November 19, 2008

The Amazing Fieldtrip

Kish has gone on a few field trips, but this first one in Montreal was amazing. Louis' class has been studying the environment and followed the classroom studies with the trip to the Biosphere -- an environmental museum in Montreal. When you have a chance, check out the website --

We learned so much about the Fieuve Saint-Laurent (the river running through Montreal) and its connection with the Great Lakes. We learned that you could take a boat from Chicago to Montreal and even out to the Atlantic if you wanted. Don't laugh if you're from around the Great Lakes and already knew this valuable piece of information. Kish grew up in Arizona and can tell you all about the Battle of O.K. Corral, rattlesnakes, desert topography and how to survive in the desert for days without water and getting liquid from cactus. But, studying the Great Lakes wasn't a big part of the curriculum. 

A large part of the day was spent talking about the abuse of the environment. As mentioned in previous posts, Canada seems to be much more environmentally aware than the majority of the US. Kish's brother Paul in Bend, Oregon has been on top of it for years and builds houses using recycled materials and is really up on the subject of re-using old stuff. We thought of him when we looked at some of the items local people are making from recycled products -- they were so cool they are posted in a slide show below. There's a big Green Christmas campaign and lots of great information about having an friendly Christmas on the website as well. We also learned how much water it takes to make a pair of jeans, a quarter pounder hamburger and more.

It was great to spend the day with 5th graders and Louis' new teachers. The kids in Montreal are the same as Naperville. We were fortunate to hear the entire loud version of "99 bottles of beer on the wall" on the bus ride home. That's 99 bottles of recyclable bottles of beer in Montreal -- they come with a 5-cent deposit so there's no throwing them away in the garbage -- to end up in a landfill.

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