Association of Christian Parent-Educators of Quebec

A Fall Kick-Off Project

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Dear families,

I hope you had a lovely, relaxing and rejuvenating summer! As for me, I had a quiet summer (if family life with nine children can be described as peaceful, hi hi!), and an enjoyable one. My children didn’t feel like returning to school this autumn, so I had the idea of proposing an activity to break the ice, and they really enjoyed it.

One theme, several subjects to explore

I suggested that children research the FOREST and write down texts and pictures on large cardboard about everything related to the forest, whether it be types of rocks, animals, mushrooms, vegetation, climate, etc. They researched magazines (Canadian Wildlife, WILD magazine, etc.) and school textbooks (e.g. Observatory). They chose different subjects that interested them, such as osmosis in plants, the reddish-orange colour of leaves in the autumn, soil erosion, the number of trees required to provide oxygen to a person for a year, etc.

Are they composing or copying?

My ten-year-old daughter has composed several texts herself, for example, about the Amazon, the Canadian boreal forest, the Sichuan forest in China, etc. My 13 and 11-year-old boys, who have considerable difficulties in writing, preferred to copy articles found in magazines and workbooks. Even if they did not write the texts themselves, they still had the opportunity to pay attention to the sentences and words to avoid mistakes, and they assimilated the content studied.

A little colour …

The children also leafed through newspapers and cut out pictures showing vegetation or animals to decorate their assembly. They selected images from the internet that represented the aspects they had researched. One of my children glued tree leaves onto his cardboard to add colour.

Learning for all levels

A research topic such as the forest allows one to study a range of sub-topics, all of which can be approached from different angles. This project can be suitable for all levels of primary school (though some help is needed for the early years of primary school, of course) and even for the first cycle of secondary school. It is amazing to see how much knowledge young people can acquire simply by digging deeper into a subject. They also develop skills in graphic design and space organization on the chosen medium while also developing… their patience! To go further, the children could add Bible verses to their work or present their research to a group to complete their learning.

I wish you a fall filled with beautiful outings in nature, enriching encounters and learning as varied as the autumn colours!

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