Today I took some time to revisit the topic of Vimy Ridge with the 100th anniversary looming this Sunday. It’s an event that’s near and dear to me and no student of mine, in my 18 years of teaching, has made it through the school year without learning about it. While history books will tell you Canada became a country in 1867, the Canadian identity was sparked by those young, brave lads who stormed the ridge on April 9th, 1917. I have been fortunate to have visited the battlefields and cemeteries in France and Flanders, including Vimy, and look forward to a return this July. I encourage you to take some time with your child on Sunday morning to watch the media coverage of the centenary of this great moment in our history. Ordinary men doing extraordinary things. Here’s a link to the CBC which has some impressive, interactive media on their website if you want to explore together.
In literacy, we’ve been focusing on non-fiction text and how to research carefully. In a cross-curricular activity with social studies, we’ll put those research skills to the test as it relates to Vimy. Next week, I’ll be showing the students how to look up the grave sites of some of our fallen soldiers who lie in the ground at the foot of Vimy Ridge. I’ll then show them how to access their chosen soldier’s military records so they can connect with the human side of soldiering: family members, hometown, age, fighting unit, etc. They will get to see these primary documents as they were completed over 100 years ago. Then, each student will draft a simple letter of thanks to the soldier they have chosen and I will bring it with me to Vimy in the summer and place it on their grave. It’s just one way of showing appreciation for their sacrifice in the name of the freedom we enjoy today – even 100 years on.
Spring photo orders went home this week and payment, if purchasing, is due by Thursday. Payment can be made online or sent to the school. Any items not purchased, all or in part, need to be returned.
Thursday is also the deadline for permission forms for Adventure Bay. I currently have one confirmed parent attending; and another has confirmed verbally through their child. I will need at least three parents to tag along. There is no charge to you and no need to swim if you’re not interested. Again, send me a message through Dojo or sign the chaperone section at the bottom of your child’s permission form.
Enjoy the coming warmth this weekend (they have snow in the GTA right now).