After this initial provocation, we read a book called "Clothesline Clues to the Jobs People Do" which encourages readers to make inferences about jobs people do based on the clues given in the story. Then, we made a picture graph titled "What I Want to Be When I Grow Up". The range of ideas were amazing. We had to use 3 pieces of chart paper to include everyone's ideas.
For the rest of the week, visitors kept showing up in costume asking the students for directions or ideas about where they could get a job. For example, Suzette (Ms. Ferren dressed up like a chef and speaking in a French accent) showed up one day looking for a job in our community. The students inferred that Suzette was a Cook - "I can tell you're a cook because of your hat and your bowl with flour in it" - and offered to help Suzette find a job by walking her to Molly's Bistro, where one of our student's mom works.
Once we got to Molly's, a few students took Chef Suzette inside and asked Molly if she would hire her. Molly played along of course and when the kids went back outside, Suzette hastily removed her costume and Ms. Ferren emerged outside. "Hi Ms. Ferren. Where were you? You missed Chef Suzette", the kids all chimed seriously :) It's always so fascinating how immersed they become in role play. It makes us feel like really talented actors :)
Molly made all of the students a yummy sugar cookie and answered their questions: How did you learn to cook? How long have you worked here? What kind of food can you make? What is your favourite food? What's in this cookie? How old are you? Classic! Afterwards, we read a book about "Cooks" on the patio and the kids all shared their favourite part about Molly's.
Then, we showed the students a Ziploc bag of money and told them that Molly had asked us to take the money from her sales somewhere where it would be safe. They excitedly jumped up and told us to follow them to the bank! We played along, stopping at a local map on the way for them to show us where we were going.
So, off we went to TD Canada Trust to meet Erin, the bank manager. Erin gave us a tour and showed the kids all kinds of "cool" machines - the back of the green machine, the money dispersing machine where deposits and withdrawals are made by tellers, the vault, and even the lunch room where the students asked Erin their questions:
"Do you take all the keys home to your house?"
"How do robbers get in?"
"How did this building get here?"
"How did you get this job?"
"How long have you worked here?"
"Do you a TV in your office?"
"Are you rich?"
The next day, Hydro came to visit our school and Alex and Mark showed us how they remove tree limbs and branches. The highlight was when Mark went up 70 feet high in the bucket and when they put all the branches and logs through the chipper. We got to smell and feel the freshly cut woodchips and brought a bag of it back to our classroom to explore further.
The students often ask us where we go when we have meetings and we explain that teachers go to school too. They didn't believe us so we showed them the conference rooms in the Haliburton Education Centre that is attached to ASES. Fortunately, there was a meeting happening with the TLDSB Healthy Schools Advisory Committee so the students not only got to see adult learning in action, they got to meet some key people in our School Board. It was fun!
Later, 2 moms (Ms. Hewitt and Erica) showed up with their babies asking if they could play with them at school. The kids told them no and began leading them to the local day care. After the moms explained that they didn't have money to pay for day care and wanted to join their babies in their play, the students led us to The Ontario Early Years Centre. En route, Librarian Ferren interrupted our journey because she was lost and needed help getting to the library. The students dropped her off and were invited inside to listen to a story read by Jamie. They were so excited about borrowing "free" books, the librarian gave everyone a membership form so they can come back with their families and get their own card if they don't already have one. Watch for these in your child's Note Tote.
After that, we met Carpenter Ferren at the logger statue by the river and she asked the students how to get to the tool store by the river. They led her down the 'River Walk' to Canadian Tire. We stopped along the way to admire the church and the walking bridge. We also stopped for lunch beside the beaver dam at the Boardwalk where we listened to the bullfrogs and searched for tadpoles. On our way back to school, we stopped under some trees beside the river to write a reflection of our day. We put all of our writing into an envelope and took it to the post office to mail to ourselves back at school.
After an entire day in the community, we stopped at Suwan's Thai Cusine (Wild Orchid Bistro) on our way back to school and enjoyed some yummy spring rolls and refreshing water. Suwan answered the kids questions: Are you from India? What's inside this roll? How old is this building? How did you learn to cook? Do you like working here? What makes this sauce spicy?
It was a busy and fun-filled week learning about people and places in our Community and I'm sure everyone went home exhausted and filled with lots of new knowledge and wonderings.
I wonder who the students will meet next week and where their curiosities will lead us?
I wonder if anyone has changed their mind about what they want to be when they grow up now that they've met so many different people doing so many different jobs?