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Artifacts & Initial Documentation: Paddling with Passion and Purpose

These are three pictures from our paddle carving project. The first picture shows the introduction to the project, with a lesson on the various types of paddles used by First Nations across BC, and the different ways each paddle was used.

The second picture is from one of the initial carving lessons. On this day one of our local elders joined in with the students and the class told stories about canoeing and what is special about the area where they live.

The final picture is of some of the completed paddles. They have been carved and stained, and soon they will be used to paddle, before this though each student will paint the paddle with a picture representing themselves and/or their connection to the land.

These pictures represent the journey our students have undertaken this year, and the successes they have achieved. Carving a paddle is not an easy task, and neither is being in middle school. There is a lot to learn to make your paddle perfect, and one learns a lot about themselves while carving the paddle. These paddles represent the whole spectrum of students, and makes visible their learning and their efforts.

One of the biggest things we noticed was the time and space that was created during the carving. All of the students were working together and during that time there was space for silence, storytelling, jokes and a variety of learning opportunities that is difficult to facilitate in the classroom.

In fact, some of the most powerful learning occurred in the space between the lessons.

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