Engagement: This week’s collection of links focuses on the mathematics of the Voyageurs and the First Nations peoples they encountered – hé ho! Festival du Voyageur will be in full swing in Winnipeg starting February 14th. Our Divisional Media Centre has a box of goodies prepped just for the occasion – why not make the exploration of the voyageurs cross-disciplinary! As a start, try making maple taffy using simple methods found here or here.
Critical Thinking: The Canadian Museum of History has a collection of objects/photos and activities on their “Gateway to Aboriginal Heritage” portion of their site. Explore the objects in their Southern Plains collection and pair it with the “Bead Amaze” activity. To focus on the mathematics of beadwork, discuss the patterns within the collections and develop some mathematics vocabulary in the process.
Connections: Festival du Voyageur has an accompanying activity book (put out by Great West Life School Programs) with ten pages of elementary-level math questions, patterns, and problem solving (check pages 31-39). They also have a list of suggested follow-up websites on page 46. Explore the historical importance of bannock to First Nations people, and try one of the recipes with your students to practice fractions and measurement skills.
Explore the tricky packing techniques and the incredible weight that voyageurs’ canoes could hold through the White Oak Learning Centre Canoes collection. There are many links to the food, fur trade, and society collected there too, with opportunities to make connections to the mathematics needed as a voyageur, a manager of a trading post, or the wife of one of these individuals. (White Oak has more extensive collections of resources than our Lower Fort Garry, however there are some activities and ideas online through the Lower Fort Garry site.)
Professional Learning: The Math + Art installation at the Winnipeg Art Gallery is still available for teacher and student access. This is an amazing opportunity for individual teachers to explore the relationship between mathematics and visual art. From workshops to “Table Talks” (including one coming up on Sacred Geometry), this exhibit is gone in April. Don’t miss it!
Ressources en Français: Le Programme scolaire de La Great-West, compagnie d’assurance-vie, offre aux élèves un voyage éducatif dans le monde du commerce de la fourrure, une époque importante dans l’histoire de l’Ouest du Canada. Si tu veux des activités pour les élèves, on peut voir la collection des ressources ici (cahier d’activités, ressources disponibles à la DREF, etc).