With glowing hearts, we see thee rise

We’ve celebrated Canada Day many times and in many different ways, but celebrating Canada Day in NZ this year will perhaps go down as our greatest and most memorable one thus far.

What was different about this year is that we invited some Kiwis to take part in our celebrations.  It was so touching to see the enthusiasm and excitement with which they took part in another country’s celebration of its own existence.

I proposed the idea of celebrating Canada Day to my class, thinking we’d do some special “learning” activities that day centered around Canada.  You know, some Canada Day themed reading, writing, and maths… and maybe a few other things.  It turned out that they wanted the whole sha-bang.  “Can we dress up?” they asked.  One kid told me he wanted to come as a moose.  I certainly wasn’t opposed to this.  My students also proposed a “shared lunch” (aka potluck) as part of our celebration of Canada.

Sure enough, they showed up, absolutely h-core decked out in their red and white.  Some even went to the extent of face-painting and fashioning dresses and accessories out of the Canadian flag. I truly wish I could show you pictures of how cute they were.   With them, they brought heaps of delicious red and white treats to share for lunch.  A huge shout out to the awesome parents in my class for their help with this.

The most touching part was what I found on the board in the morning when I came: An acrostic poem that my students had created about Canada.  Let me share it with you. (Keep in mind, this is written by Kiwi children ages 9-11).

C- Crazy on the ice hockey

A- Astonishing snowy scenery

N- No one dares to venture out in winter

A- Alberta, Arctic above, America below

D- Dazzling summer days don’t disappoint

A- Awesome home country of our amazing teacher

Cute, eh?

We were also able to skype with Morgan and my parents in St. Albert as part of our Canada Day celebration.  For anyone who may be interested to know, our learning intention for this portion of the day was: W.A.L.T. (We are learning to) ask questions.  My students were very keen to ask questions to Morgan over skype, and were curious to know everything from how difficult school is in Canada, to what she got for her birthday, to does she have any secret ingredients in her cupcakes.  Morgan did such a great job of answering all their questions, and it was neat for my students and my family to “meet” each other.  Thanks, Family, for your participation in this cross-cultural sharing!

I have to say that I was absolutely blown away by the heart and enthusiasm with which my students took on board the idea of celebrating Canada.  It was truly heart-warming.

The Canada Day celebrations continued at our place that evening, with Part 1 of a progressive dinner.  We served up “Canadian” style pizza (pepperoni, bacon, mushroom), along with some french toast topped with Canadian Maple syrup.

Kiwi friends, Luke and Nikki, jointly won “best costume” award for their appearance as some kind of massive hockey player and Alanis Morsette (identified by a collection of badges with hilariously fitting sayings such as “Uncle Joey sucks”).

Dale’s dramatic entrance as a hockey player (in which he repeated ran back and forth outside on the porch, chasing a ball with a hockey stick), and Amber’s creative First Nations ensemble, also won them “best costume” awards.

Brandon and Kristen definitely wore their hearts on their sleeve for this occasion, or shall we say their underwear.  You know you’re proud to be Canadian WHEN…

We split into 4 teams for a little competition in Canadian trivia. It was a tight race, but it was the all-boy team of Brandon, Brendon, and Luke who clenched the title of Canadian Trivia Champs this year.

Kiwi friends, Kyle and Bea, graciously hosted Part II of the evening’s festivities in Kyle’s backyard, where, in Canadian fashion, we built a fire and roasted some hotdogs and toasted marshmallows for s’mores once the roaring flames had simmered down a bit.

This was Bea’s very first s’more experience!  So very exciting and delish.

The apex of the night came when we pulled out the sparklers.  The backyard lit up as we belted out a melodious round of “O Canada.”  Glorious it was. How special it was to celebrate our Home and Native Land on the other side of the world with such a fantastic group of Kiwis and Canadians.

Friends and Family in Canada: How did you celebrate this marvellous country of ours?  Would love to hear from you.


One thought on “With glowing hearts, we see thee rise

  1. Hi to you;
    Love the way your class got into celebrating with you. It was really special for them to talk to Morgan (for her, too). I was at Beulah that day, as the camp started that evening. At dusk, there was a terrific fireworks display down on the beach. I was sorry that Karly missed it as she loves that. These people do it every year, but it was really special this year, because it was the right day!!

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