We asked teachers to submit photos and stories of the activities taking place in their schools to help show support for the citizens of Ukraine.
When the war in Ukraine broke out, I wanted to do a project that would show our support for our Ukrainian community — staff and students. I decided that I would assign all my students to the same task. They were to take the national flower of Ukraine (sunflower) and create a composition using the flower as a starting point. I told them they could use whatever medium they were most comfortable with, and that their individuality in the direction the composition took was really important.
We discussed how art can create a sense of hope in the people who view the pieces. We discussed how even though we are all different, we can all be united in our hope for a better, more peaceful world. One of my students still has family in Ukraine, so this hit really close to home for her, and she was so appreciative that we were acknowledging her culture in this way. We live in a small rural area, but I think that this display has had a very BIG impact.
My Grade 1 music students explored Mussorgsky’s “The Great Gate of Kiev” and created a movement piece with scarves and ribbons to the music.
My grade 3 class brainstormed things we could do to raise money for Ukraine. They made posters, wrote an announcement and made a banner. We had a book sale with books donated by families in our school, had a bottle drive and a bucket donation drive. We went class to class collecting cash donations, in a bucket marked with lines, with prizes like Show & Tell Day, Glow Stick Dance Party, PJ/Stuffie day and iPad party. The classes whose donations reached the line earned that prize.
We made $990 from the bottle drive and $1600 from the book sale and bucket drive, for a total donation of just under $2700 to the Red Cross effort in Ukraine!
My students were so proud of themselves and felt good for doing something for the people in Ukraine. We had been learning about Ukraine in social studies, so what is happening felt more “real” to them.
I have Ukrainian heritage, so I decided to share one of my favourite Easter traditions with my grade 2/3 students — making pysanky!