Eastern Canada G6
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 of Canada), Science (Montreal Science Centre), and Career and Personal Planning (university tour with Mulgrave alumni).
In a jam-packed trip, the students visit attractions such as Canadian Parliament, the Rideau Canal, enact on 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.
We had a hugely successful day on our journey to Montreal. Many thanks to all of you for the easy drop off at 5:45am this morning. We drove away from the parking lot at exactly 6:00am.
At the airport, we gathered in our groups, got our lanyards and our duotangs and headed for the bag check. Once we had our baggage tags, we dropped our bags on the conveyor belt and headed around the corner to pick up our subway lunches. Each lunch labelled with our names on it.
We went through security in our small groups and gathered as a group at the gate. We only had to wait for 20 minutes when they called us to go on the plane. During that time, there was a buzz of activity happening. Hair braiding, UNO, cards and drawing in their books. It was lovely to see them connecting with new friends.
The plane ride was uneventful. The highlight for most of them was eating their lunches. Sandwiches, chips and a cookie.
We occupied the back half of the plane and the flight attendants were quite impressed with all of them.
Upon arrival in Montreal, we boarded our busses and headed for our Buffet dinner. Bus 1 had Bus driver, Daniel. Bus 2 had bus driver Roy. They will be with us for our entire journey. They are very friendly and they are delighted to be with us.
Our dinner was fabulous. Lots of choice and so many great options. Roast beef, Montreal smoked meat, salads, vegetables, spring roles, salmon, prawns, spagetti, lasagna......and we made sure each plate had a bit of colour (i.e. vegetables).
Lights out at 9pm (now). We are currently in the hallways making sure that they are settling down for bed.
We are excited about our day tomorrow in Montreal. The museum of Science, Notre Dame and McGill!
As you can probably tell from our twitter feed, we had an outstanding day. We woke up to rain showers but we knew from the weather report that the sun was on it's way. And the sun came out at 11am.
After our delicious breakfast, we boarded our buses and headed for the Montreal Science Museum. All 70 of us started out by exploring the Human Body exhibit. It is by far the best interactive museum I have ever seen. You could probably tell that we were busy exploring and embracing every section of the exhibit. Before we knew it was time to head downstairs to the IMAX theatre for the 3D show titled 'Super Dogs'. We were all impressed as we learned all about dogs who are trained to help rescue people hit by avalanche (the scenes from that part of the film were shot in Whistler), in disaster zones hit by hurricanes, and in the oceans. It wasn't what I was expecting and it was so good. We all really enjoyed it.
Three groups headed to the Fabrik exhibit, It was a huge maker space where the children were tasked to design complex circuits using electricity, design tall boats out of plastic materials, and design a simple machine that would travel down a clothes line and make it all the way to the end. It was an hour of design thinking. Try it, test it, change it and then try it again, test it, and change it. As Ms. Read said, 'this place is a teacher's dream.' There wasn't a child in that space that was not completely engaged for 60 minutes! It was so inspiring to see all our children creating and playing with their designs.
In the meantime, the other 4 groups had a delicious lunch at the food court and then we switched.
From the Museum of Science, we walked three blocks to the Notre Dame Basilica where we enjoyed a guided tour. It is such an awe inspiring place. For many in the group it was their first time to see Notre Dame. Ms. Glanville told me that the minute she walked in it took her breath away. I'm sure she wasn't the only one.
We had a group picture taken outside the Basilica and then headed for buses. Our drivers took us to the gates of McGill University where we were met by Harry Crerar (Isla's brother) who graduated from Mulgrave in June of 2019. He gave us a great tour of his new school and was obviously thrilled to see his sister. We had some free time on the grass and loved having some down time.
After our break, Mr. Teran and his group guided us by foot to our restaurant. We enjoyed our Italian dinner with Salad/or soup, a choice of 4 pasta dishes and a delicious piece of chocolate cake.
We have just finished up our team meetings and they are now in their rooms, packing up their suitcases. We are driving to Quebec City after our lunch tomorrow. Lights will be out by 8:30pm tonight as they are tired.
Today was our bus trip to Quebec City.
We woke up to beautiful sunny skies, ate our breakfast, finished packing our suitcases and jumped on our buses. We travelled with different groups today so we had a chance to mingle with new friends.
Our original plan was to head up to Mount Royal park and take in the big views of Montreal. Unfortunately they were hosting the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal race today. Part of the UCI Cycling World Tour. We found this out on our way towards Mount Royal and got caught in major Montreal traffic. We quickly shifted our plans and headed to Park LaFountaine where we had some time to stretch our legs and have a bit of a run around. Over the years, I have learned that 11 yr olds need time to play and free space to do it.
We then headed to Brisket's restaurant where we enjoyed a delicious lunch. We had the back of the restaurant all to ourselves and managed to make enough noise to scare away any people passing by. To help curb the reverberating sound, we played a trivia game. They were focused and intent on getting the right answers. I thought the waiters were going to come over and hug me when they all quieted down. They were so happy! We had a really fun time at Briskets and they learned all kinds of new trivia.
We hopped on our buses, fired up the movies and headed towards Quebec City. We had a rest break/bathroom break half way and a great game of camouflage. All's right with the world when they can run around!
We checked into our hotel rooms at 4pm. New roommates tonight so they were excited.
We had a delicious dinner at Cote a Cote in Old Quebec. The choices tonight were pepper steak, salmon, chicken with maple sauce and couscous. We had cauliflower soup to start and we finished the meal with maple cake. After dinner we had a chance to do a bit of shopping with our groups. We did our team photos before the sun went down in Old Quebec.
What a day it was. We left the hotel at 9:00am this morning and we just got back now and it's 8:00pm. Everything about our day was awesome.
We started our adventure today at the Plains of Abraham museum where we did a two hour workshop with General Montcalm and General Wolfe. From the very start, our students were engaged and connected to all the history they were learning. The introduction set the tone and we quickly went outside on the field to re-enact the battle between the French and the British. Our soldiers were in their lines and formations quickly and were eager to master the directions from their generals. The final battle was a close one but the win went to the British. Ms. Read was pleased about that!
We had lunch on the field and then boarded our buses to check out Montmorency Falls. A gorgeous waterfall about 10 minutes from the city. We took some group photos with the waterfall in the background.
We headed back to the Plains of Abraham for an hour before our tour of La Citadelle. In that time, Ms. Read read us a great short story which we all loved and then we had time to play. It was a gorgeous afternoon and nice to have some downtime.
Our guided tour of La Citadelle was also great. An interesting glimpse into the national historic site and a massive fortress in Quebec City. It is Canada's oldest military building, dating back to 1693 and the French Regime. We enjoyed our tour of the old prison on site and the secret passageways throughout the fortress. The cannon's were a big hit too.
We had a delicious dinner at Spag a Tini's and a quick walking tour of the old town. We ended our tour with a ride up the Funiculaire where our buses met us to take us back to the hotel.
Our meetings are now complete and they are off to sleep. Lights out at 8:30am with reminders to drink water, brush teeth, shower and get suitcases packed and ready to go in the morning.
The trip is flying by. We are halfway through the trip already!
We split into two groups for our first activity today. Bus One went to Musee Du Fort to watch an original and unique sound and light show on the military history of Quebec City. It’s an excellent show that consolidated our learning from our past two days. At the end of the show there was a 10 question quiz. Anyone who gets all the answers correct, wins a prize. In the first group Jake and Adam successfully answered all the questions and in group 2 Harry, Gabriel and Ms Mitchell earned a prize. As an aside, it was deemed unfair that Ms. Mitchell won a prize as it was her second time (actually the 10th time) to see the presentation. I will be giving my coveted prize away to a lucky student tomorrow.
While Group 1 was at the show, Group 2 went shopping in old Quebec. After 45 minutes we switched.
At 11:30am we boarded the buses and headed towards Trois Rivieres to ‘Le cabin du sucre’ or in English ‘the sugar shack’ for a traditional Québécois lunch. Soup, bread, ham, salad, beets, fried potatoes, egg pie, tourtiere, pancakes and as much maple syrup as we wanted. Don't worry, moms. They all chose something they like and their tummies were full. It is family style dining at its finest. There was a guy playing a fiddle and another guy on an accordion. We learned how to play the spoons and dance to the music. We had so much fun.
We also had a tour of the property and leaned how they make maple syrup and we got a chance to taste some on a stick. Yummy and so so tasty and delicious! After our Chez Dany experience, we boarded the buses and headed towards Ottawa. The bus ride flew by. We watched movies and played cards. Some slept.
We just got back from our buffet dinner at Tucker’s buffet dinner. This restaurant is known for its huge range of food options. We all picked something we liked and we were all very happy. The best part was the dessert, of course.
We have just finished up our team meetings. I can tell you that there are so many things to celebrate during these meetings. The students are helping each other out, they are becoming much more independent and they are making so many new friendships. The benefits of this trip are far reaching and the skills they are learning will help them prepare so well for Middle School and Senior School. I have seen it over and over again.
The teachers on this trip are doing an amazing job. The pastoral care they provide is excellent and they are taking so much time to get to know your kids. That alone will help all of us when we return home. I am so grateful for all the extra efforts they make.
We woke up this morning to sunny skies and warm temperatures. Our breakfast was buffet style with plenty of good choices. The most popular was pancakes and big glasses of orange juice.
We had a full group meeting about our plans for the day and headed for the buses.
Our first stop was the National Gallery. Ms Read took us on a tour of many pieces of art that we had studied in the first few weeks of school. We had students present their understanding of the art pieces and Ms Read filled in the blanks. It is always a highlight of the trip and Ms Read is in her element teaching students about value, form, emphasis, colour, shape, line, harmony, movement, texture, vanitas and juxtaposition! It was truly a sight to see.
We walked to our lunch spot called the Fish Market and enjoyed fish and chips, chicken strips or pasta with meat sauce.
After lunch we went to the Canadian War Museum. We had a guided tour and learned about the wars that Canada participated in. We also saw cool artifacts like tanks, machine guns, military planes, missiles and experienced what it was like to be a soldier. The other cool thing we learned was that all the windows in the museum were Morse code for Canadian War Museum.
After our tour we got the buses and went to the Royal Canadian Mint where we learned how they make collector coins. We had a chance to go shopping and bought all kinds of special coins.
From there we went to the Museum of History for a taco dinner and a presentation from an Algonquin woman named Stephanie. She taught us all about the indigenous peoples of Eastern Canada and their way of life. It was inspiring and interesting to learn about her cultural background.
As if that wasn’t enough, we drove out to the Canadian Tire Center to watch the Senators take on the Toronto Maple Leafs. For some of these kids it was the first NHL game they have ever seen. That made it pretty special for all of us.
We stayed for the whole game and headed back to the hotel to call it a day.
We went straight to our rooms and headed to bed. We didn’t have time for our team meetings because it was too late.
Written by Ms Mitchell with the help of Keyaan , Adam and Misha in between the 2nd and 3rd period of the game!
We had another fantastic day today. Sunny skies, 25 degrees and lovely.
Our day began with another great breakfast. Today we did a girls shift at 8:30am and a boys shift at 9:00am. This allowed them to have a bit of a sleep in after last night's late hockey game.
Our first stop today was the Air and Space Museum. They have updated it this year and it was noticeably better. New aircraft, new jets, helicopters and everything air and space related. Our kids loved it. We had an hour to check out all the interactive displays and learn new things about air travel and it's history. The kids were desperate to shop in the gift store so we had the girls have lunch at 11:30am while the boys shopped and the boys ate at 12:00pm while the girls shopped. That made for a relatively quiet lunch for all of us. As you can see from the photos on twitter we had a buffet lunch in the centre of the Air and Space Museum and we were surrounded by jets. It was very cool.
After lunch, we headed for Arbraska Outdoor Education Centre. It is about a 20 minute drive from Ottawa and nestled into the forest. We split into 3 groups. Group 1 started at the Parkour obstacle course, Group 2 went to the cave and Group 3 had a 30 minute break before heading over to the Parkour course. At the Parkour course the guides spent the first 30 minutes going over the safety protocols of the course and then each group had a chance to start. There were monkey bridges, short zip treks, slides and challenging obstacles. The students enjoyed the challenges and the teamwork required to get through each level of the course.
The Cave is the largest in the Canadian Shield. We all wore helmets with big bright headlamps and we maneuvered our way into the depths of the cave. Dark, cold, a little scary but very peaceful. An amazing experience for everyone.
During our transition times, each group had time to visit the washroom and play with the various apparatus that was available to them. Some liked the Jenga wooden blocks, others preferred to search for frogs down by the lake, others discovered a new game called 'SEVENS'. An elimination counting game that is so much fun to play. We had a wonderful afternoon!
At the end of our 5 hour visit to Arbraska, we headed towards our dinner spot. An international buffet that offered every and any kind of food you can imagine. They could eat as much as they wanted and could go back for 2nd, 3rd and 4th helpings.
We have finished up our meetings and they are now in their rooms packing their suitcases so we are ready to go in the morning.
This group has been amazing to travel with. We have loved every minute with them and have seen tremendous growth in all of them over the course of the week. They have forged new friendships and have had a lot of time exploring all the different aspects that this trip offers. The huge variety of activity offered a chance for us to see each child shine in their own way. The new students are a big part of the group now and they have had a wonderful time.
We have one more sleep to go, three more meals, and 400 more trips to the bathroom. That is an obvious exaggeration but not far from the truth!
As this will be my last nightly report, I would like to thank you for this opportunity. It has been a fabulous trip. One of our best EVER!! Thank you for your kind words of encouragement along the way and your continued support. It has been a truly great experience for all of us.