Week Without Walls: Elementary School Highlights

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By Soteira Briginshaw and Kristy Smith, Linden Teachers

Students from JK to Grade 6 travelled all over the city of Toronto during the first week of October for our annual Week Without Walls. Here are some highlights from the week:

Monday, October 2: Black Creek Community Farm

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We kicked off the week by travelling to Black Creek Community Farm on a beautiful sunny day. This is a really special spot that runs educational programs to promote urban farming in the city. Linden students braved a long TTC commute to the farm and were rewarded with a spectacular day of learning.  

During our time there, we had the opportunity to learn about how we can reduce our carbon footprint through eating locally sourced food, and compared how far foods must travel before they arrive in our grocery stores. We had a great time learning about the sustainability of farmer’s markets, and felt inspired to make changes in our own lives to be kinder to our environment. We also got to make our own bannock bread from scratch, and bake it over the campfire. Food always tastes better when we prepare it together!

We also got to build shelters in the forest using found materials such as logs, branches, and leaves. Some of our young builders even began adding some interior design to their shelters, such as log couches and bark as art pieces on the walls. It was wonderful to spend time interacting with and appreciating nature! Our last program of the day was pressing our own cold apple cider. It was amazing how delicious the cold-pressed juice tasted. We used no additives or spices, just apples! The girls had a great time using the machine to squeeze as much fresh cider as possible out of the apples we had. We had a great time, and the farm dog named Sundae was definitely a hit as well! 

Comments from the students:

"I think it was very fun to go there and experience things like that because we did a whole bunch of things that we can’t find in the city." —Jade, Grade 6

"My favourite part was petting the baby chick." —Grace, SK

"I liked that they let us do hands on things and feel and touch the things we were making because a lot of times they just do it themselves." —Bridgit, Grade 6

Tuesday, October 3: The Flying Yogi

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On Tuesday, we took two classes at The Flying Yogi. Acro Yoga involved creative lifts and partner work while suspension yoga had students hanging upside down by the end. Students took risks, learned how to move their bodies in new ways, and connected with their friends in a playful context. We also enjoyed lunch and outdoor play at Jimmie Simpson Park in the beautiful sunshine.

Comments from the students:

"My favourite part today was when we did the suspension together because it was really cool when we got to go upside down at the end" —Ainsley, Grade 6
"I liked that we got to do the pose. The sloth one." —Ziyal, Grade 1

"I liked the part when we were on the bungee cord thing and all of the lights went off and we got to sleep." —Polly, Grade 6

"My favourite part was the acro yoga." —Soleil, Grade 1

Wednesday, October 4: AGO

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On Wednesday, we found an incredible park for morning snack and then visited the AGO for a printmaking workshop. Students created a stamp using different textures and shapes of heavy paper and then used lino rollers to roll paint and print them. After that, we toured the gallery and made our own art.  

Comments from the students:

"My favourite part was when we went to the park and have some fun and in the AGO. My favourite part was also when I looked at the pictures that were very pretty." —Maho, Grade 2

"My favourite part was when we put on the glasses and made the animals." —Grace, SK 

Thursday, October 5: Ripley's Aquarium

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We wrapped up the week on Thursday with a trip to Ripley's Aquarium. Younger students worked together to complete a scavenger hunt in which they identified different fish they saw and they even made their own model aquariums. The older students did a simulated oil spill to understand the effects of environmental disasters on ocean ecosystems. The jellyfish and touch-tanks were both highlights of the visit, as well as the tank talk with an expert diver. 

Comments from the students:

"My favourite part was making a craft." —Anna, JK

"I liked seeing the fish and going to the indoor park and seeing the jellyfish because the jellyfish are my favourite animal in the exhibit." —Gemma, Grade 2

"I saw two sharks digging and I saw one shark two shark one shark." —Poppy, JK

"I was very good at touching the stingrays and the sharks." —Kelsea, Grade 1

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 Students enjoying themselves at the AGO playground.