Friday, 20 April 2018

Poetry Month Update:

We are a little over halfway through Poetry Month, but I wanted to give a quick update!

One of our brightest young learners submitted a poem to What's Up Yukon, and had her poem published!

Congratulations, Victoria!

"A Sea Shell" By Victoria
One day I walked
Down by the sea
I just was being me
and...
Look what I found!
Here on the ground!
Its a sea shell
Down by the Sea

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Happy Birthday Beverly Cleary!

I'm guessing you've read at least one of Beverly Cleary's books in your life! Maybe you've read lots of them.



Some of my favourite literary characters are from her works!

Romona Quimby, Henry Huggins, Ralph S. Mouse, Ribsy, Dear Mr. Henshaw!


April 12, 2018 is her 102'nd Birthday!

Here are 100 facts from her 100th birthday (2 years ago) from the CBC.

Here are some awesome book resources for her books (from her website!)

What is your favourite Beverly Cleary book?



**Special thank you to Krystal and Adney for reminding me about this auspicious day!

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month!

There are so many wonderful poetry activities you can do this month, but I wanted to highlight a couple of my favourite.

For several years as a teacher and homeschooler I've printed these Pocket Poems out and every day my students (and daughter!) would take one, practice it many times, and then recite it before school was out. It meant great practice in fluency, public speaking, performance, and made the day start and end with something special. I would also have students track the poems they read on a piece of paper so they didn't get the same poem twice.

Don't forget that when you are celebrating poetry, one of the best ways to do so is to listen to poets!
A Poem for Bacon by Nick Offerman
Asha Christensen
We are More By Shane Koyczan
Purple Paper People by Harry Baker


Another great activity is taking a poem, cutting all the lines apart and reassembling it back together in the order you think the poet wrote it in, then talk about why yours may be different or the same as the poet. Here is an example with a Langston Hughes poem called "Harlem".

If you have some old books around maybe try "Blackout PoetryText Based Unit. Openended Art of Apex High School: art three




found poems examples | Redacted sources exercise



Finally I love to do Visual Poetry- encourage your learner to draw what they are hearing, and go very slow, one verse at a time! Maybe have your student draw multiple pictures so they can see their understanding grow as they learn more about the poem's subject. Here are two great poems that may work for that! Jack Prelutsky and The Egg.

Finally, remember that poetry is about listening, feeling, and responding!

Happy Poetry Month!

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Pi Day!

Happy Pi Day everyone!

Today is March 14, which can be rewritten as 3 14, the first three digits of Pi!


From WonderopolisThe circumference of a circle is its perimeter or the length around it. The distance from the center of a circle to its edge is the radius. The distance from one side of a circle to the opposite side (twice the radius) is the diameter. The area of a circle is the number of square units inside the circle.Since circles can vary in size, yet they all retain the same shape, ancient mathematicians knew there had to be a special relationship amongst the elements of a circle. That special relationship turns out to be the mathematical constant known as pi.
 Here is an article that shows 3 GIFs about how Pi actually works out. 

Here is a Time Article about the history of Pi.
In our Hyphen Class we are doing some Pi Pop Art, we are going to eat Pizza, Pie, and Oreos, and we are doing some graphing of the digits of Pi. I got a no-prep kit of activities from Momgineer.

How are you celebrating Pi day? Post below and let us know!

Residential Schools

After Spring Break, Sarah Moore will be leading a weekly session for the students in the Hyphen Project about the history of the residential school system in Canada.  Since this is such a heavy, complex topic, this will be a teacher-led discussion to work through the many inevitable questions that will arise.

In preparation for this discussion, we have added to our collection of materials regarding residential schools.  

Christy Jordan-Fenton has written 2 sets of books about her grandmother’s experience in a residential school in the Arctic.  The picture book set is When I Was Eight and Not My Girl, and the chapter book set is Fatty Legs and A Stranger at Home.  

The late Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip wrote a powerful book, called Secret Path, about Chanie Wenjack, a young boy who died trying to walk the 400 miles home after escaping from a residential school. This picture book is suitable for older students; it is made up of heartbreaking images, which are accompanied by Downie’s poignant song lyrics.  We will have available the Secret Path album of songs.

Sugar Falls:  a Residential School Story is a graphic novel written by David Alexander Robertson and is based on true the story of Betsy:  abandoned as a child, adopted into a loving family, and then taken away to a residential school to face abuse and hardships.

I am Not a Number, written by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer, is the story of Irene and her family.  They live on Nipissing First Nation, when a government agent comes to take away the children to a residential school.  This picture book is beautifully written; the muted, almost sepia-toned illustrations convey the despair of the situation.  There is a section at the back with photos and information about the real-life Irene and her family.

For older readers, we have Richard Wagamese’s Indian Horse.  Saul Indian Horse looks back on his life while in a treatment centre, where he ended up after his last binge. From the horrors of a residential school to his success on the hockey rink, Saul knows he must examine his own life to finally be at peace with himself.  This book was a CBC Canada Reads 2013 selection.

They Called Me Number One by Bev Sellars is a more mature book and tells the stories of three generations of women who attended the St. Joseph’s Mission at Williams Lake, BC.  While including stories of abuse and denigration, it is also tells of the journey of healing for Sellars.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

4 Centuries of Ballet

As I was scrolling through Youtube tonight, I came across a remarkable history lesson. It is done by the Royal Opera House, and it covers 400 years of ballet. The video series star young dancers showing how ballet has evolved over time. 


You can watch the whole playlist here.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

International Women's Day

Thursday March 8, 2018 is International Women's Day. This year the theme is Press For Progress. International Women's Day was organized to promote gender parity, including wages, opportunities, and education. To that end, here are some of my favourite movies to get you thinking and talking with your learners about the considerable challenges that women around the world, and here in Canada face. This list was compiled with input and help from our #HyphenProject students!


  1. Hidden Figures is a movie about 3 women at NASA in the 50's and 60's. Specifically a supervisor and computer programmer, an engineer, and a mathematician. These women overcame both gender and racial barriers to fulfill their life's work. 
  2. Moana is a Disney movie about a future chieftess of her Polynesian island. Moana feels that she is called to a much bigger future: sending her people back to the sea they once navigated with ease. Disney filmmakers collaborated with Polynesian peoples to tell a story that explained why there was a significant chunk of time in which the Polynesian peoples stopped navigating, and then started again. Here is more information about that.
  3. Queen of Katwe is another Disney movie, live action this time. Phiona comes from the slums of Kampala, Uganda to becomes a chess master. 
  4. Whale Rider is a book and movie about a young Maori woman who is struggling to fit into her role, despite women not traditionally being welcomed into leadership positions in her family. 
Do you have other movies you'd recommend to our families and learners? Add a comment and I'll keep the list updated!

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

March is Red Cross Month!

The Canadian Red Cross is known for their humanitarian aid after disasters in Canada and all around the world.  They are also responsible for blood drives, first aid training, and swimming lessons, amongst many other things!  Take a look at this infographic for more facts about the Canadian Red Cross!

Inspired by all the good the Red Cross does, take a look some of the humanitarian-based books
YouLearn has on its shelves:



I Am Malala - original and young readers edition
Malala Yousafzai was fifteen years old when she was shot in the head
while riding the bus on the way home from school.
She stood up to the Taliban and fought for hers, and all girls’,
right to an education.

We have both the original version and the young readers edition.






Race Against Time

“I have spent the last four years watching people die.” Stephen Lewis
worked for the United Nations trying to combat HIV/AIDS. He shows in this
Massey Lecture series how the international community needs to do more
to improve the education, health, and poverty in AIDS-ravaged Africa.
This book  won the CBA Libris Nonfiction Book of the Year award!




Three Cups of Tea -
original and young readers edition


“With the first cup of tea you are a stranger.
With the second...a friend.

With the third cup of tea, you are family.”


Greg got lost in the mountains of Pakistan while trying to climb K2.
The village he wandered into was so kind to him; he promised to return
and build a school for the children.  Greg ended up building more than
sixty schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan! He faced lots of dangerous
situations while trying to help the children.

Ryan was a six-year-old boy when he started saving up his allowance
so that he could build a well in Uganda. Lots of people helped him out to
save up for the very expensive well.

Jimmy, a boy in the village where the well was built, wanted to thank Ryan
in person. When they meet, an unbreakable bond is formed.

This book won the Parents' Choice Award, as well as the award for
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People.

Elements of Art: Line

This is a project I created for my Hyphen Project students, but I wanted to share it with those of you who have budding artists (or struggle to think of art projects!).

There are 6 Elements of Art. Here is a great handout from the Getty Museum that explains them.


Here is a project I curated that introduces the concept of Line.

Be aware that this was created for a grade 7-9 group, so read through it before you give it to your students, as it talks about art and artists who may be too mature for your youngest learners.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Space Man!

I am a huge space fan and Elon Musk's Space X is such an exciting prospect.



I watched with eager anticipation their launch of the Falcon Heavy a couple of weeks ago! It was so exciting to see the best of humanity coming together to build a new path forward. Innovation, collaboration, and setting our sights on the literal stars are what education should be about! (Here is their recap webpage)

One thing that happened was the Cherry Red Tesla and Spaceman Suit that got launched inside the rocket payload. He'll go wandering around our solar system, and see all kinds of awesome sights that humans will be traveling to before too long.

If you are interested in watching launches, here is a comprehensive list of launch schedules from across the world.

My favourite homeschool art site also created an art project based on Starman! Deep Space Sparkle has a cool chalk art project for you to do!

Send in pictures of your completed StarMan and I'll post them here!

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Yukon Science Fair

A hearty congratulations to all of our YouLearn students who participated in the Yukon Science Fair!

A special congratulations to Adney who placed 2nd in the Regional Fair. She did her project on Oil Spill Cleanup methods. She learned about what works well (sheep wool!) and what doesn't (human hair!).

Did your student participate in the Science Fair? We'd like to showcase their projects and pictures in this post, you can email the photos to sarahmoore (at) youlearn dot ca!




Thursday, 25 January 2018

Early Math Support

In working with a number of our younger students, I've been reminded of a Math resource that you may find helpful. If you have young mathematicians who are counting on their fingers, you might want to teach them Math Touch Points.

Here are a couple of pictures that might help explain it a bit better!




Wonderopolis! What do you Wonder?

Over the last two years that I homeschooled my daughter, I always struggled to manage the house-work and the teaching. Particularly at lunch time.

Enter Wonderopolis

I could put on the daily Wonder, and while I prepped lunch and had a few quiet minutes, my daughter was exploring her curiosity and watching the process that other people follow to learn about their wonders. 

As a busy mom with a pre-reader, I also appreciated that each of the Wonders have a "read to me option".

Also, it's FREE!

Here are a couple of our favourites:




What do you wonder?

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Overdrive- Digital Library! (By Sarah Wilkie)

Happy New Year!  Are you still keeping up with your New Year’s resolutions?  If one of your resolutions was to read more in 2018, then check out Overdrive!   You should all have your Overdrive login information, which will allow you to sign out audiobooks and ebooks.

Have you seen the collection of read-alongs offered by Overdrive?  These are picture ebooks that are professionally narrated for our younger students!  As the audio is playing, each word is highlighted to make it easier for students to follow.  Included are popular books, like Scaredy Squirrel, Splat the Cat, Curious George, and several Dr. Seuss books.  


There are some lesser known read-alongs, like Suki’s Kimono by Chieri Uegaki, which tells of diversity and acceptance through the story of a little girl who loves to wear her kimono.

To find the read-alongs, sign in to Overdrive, click the “Collections” tab at the top of the screen, then click “Read Alongs”.

P.S. For our older students, there are collections for you too:  Middle School Must Reads, Welcome to Hogwarts, Thrillers and Chillers, and more!!

4 Letter Word Motto & Robert Indiana Art

Hello again!

Apparently I'm on an art theme this week. I came across this amazing Art Lesson plan by Michelle Williams.





Using the style of Robert Indiana, she's curated videos that fit the theme and asks learners to create their own 4 letter word Wish for the World.

Post links to your work below! I'd love to see what our learners come up with!

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

How would you explain Art? + Google Cultural Institute

This video has gone viral recently, and I can see why. Alexa's way of explaining really well known art is delightful and adorable.


I wanted to point it out because the technology behind it might be something you want to use in your home!



Google Art & Cultural Institute has thousands of photos, high resolution photos of paintings, examples of architecture, biographies of artists, and high resolution photos of famous locations.

Here is one example. When you click the link you can zoom in and see brush strokes, details, and colours at a much closer look than you'd see in most museums.

Snow at Argenteuil (Neige à Argenteuil) Claude Monet ca. 1874-1875