We’re All Cowards

“I had as many doubts as anyone else. Standing on the starting line, we’re all cowards.”
– Alberto Salazar


Socrates and the Three Sieves

There is a story that the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates told his students that they should pass any story they were going to tell about another person though three sieves before they told it. The first sieve is “Is it truthful?” The second sieve “Is it good or kind?” The third sieve is “Is it necessary?” If the story doesn’t fit though one of the three sieves then Socrates didn’t want to hear it and therefore the story didn’t need to be told. While there is some doubt Socrates ever said these things, the story would still make a good starting place for a discussion on gossip.

Here is an animated telling of the story.


Dancing Raisins

There are two methods to get raisins to dance for you.  Why not try both and see which works best.

Method One

  • A large clear glass
  • Hot water (boiling)
  • Raisins
  • Baking Soda
  • White Vingear
  • Food colouring (optional)
  1. Fill the glass 3/4 full of the hot water and stir in two table spoons of baking soda. You can add a few drops of food colouring if you like.
  2. Add a handful of raisins to the bottom of the glass.
  3. Top up the glass with vingear.  There will be a lot of bubbles at first but then the raisins should start slowly going up and down inside the glass.

Method Two

Exploring Canada Challenge

The Exploring Canada Challenge is a new challenge from Alberta and it could be a great challenge to do to celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday.  The challenge focuses on learning about and visiting National and Provincial parks, UNESCO world heritage sites and National Historical sites.  I suspect that completing this challenge would be a year long challenge for most units if you actually include outings to each of these special sites.

String Figures

Last week I posted about Cat’s Cradle the best known string figure game. These games are common among indigenous populations in a number of different countries including those found the Canada’s Arctic.

There are lots of other figures that can be made either on your own or with a partner.

The Interernational String Figure Association has preserved many different string figures on their website.  From 2008 – 2013 they posted a string figure of the month in a Windows Media Player file.

Alternatively, you can search YouTube fore String Figures and find lots of videos like this one:

Magic Exists

“Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? Anyone who has loved has been touched by magic. It is such a simple and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live.”
– Nora Roberts

Penny Hike

To hold a penny hike you need a small disk for each girl.  A penny would be a fine choice but they are getting harder to find so instead you could use a tiddlywink or something similar.  Each girl is challenged to find as many things as she can to fit on her disk while she hikes.  She should not pick living things.  Each thing on her disk must be different and they must all fit on at the same time.  At the end of the hike, have the girls get together and show off their finds.  This is a great time to get out some magnifying glasses or small microscopes if you have access to them.  See if the girls can identify what they found.  Or have them classify things (rocks, shells, organics, living creatures etc.)