This Monday, the Grade 11 Mini English class took a trip down to Chinatown to explore it's cultural features and history. Recently, they have been studying the book "Jade Peony" by Wayson Choy. It is set in Vancouvers Chinatown in the 1930s, so this trip was an excellent opportunity to experience some of the events and landmarks in the story. Each group of students prepared a list of places described in the book. They went around one by one and presented their landmarks, and this let them see the story through a new lens. It's one thing to read about an event happening, but actually experiencing it gave the students a next-level understanding.
The trip wasn't all work though. After the presentations, the class went down to the Newtown Bakery. They bought some delicious buns, and with the exception of one student who neglected to take the packaging off before eating, everyone agreed that they were great. After that, they made their way back to Tupper just in time for their third block.
One of the less than ideal aspects of the trip was the temperature. Monday was the first day of snow this year, and while that can provide a pretty nice atmosphere, it's not ideal for walking around the city for 3 hours. Students were well-equipped with coats and gloves, but there were still many frozen toes and fingers to be thawed.
Overall, the trip was a huge success and an educational step forward. It was the perfect mix of not only academic activity, which is obviously important, but also the fun and relaxed atmosphere that leads to bonding experiences. The mini will be looking to incorporate as many similar field trips in the future as possible, and hopefully they all turn out this well.