at 8:00 and boys at 8:30. This allowed space in the dining hall for all of us and the other guests staying at the hotel. It was a buffet style breakfast with lots of good variety and healthy choices.

We boarded the buses and headed to the Plains of Abraham Museum where we were immersed in the most amazing interactive session hosted by Generals Wolfe and Montcalm. Set in 1759 and 1760 they were in character and reviewed strategies that the English and the French used during the battles on the Plains of Abraham. They set the scene inside the classroom, split the kids into the English and the French and then we all went outside to learn the various strategies that General Wolfe and Montcalm used on the battlefield. I'm sure you got a sense of what they were doing with the video's that were posted on twitter. It was an excellent activity. Our kids made excellent soldiers and learned a lot about what took place on that site!

At noon we boarded the buses and headed to Spag & Tini's for our buffet lunch. It was a great meal with lots of delicious options. Most of them went back for seconds. This group is full of great eaters. They seem to have hollow legs!

After lunch, Mr. RJ led us as we walked 1 mile to La Citadelle. We found a lovely path that took us past the Hotel Frontenac along the boardwalk and on a shaded path right to La Citadelle. We arrived right on time for our guided tour. On the tour we walked as a group through the fortress, an active garrison occupied by the Royal 22 e Régiment, and dove into the heart of this national historic site, admiring its architecture and the spectacular view of Québec City and the St. Lawrence River. We had two excellent tour guides that spoke to the kids in an interesting and interactive way. It was a lot of fun. They had a few minutes in the gift shop and then they were ready to go.

Our buses picked us up at the bottom of the hill and we drove about 20 minutes to the sugar shack, Le Chemin du Roy. Rose met us as a whole group and taught us the history of the trapper's camp and the maple museum. There are 1000 maple trees on the property and most of the trees produce close to 3 buckets per day. After her introduction we walked through the Sugar shack and into the family style restaurant where there was a man playing an accordion. We danced and sang and had a fantastic time. The gift shop was excellent and they all had a chance to buy some great souvenirs. Get the pancake batter ready as some of you have some Maple syrup on the way. Once they purchased their goods they went outside and enjoyed maple syrup on a stick. We boarded the buses and headed back to our hotel

During their team meetings they were all instructed to have a shower, brush their teeth and pack their suitcases. They are doing that now and getting settled in their rooms. Not an easy feat when they are full of maple sugar!

The group has been fantastic to travel with. They are learning so many new things and having a great time in the process. As I said in the parent meetings, if there is any sort of issue I will call you immediately. If you don't hear from me then you can rest easy!

Tomorrow we spend the morning in Quebec city and then we will be on the road enroute for Ottawa.

It's great to see so many of you following along with us on twitter!

Enjoy your evening!

Karyn, Rhonda, Gareth, Xi Chen, Jose, Christine, Nicola and Christine

Click here for evening photos!

September 26th

Good evening to everyone!

Another stellar day. I have to say we are getting used to this summer like weather! It is supposed to cool down tomorrow afternoon to a cool 24 degrees! We have been so lucky!

We had two seating's for breakfast this morning and we were all on the bus for our 9am departure. We met our two guides at Place D'Armes and went for a 2 hour walking tour of Old Quebec. It's always a sigh of relief when the guides are kid friendly and engaging. In the first 5 minutes of our tour the guide was once again blown away by how much our kids knew about the history of Canada and the surrounding area. On your behalf, the teachers were puffy chested and proud! The tour took us to all kinds of interesting spots, which I'm sure you saw today on twitter.

We boarded our buses at 1pm and headed Parc de la Franophonie just past the parliament buildings. We perched ourselves under a shady tree and distributed our subway boxed lunches. Subway is always a good bet with kids and they devoured their sandwiches, water, chips and cookies.

We had a quick pit stop in the washroom and then boarded our buses for Ottawa. The drive took us about 4.5 hours. We watched two movies, worked on our duo tangs, played cards and sang songs! It felt like a very quick trip. We had one pit stop along the way for a bathroom break and a little run around in a park. A nice chance to shake our our legs!

We had a delicious buffet dinner at a restaurant called Tucker's tonight. The highlight of the meal was the roast beef and Yorkshire puddings. Oh and the chocolate ice cream, topped with marshmallows and chocolate cake wasn't too bad either. Mr. RJ seemed to enjoy his fair share of the all you can eat aspect of the meal!

We checked into our hotel (girls on the 4th floor with 4 teachers and boys on the 5th floor with 4 teachers), had our team meetings and team photos. They are now asleep and quiet.

Tomorrow is a big day for us in Ottawa. We start at the National Art Gallery which we are all excited about. This is Ms. Read's bread and butter. I know she will teach us all a lot of great things about the art that we see. I can't wait!

I hope you are all well!

Karyn and the amazing team of teachers!

*The pictures are here.

September 27th

Good evening from Ottawa!

We had a full day today. Get your cup of tea and sit down as you read!

The restaurant at this hotel serves delicious croissants, scrambled
eggs and bacon. The buffet allowed us all to choose some healthy and delicious options. This morning the boys ate at 8:00am and the girls ate at 8:30. The reason we do that is because the girls rooms are on one floor and the boys on another. The teachers on each floor take them all down to the restaurant together. It’s been a very good system that seems to work well.

After breakfast, we packed up our backpacks and boarded the buses at 9.am We headed straight to the National Art Museum where Ms. Read and the students spent the morning teaching us about various pieces of
art. It was truly unbelievable. Our students had obviously done their research and knew a lot about each piece as we walked through. The guides at the museums looked scared when we would walk into their section and then they looked in awe of what they witnessed. One guard
said in all the years he has worked there he has never seen such an interested and well informed group of kids. Kudos to our teachers who have been teaching elements of art and design since kindergarten. It was like something out of a movie. You could obviously see by the number of tweets during our visit that we were all excited about what was happening.

I spoke with 3 children after their team meetings and they all agreed that they liked the symbolism in the first painting we discussed, Mary Neville, Lady Dacre by Hans Eworth. There was so much to see. Ray thought the big spider outside the museum was interesting because he
liked the way the artist depicted how gentle and caring spiders are. Sandy enjoyed seeing the girl in the yellow sweater because it shows not only her future but her past. Ulwiana was impressed with the Salvador Dali painting because of all the intricate detail of every aspect of the painting. She said she felt like she could sit and
stare at it for a long time. Our two and a half hours flew by and we were all disappointed we had to leave.

Mr. RJ, our google map expert, guided us to the Lone Star Texas Grill where we enjoyed fajitas (steak chicken and veggie), nacho chips, water (no soda) and a fresh cookie for dessert. The atmosphere in the restaurant was upbeat and lively so we fit in well.

Our buses picked us up and took us to the Canadian War Museum. The national museum present’s Canada’s military past and how it shaped our country. We learned all about the architecture of the building during our tour and we walked through the exhibitions which explain the rich military history from earliest times to the present. While we were there there was a reception being hosted for the opening of the National Holocaust monument. As we got onto our bus about 20 black security vehicles drove in. One kind security agent told us that Justin Trudeau would be there in an hour to be part of the ceremony. It was neat to see that!

Our next stop on our tour today was the Royal Canadian Mint. An interesting place to visit as they teach you all about the manufacturing facilities and how they handcraft collector and commemorative coins. The innovation is interesting. We learned that the Canadian mint is commissioned by several countries around the world to make different currencies. We also got to see the Vancouver 2010 athlete medals and we learned about the record-breaking million dollar coin that was made in 2007. We had a bit of time in the gift shop before our tour so they all enjoyed that.

I will mention that our timing on this trip has been impeccable. While we were in the MINT for our tour, the thunderstorm came and went. There was a 20 minute downpour while we were inside and when we came outside the sun was shining and it was nice and cool.

From the MINT we went to Victoria Island where we were hosted by a group of Cree, Onondaga, and Ojibway natives. We enjoyed a buffet dinner under the tent. Following the meal we had a quick game of manhunt on the grass. They also toured us through the traditional lands and taught us about their culture and the way in which they lived. We then got to see a performance of a traditional Pow Wow. I hope you got to see some of the photos and videos on twitter. It was an excellent experience and the kids really enjoyed it. This experience will be unpacked when we get back to school as we continue to learn about reconciliation and retribution.

We got back to the hotel at 8pm and went straight to our teachers room for our evening meetings and photo (attached). As Ms. Jones reported, not too many lows today and too many highlights to talk about. It was
a fantastic day. Almost like going on 4 field trips in one day!

Lights out at 9pm tonight as we need a good sleep to get us ready for tomorrow.

More adventures await!

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying this journey!

Karyn, Christine, Rhonda, Xi, Jose, Gareth, Nicola and Jessica

Here is the link to the photos.

September 28th

We were on a mission this morning to see Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but to no avail! I was given news on Tuesday morning that our tour inside the parliament building was cancelled due to an important event that was taking place this morning. Instead of going inside, we opted to walk all around the outside of the building and enjoy the sunshine. I asked a security guard what the big function was inside today and he told me that it was a tribute ceremony to the outgoing Governor General, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston. In a statement today from Justin Trudeau “As Canada’s 28th Governor General, His Excellency brought tenacity, drive, and deep compassion to the accomplishment of his duties as the representative of our Monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. He proudly served as the 11th Governor General of Canada under her reign.” Hopefully you saw our group photos in front of the Canada 150 sign! That will be a great memory for these kids to have in years to come!

Our tours of the Supreme Court took place at 10:15 and 10:30. We split into two groups with each group having their own tour guide. We learned that the Supreme Court of Canada is Canada’s final court of appeal. It serves Canadians by deciding legal issues of public importance, thereby contributing to the development of all branches of law applicable within Canada. The two groups each simulated a Mock trial in the court rooms. The first mock trial was overseen by supreme court justice Navik. He was conducting a trial about a stolen Coach purse. The lawyers were Terry and Lola. The accused was Hannah and the victim was Nika. The final decision found that Hannah was guilty of theft and given a sentence of two years in jail.

The 2nd mock was officiated by Supreme Court Justice Kiana. She was conducting a trial about a stolen bag of gum worth $500.00. The lawyers were Audrey and Aveary. The accused was Frank and the victim was Jaden. The final decision proved Frank was innocent. Case closed. Our tour ended in the Supreme Court Room. Both tour guides were engaging and interesting. We all really enjoyed our visit.

Our boxed lunches were delivered to us at the Supreme Court. We distributed the lunches and boarded the buses. We ate our lunch on the way to Arbruska Outdoor adventure centre. What a place it was. We split into three groups. The first groups got suited up with their helmets and head lamps and went into the caves. You will hear all about it when they get home. A unique experience for all of us.

The second group strapped into their harnesses and their helmets and headed over to the outdoor adventure. The third group followed them 15 minutes later. It was an incredible obstacle course with slides, short zip lines, rope walks, and ladders. The guides taught the kids how to use their safety gear and they were then challenged to complete the loop. The course was designed to let students use the course independently. It was so much fun to watch them tackle the challenges and experience the thrills of each section. They could go at their own pace (slow or fast) and there was no need to stand around and wait, like so many other obstacle courses I have been to. The kids absolutely loved it. It was a highlight of the trip for many of the kids and the teachers too!

We had a buffet dinner tonight. These seem to be a big hit with this group as they can make their own choices and have as much as they like! We had a quick game of manhunt in the park across the street from the hotel and then Ms. Read told them a story. They are always better when they have a little run around after a meal. The team meetings went well tonight as we did a recap of the trip and they got a chance to come up with their highlights. There were so many.

The top 3 highlights for each group was:

Group 1: Zip lining, Cirque Eloize and the royal canadian mint

Group 2: Cirque Eloize, Canadian War museum, zip lining and caving

Group 3: The food, building friendships/spending time together on the bus, Cirque Eloize

Group 4: Zip lining/caving, Canadian War museum, Cirque Eloize and the sugar shack

Group 5: Zip lining/caving, Cirque Eloize, Mint

Group 6: Zip lining/caving, Plains of Abraham battle reenactment, Mint

Group 7: Cirque Eloize, Zip lining/caving, Canadian War museum

This trip has been an adventure in so many ways. I probably say this every year but this group has been one of the best. They were easy to be with, they were interested and engaged in every activity we were involved in and they were responsible and polite.

When I asked the kids tonight what skills they have learned on this trip, these were the answers I got:

  1. Independence
  2. Personal Organization
  3. Using my manners
  4. Making new friends
  5. Keeping track of all my stuff

They are excited to share their stories and memories with you when they get home.

Thank you to everyone for your kind notes of thanks along the way. It’s been an exciting week for everyone. We have enjoyed our time with this group. We look forward to sharing some of the stories at the Grade 6 party on Tuesday, October 3rd at the Roseman’s home.

I will send a note to everyone on the status of our flight arrival time.

Many thanks,

Karyn and the team!

Here are the team photos from tonight.

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