Thursday, 24 November 2016

Remembrance Day 2016

Last November, we started a new Remembrance Day tradition at our little yellow school.  To commemorate Remembrance Day, the children make handmade Valentine cards for our country's Veterans.  The cards are distributed by Veterans Affairs Canada on Valentine's Day to Veterans in long-term care facilities.  The Valentines remind Veterans of our gratitude for their sacrifices and achievements in serving our country.

On Remembrance Day this year, one of our graduates told everyone that we must make Valentines for the soldiers who fought in the war.  It warmed my heart to hear I. and her fellow graduates tell the younger children about this new tradition.
Five Year Old I. With Her Valentine

Last year we put a little poem in our cards.  This year, we asked the children if there was something they wanted to tell the Veterans.  Their genuine and heart-felt words brought tears to our eyes.  Here are some of their messages.  

Five Year Old J.

I feel bad about what happened in the war and I am glad that you are safe.  - Five Year Old J.

Four Year Old M.

Thank you for being brave.  -  Four Year Old M.

Four Year Old A.

Thank you.  You were so strong to fight in the war.  -  Four Year Old A.

Four Year Old E.

Thank you for letting us have our own space.  -  Four Year Old E.

Four Year Old J.

Thank you for fighting so I can have so much fun in my life.  -  Four Year Old J.

Four Year Old O.

Thank you for making the whole world safe.  -  Four Year Old O.

Thank you to our Veterans and to those who continue to serve and protect.  We hope these Valentine cards bring you joy this Valentine's Day and remind you that we are thinking about you.

Remembrance Day 2016 - Lest We Forget

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Election Day In The USA

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 was Election Day in the United States, our neighbour to the south.  Our full day class was positively abuzz with election talk all week.  What would a group of Canadian three, four and five year olds know about the American election?  Surprisingly, more than you might think.

November 8th began with five year old A. announcing that it was Election Day in the United States!  At circle, we sat down together to talk about what an election is.

Five Year Old A.

Five year old L. knew that Hillary Clinton was trying to be the first woman President of the United States.

Five Year Olds L. (left) and S. (right)

Three and a half year old M. knew all about Hillary Clinton. He always watched her on his television with Donald Trump.
Many of the other children had also seen Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on their televisions. 

Three and a Half Year Old M.

The children knew that both candidates wanted to win.  How would Americans decide on a winner? We spoke about the democratic process.  The children already knew about voting, winning and losing.  We often vote in class for things, such as which story we would like to hear at circle. Whichever book receives the most votes wins.  The children were undecided on who would win the election.  Only three and a half year old M. and four year old H. were positively certain that Donald Trump would be the winner.  With this in mind, we all awaited the election results.

Four Year Old H. (left) with Three and a Half Year Old M. (right)

The next day most of the children knew that Donald Trump had won.  Discussing the election results at circle, the children agreed that Donald Trump would be very happy and that Hillary Clinton would be sad. Some knew that even though Hillary Clinton lost, she phoned Donald Trump to congratulate him on his win. When we vote for something in our classroom, like the story we would like to hear, we may not always get what we want.  When this happens, we can't cry, stamp our feet and yell "No, no, no!", no matter how much we might want to.  Everyone has a voice. When the majority wins, we must accept the result and be gracious in both victory and defeat.  

Hillary Clinton Campaign Button

Congratulations to both Secretary Clinton and President-elect Trump on a hard fought campaign. 

(Note:  This post is about explaining the democratic process to the children in a way that they can relate to.  It is not intended as a criticism of the candidates or of the feelings and/or actions of the American people.)