Inuktut Words

As the winter sets in and the nights get longer it might be a good time to learn a few words of Inuktut (one of two indigenous official languages in Nunavut) The website the glossary on tusaalanga.ca includes a large selection of words including handy sound clips so you can hear how they sound.  There is also a drop down for different dialects so you can hear how the same word sounds in different parts of Nunavut.

I found that site though a blog post entitled 15 Inuktitut Words to Know Before Visiting Iqaluit. Unfortunately it is an older post and the links to the pronunciation glossary are broken but it might still be a good place to start to pick a few words.

To take it further, tussaalanga.ca also has information on Syllabics the writing system used with Inuktitut.  It works a little differently then the phonic alphabet English speakers are used to (not that English is a particularly phonic language).  But each symbol represents a pair of a constant and vowel sound.

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Pink Teas

This is the second time we’ve held a pink tea with our unit and each time I’m impressed at the ideas the girls come up with.  Because of some time restrictions we didn’t do the whole Famous Five challenge this year.  But we did introduce the girls to the history with the
Story of the Famous 5.  Then we set up a “tea” table with cookies and pink drinks and encouraged the girls to break into small groups of 4-5 and hold their own pink tea.  As they ate their goodies they were to discuss what they would like to see changed about the world to bring about greater equality. This year we had girls who discussed equal pay, gendered language and gender stereotypes.  A couple of the Guiders circulated around the room and helped groups who need help getting the conversation going.  At the end the girls all came back into the circle and shared what their group had discussed.

Strong Women Enrollment

Each year we let there second year, plan and run the enrollment for our new girls.  This involves picking a theme, planning the ceremony, campfire, snacks etc.  In the past the girls have selected some fun/silly themes, but this year the girls surprised us by picking a more serious theme “strong women”.

Each of the second year girls choose a strong women she thought was a good role model.  She wore a costume over her uniform to represent that woman.  We had the names of all those women taped to a back drop wall.  At the beginning of the ceremony, the second year girls got up, introduced themselves, both their real name and who they represented and why they thought this woman was a good role model.  Then the role models walked the new girls down a runway of lights to be enrolled.  After saying their promise and receiving their pins, the new girls wrote their names on trefoil paper shapes and added their own names to our wall of strong women.

It wasn’t a complex ceremony but it was really nicely done.

Our Unit Scrapbook

An Our Unit Scrapbook is a scrapbook where each girl in the unit contributes a page about herself.  My unit was fortunate to get some scrapbooking supplies such as stamps and fancy scissors donated to us and this is a great opportunity to use them but you don’t need that to make nice pages.

Materials:

  • At least 1 12″x 12″ page of scrapbooking paper per girl.  You may want extras so they can pick a colour that is meaningful and/or cut things out of extra paper
  •  Stickers including letters; images of hobbies, activities and favorite things of your Guides; and general bling
  • Stamps and stamp pads (again letters are good and or whatever you have)
  • Scissors and glue
  • markers, pencil crayons and crayons
  • magazines or other images

Instructions:

We found it was easiest to set up the materials in different stations around the room and let the girls move between them as they wish.  Have each girl start up sticking or stamping their names on their page.  Then add things they like (at least three) to the page.  At the end of the meeting have the girls show off their page and describe why they put what they did on the page.  Then add the pages into a book.

Stamped Shirts

My unit made these shirts as part of the Mighty Minds challenge but they would work for other topics too.

Materials:

  • 1 white shirt for each girl
  • 1 -6 bottles of fabric paint
  • wax paper
  • foam letters
  • tart tins to hold the paint
  • paint brushes
  • plastic table clothes to cover work area (optional)

I bought mine though tshirt.ca and they offer a good price but if you have a smaller unit you might want to check the price in local stores as shipping costs may make the shirts too expensive.  I choose to go with all XL youth which will be dress sized for some of my Guides but will fit everyone. The foam letters were in the toy section of Dollarama.  I suspect they were intended for teaching toddlers the alphabet but they were a good size and had a little texture to them so they held the paint well.

Method:

Slip a piece of wax paper inside each shirt.  This will prevent the paint from leaching though.  If a girl wants to paint a message on a sleeve you might need additional wax paper.  Give the girls a little time to think about what they want to write on their shirt and to gather their letters.  The girls can dip or paint the fabric paint on to the wrong side of their letter and then stamp it onto the shirt.  Some of the girls choose to add a little bit of splatter paint to the shirts once the message was in place.  Let dry for 12 plus hours.