Hi, I’m Janet. I was a teacher with North Vancouver School District 44 for 16 years and loved interacting with the students, staffs, parents, and communities that I worked with. North Vancouver is such a wonderful place to live and learn, and I feel very fortunate to call this place home.
In August 2020, I started volunteering with MONOVA and am impressed with their professionalism, enthusiasm and commitment to education and the community at large. It’s fantastic that teachers like myself can contribute our perspectives and experiences to help facilitate community learning. I look forward to continuing my volunteer role with MONOVA once the new Museum opens in Lower Lonsdale, later this year.
Travel Back In Time with MONOVA
A Landmark Transformed: 100 Years Serving the Community is a wonderfully engaging exhibit. As you know, 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of the building originally constructed as the fourth Lynn Valley School and later restored and adapted for reuse as the Archives of North Vancouver. To celebrate the history of this building, an oral history project was launched to collect and preserve personal recollections of time spent at Lynn Valley School and the restoration process.
This exhibit truly takes you back in time to the beginning. I especially love the photos, which are captivating and inspire conversation and inquiry. The audio excerpts of personal recollections add a sense of this exhibit being a living history.
If you haven’t explored them already, MONOVA’s virtual exhibits are easily accessible with a helpful menu if you need it. The content is written in a storytelling fashion, and uses clear and accessible language while adding vocabulary specific to the era and community. Exploring MONOVA’s virtual exhibits is a great family-friendly way to spend some time during COVID-19 and get to know the community while you’re at it.
Educational Resources for Students
With my experience as an educator in mind, I wanted to share some inquiry questions and activities for students in relation to this exhibit.
These questions are suitable for students in Kindergarten to Grade 12.
- (Schools and Community) Shaketown was established for work (logging and water industries) but they soon had a school. Why? What purpose do schools serve for students and communities? Listen to 2 or 3 student recollections of Lynn Valley Elementary and note what they remember about the school. How do you think they would answer this question? What would it be like if schools did not exist?
- (Schools and Community) What do schools need in order to be a good place to learn and be with your friends? Listen to 2 or 3 student recollections of Lynn Valley Elementary and note what the students remember about their school. If someone interviewed you in 20 years and asked what was the best thing about school for you, what do you think you would say? Do you think it is the same for everyone? Interview a peer and an adult about their school experience. How is or was their experience the same or different from yours.
- (Schools and Community) What would your ideal school look like and why? Create your own school and explain your design choices. What do you think would be the long-term outcomes of these choices? Look at the images and information about the first and fourth Lynn Valley Elementary. How is your design similar to or different from them?
- (Trade and Waterways) Shaketown was established well over 100 years ago because the deep waters of Burrard inlet allowed the area surrounding it to be important for trade. Is it still? Read about Shaketown. What goods from there were exported? What do we export and import today? Have waterways always been important for trade?
- (Local Resources verses Trade) What is your school made of and why? Shaketown was a logging town and their first school was made of wood. What is logging and why was do you think the school was made from this material? Later schools were made of brick like Queen Mary and Ridgeway. Why might this be? Did you know that in Downtown Vancouver, the bricks used to construct some of the buildings were recycled ballast from European ships that arrived in port.
- (Oral Histories) The telling of stories from one generation to the next, from one group to the next, used to be very important. Listen to two or three student recollections. Is this method still important? Are there other ways we do this now? Do your caregivers and elders tell family stories?
Health and Career
- (Mental Health) What is resilience? Listen to the student reconciliations of Lynn Valley Elementary about resilient moments in their lives. How did people in Shaketown need to be resilient? Have you ever had to be resilient or can you think of scenarios where resilience might be required? Write a short fiction or non-fiction story about resilience.
- (Mapping) The fourth Lynn Valley School building consisted of four classrooms, and students were spread out over nine rooms and three buildings. How many rooms or classrooms are in your school? Is your school made up of more than one building? Draw or map your desk, classroom, school, school grounds, or community. How does it compare to the Lynn Valley Elementary School structures and surroundings? If possible, calculate the perimeter, area, or volume of your desk, classroom, school, or playing field and add it to your map.
- (Newton’s Laws) Flumes were used to move logs down mountain to Burrard Inlet. Read about Shaketown and visit MONOVA’s virtual exhibit on logging to find a picture of a flume. Discuss Newton’s Laws and design, build, and use your own flume. For an extra challenge, try using a set number of Popsicle sticks and paper and try building the longest, most weight barring flume.
I hope these discussion questions activate the imaginations of your students. For additional educational resources from MONOVA, click here.
– Janet, MONOVA volunteer. 25 February 2021
We rely on contributions, monthly or one-time gifts, to help MONOVA safeguard and expand our community’s archival and museum collections, build learning experiences and inspire future generations.
Donations are accepted through the Friends of the North Vancouver Museum & Archives Society, Registered Charity No. 89031 1772 RR0001.