Week Without Walls: Elementary School

By Soteira Hortop, Grade 5 Teacher

"I really liked it when our whole class woke up early and we did a race in our sleeping bags. I enjoyed being active all of the time. The tacos we made were so good. I never imagined it would be so fun to set the table!" —Isobel, Grade 5, in reference to the roof-top camping

"I loved Second City because it was improv and so there was no wrong answer." —Maya, Grade 5

The Linden School provides students with valuable learning opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom. Each fall, as part of our experiential learning program, we devote an entire "Week Without Walls" to carefully selected field trips for our students. This not only enriches our overall curriculum but also provides an important opportunity for community building during the early weeks of school.

This year, elementary students at Linden had a jam-packed week of adventure, exploration, and creativity during our annual Week Without Walls.

Monday: Into the Woods

On Monday, we hiked into the Don Valley ravine system and learned how to make bird calls, how to differentiate between a nest and a drey, and how local trees can get vaccinated, just like humans! Once we arrived at Evergreen Brickworks, we learned the history of the site which included some stylish purple polka dot ties meeting a fiery fate.

Tuesday: Para-Athletics

On Tuesday, we took a trip to Variety Village. With the 2016 Paralympic Games fresh in our minds, we learned about adaptive sports and were able to challenge ourselves while climbing the rock wall, learning the rules of wheelchair basketball, and put our "deer ears" to use in a game of goalball. We even met a real Paralympian!

Wednesday: Adventures in High Park and Robotics

On Wednesday, we were off to High Park for a morning of outdoor games, a nature scavenger hunt, and a visit to the High Park Zoo. After a picnic lunch, we walked back through the park and took the subway to Maker Kids where we learned the basics of circuits and experimented with Arduino coding.

Thursday: Learning Improv, Cooking, and a Roof-top Sleepover

On Thursday morning, we learned the importance of "yes and’ing" our fellow actors through an improv workshop at Second City. Then the Early Learners and Grade 3 and 4 tested their culinary chops at a Loblaws cooking class where they made fruit smoothies and sweet potato mac & cheese. The Grade 5 and 6 students returned to Linden to meal plan, grocery shop, and set up camp on the roof for a sleepover! Many were surprised that we persevered through the rain but we all had a great time (and very little sleep!).

Friday: Dancing, Printmaking, and Puppetry

On Friday, we spent our final day at Harbourfront Centre. The Early Learners and Grade 3 and 4 danced their way through a hip-hop workshop and then built their own rod puppets while the Grade 5 and 6 students created their own lino prints and then did a Latin dance workshop in the afternoon.