Junior School Explores Soil and History

Last week, Grade 2 and 5 students expanded on their studies with interesting day trips. Gordan Chan’s Grade 5 class ventured to Fort Langley, a Parks Canada National historic site considered by many to be the birthplace of British Columbia. Nina Duffus’ Grade 2 class visited the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary on Tuesday to gets hands-on knowledge for their study of soil.

“Fort Langley was a great field trip for children to experience life in the Hudson’s Bay Fort system and to gain experiential knowledge of the history of British Columbia,” says Gordan Chan.

The Grade 5 students were divided into 3 brigades, each with their own tour guides dressed in historical costumes. Students learned about life in the 1800s as they were led through the various buildings that made up the fort, including the cooperage, blacksmith shop and the storehouse, the oldest non-native structure in British Columbia.

Trying their hands at building a house, carrying bales of fur, sawing planks and writing a contract with the Hudson’s Bay Company, gave students an appreciation of the challenges of the era. “The highlight for many of the students was watching the blacksmith create tools from pieces of iron, panning for gold and printing using an old-fashioned fountain pen,” says Gordon Chan.

The Grade 2 class studied various types of soil, and took some core samples. They learned about clay, peat and topsoil. ”Jaws,“ the machine used to take soil and mud samples from the bottom of the lake, was particularly fascinating to the students. While at the Sanctuary, students also studied seeds, and learned the many different ways that seeds are scattered and sown.

“The seed scavenger hunt was both fun and informative,” says Nina Duffus. Parents Ann Papaloukas and Kara Woodward attended the trip and provided photos. Photos from the Grade 5 trip and Grade 2 trip are available on Kara Woodward’s gallery.

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