Historical Inquiry

THE FRANKLIN EXPEDITION: Historical Heroes or Epic Fools? 

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One of Canada’s great historical mysteries is close to being solved. In 1845 the Franklin Expedition left England on a quest to map the elusive Northwest Passage through the Arctic Ocean. The entire crew was lost and the ships disappeared until their recent discovery made possible by the testimonies provided in Inuit oral histories. The Erebus was discovered in shallow waters in 2014 and last summer, the Terror was finally found. Once the contents of each ship is examined, we might learn more about what happened to Franklin’s crew.

But we have our own mystery to solve. European explorers from Cabot, Champlain and Cook, to Mackenzie and Franklin are often remembered as remarkable men. They are celebrated in our history books and documentaries. But are we telling accurate stories about such men? Were they heroic and remarkable?




Writing Workshop

Writing Descriptive Detail Using Powerful Adjectives

Student-generated list of some powerful adjectives:

WRITING PROMPTS: Powerful Photos from 2016

Expert writers use a variety of words to describe objects or events in great detail.

  • Chose one of the powerful photo images from 2016 that are posted around the room. Write one paragraph describing what is happening in the image. Be creative – use powerful adjectives.

CRITERIA                                                                                                              [ ____ /20]

[5 = expert | 4 = competent | 3 = marginally achieved | 2 = developing | 1 = not effective | 0 = not present]

  1. ___ /5 Effective topic sentence, supporting details and concluding sentence.
  2. ___ /5 Detailed descriptions.
  3. ___ /5 Well edited for grammar, punctuation and spelling.
  4. ___ /5 Accurately uses a variety of powerful adjectives. Circle them in your writing.


eg. The Catch

Yesterday, I saw a peculiar, almost unbelievable sight. It only lasted a moment but was utterly shocking and yet, at the same time, breathtakingly spectacular. We launched a drone rigged with a camera to photograph some scenic aerial photographs of the lush, pristine forest around our home. Suddenly, seemingly from nowhere and without warning in a single powerful swoop an eagle snatched the drone in the forceful, relentless grip of her crushing talons. Whether she thought it was delicious food or a threatening predator we cannot know for sure. But what we do know, is that she destroyed the drone in a catastrophic attack. The low monotonous hum of the machine was drowned by the beast’s deafening calamitous screech and then came to a sudden, crunching halt as the bird captured it and then threw it unmercifully to the dense forest canopy below. When we finally located the drone, it was hardly recognizable as anything but a useless clump of mangled trash. We wondered aloud how that graceful, powerful bird might snare and disfigure its helpless prey.

  • Can you find the powerful adjectives in the piece of writing above?

From Remainders to Fractions

Here’s a recap of today’s lesson in math. 

In any division problem that results in an answer with a remainder, we can also express the remainder as a fraction. 

The remainder becomes the numerator of the fraction and the divisor is the denominator. This is because the remainder continues to be broken up into the same number of pieces or units as the whole number. These pieces are less than the whole. 


  • Create some division problems (equations) that would leave a remainder. An example might be 24 cookies shared fairly by 11 people. 
  • For each problem, write two answers: one answer with a remainder, and the other answer as a mixed number (whole number with a fraction)