GORE BAY—‘Wow’ is the only way that can describe the scene of seeing the World War One artifacts in the Canadian War Museum discovery box that Grade 4/5 students at Charles C. McLean have the chance to learn and become experts on prior to an open to the public ‘talking museum’ event being hosted by the class next week.
“Our Discovery Box from the Canadian War Museum has arrived,” Heather Jefkins, Grade 4/5 teacher at C.C. McLean, told the Recorder in an email on Thursday of last week. “It has a lot of really neat items in it.”
“The Discovery Box program provided our class with over $2,000 in World War One artifacts,” said Ms. Jefkins. She is responsible for the contents inside the Discovery Box, and the items were shipped in museum style protected box materials.
She explained, “we are going to be hosting a talking museum in the (C.C. McLean) library on Tuesday, May 10. Each of my students will be in charge of becoming an expert on a single artifact, and they will be ‘employed’ as “Historic interpreters in our World War 1 Discovery Centre.”
Among the three original items and reproduction items provided by the Canadian War Museum are a World War One map, trench periscope, musket bullets, helmet, musket balls, gas mask, trench art, 100-year-old barbwire, prisoner of war scrapbooks, a nurses’ apron, Canadian World One photographs, flags, a service dress cap, shell cases, and much more.
“What the students are doing today (last Friday) is picking an artifact that they will focus on and learn about to become an expert on for their presentations on the item at the talking museum,” said Ms. Jefkins. She said that in October-November of 2015 the students took part in a reading unit on World War One, which has allowed them the opportunity to have a good head start on the program.
“Each of the students will have an artifact from the discovery box to work with,” said Ms. Jefkins. “They will be able to use the documents we received, and do online research about their World One artifact to learn as much as possible about the item.”
“The Canadian War Museum has provided our class with a fantastic number of items and resources to use for our Talking Museum,” said Ms. Jefkins. “I had applied for the Discovery Box from the Canadian War Museum last August, and there was no guarantee we would be approved. Then, three weeks ago, we were informed that we would be receiving a Discovery Box filled with military items.”
Ms. Jefkins said her class will have the military Discovery Box for a two-week time period. “I had originally learned about this program from Bella Jefkins, a Flat Stanley pen pal. She asked if I had ever heard of the program and I said I hadn’t but she said it was something we might be very interested in getting involved in.”
The talking museum will be held in the C.C. Mclean Library on May 10, from 12 noon to 3 pm and is open to members of the public. “And we will be inviting classes in the school to come to hear what the students have learned about their World War One artifact,” added Ms. Jefkins.