Walking in big shoes

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To cap off their social studies unit on Canada, my son’s teacher had him and his homeschool co-op classmates create a living, mini museum featuring prominent Canadians. Each student had to pick a well-known Canuck to represent, putting together a report with up to 10 facts about the person, and four or five articles that represent something from that person’s life.  And then they had to come dressed as that person.

It was one of the most fun museums I’ve been to. I loved seeing all the work the kids put into writing about their chosen person, and gathering props to help tell the story.

The boy who did Terry Fox was adorable with his curly, brown wig, t-shirt and track shorts, and he even borrowed a prosthetic leg from a local business, to have on show.

Another boy did Chris Hadfield and wore a perfect orange jumpsuit, guitar and giant moustache. He also had Hadfield’s vinyl record, and his book, as well as a home-made space suit that used a water cooler bottle for the helmet.

There was also a Nelly McLung, Emily Carr, Sidney Crosby and Joe Schuster (who dressed like Clark Kent/Superman). And so many others.

Can you tell who my guy was supposed to be?

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No? Okay, it’s a tough one. But he chose Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

I didn’t realize until we got into the project how tricky this one would be. Unlike some of the other personalities, there aren’t a lot of props that really represent him. Boxing gloves didn’t quite seem right.

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So, we made a big ’23,’ because Trudeau is the 23rd prime minister of Canada (something I didn’t actually know until this). He also wrote an autobiography, which made a good prop, and and then we printed off a copy of the eulogy he gave when his father died, since that seemed to be a pivital moment in his career trajectory. For one last prop, we made a little scrapbook of photos of him growing up as the son of a prime minister, and then making the transition to prime minister, himself.

His hand is out, in the picture, because many of the kids chose to be animatronics, of sorts. If their hand was out, you could “push the button,” and they would talk to you, explaining who they were and why they are/were famous. At the end of Oliver’s spiel, he held out his right hand, to shake, and said, “thank you for voting for me!”

It was a fun way to bring social studies to life – and even I learned a thing or two as a result.

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