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Heritage on display
Sissons students shine at event

Kevin Allerston
Northern News Services
Published Friday, April 6, 2012

J.H. Sissons School held its annual Learning Fair Wednesday in the school's gymnasium with 53 heritage and science presentations by the school's Grade 4 and 5 French immersion students proudly displayed.

NNSL photo/graphic

Grade 5 student Grace Mounsey shows off her presentation on Yellowknife's Snowking at the J.H. Sissons School Learning Fair on Wednesday. - Kevin Allerston/NNSL photo

After the Christmas break, students were told to choose a topic about Canada that relates to the Northwest Territories.

"One of the purposes of this fair is to teach the kids how to do a project, how to set it up, how to go through the steps of doing a project, how to design a project and how to manage their time," said Monique Marinier, a Grade 5 French immersion teacher at Sissons and chair of the YK Learning Fair. "This is a life skill because they are going to be using it later on in high school, college and in their careers."

She said she was impressed with the enthusiasm with which the students took to their projects. They included topics like the story behind Buffalo Air, legends behind the Northern lights and the story of Calder Crescent's namesake on the heritage side, and the explanation of why white light is white and what kind of chocolate melts the fastest on the science side.

All told, there were 43 heritage projects and 10 science projects.

"The kids were all eager to get started. Some of them found the methodology difficult because right away (they) want to find pictures and get things on the presentation board, but we went through the hard lessons of 'before you do that, you have to do your research, you have to find out what issues you're going to talk about. You've got to plan how you're going to do this,'" said Marinier.

"I learned that when you're working with a partner that you have to have a lot of communication with them, like what part they are doing and what you're doing," said Grade 5 student Maggie Austin. She and classmate Anika Allain worked on a project about the traditional legends behind the Northern lights.

"I like doing big projects like this because we just have fun learning everything and using our creativity with the (presentation) board," said Allain.

Grace Mounsey got to interview the Snowking, Anthony Foliot, for her project. "I was thinking of an idea and my mom suggested 'well, why don't you do it on the Snowking' and I thought it was a great idea, because we've been going there since 2003."

She said she learned cutting the snow for the Snowcastle isn't that easy when the Snowking let her try her hand at it. She also learned Snowking has a good sense of humour.

"It was cool interviewing him ... he's funny. I asked him why he started to do that and he told me that he was kidnapped by aliens."

"Having kids who've gone through this process, myself, I can see the merits behind it in terms of the energy, the enthusiasm. There are some incredible ideas here," said Justice Minister Glen Abernethy, who was one of the judges at the fair.

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