Inquiring Into Paddles
On this page you will find resources and curriculum connections to help you lead students through an inquiry unit on making canoe paddles and the important contributions of Mi’kmaw people to the art of canoe paddle making and canoeing. This project was inspired by the students of We’koqma’q Mi’kmaw School who chose to explore paddle making for their 2012-2013 Show Me Your Math project.
For this particular project we encourage you to visit our dedicated site woodtowater.ca where you can see step by step instructions on how to make a paddle and also learn more about canoeing and canoe paddles.
What is Inquiry?
Inquiry is the result of human beings’ wonderings and curiosities about the natural or constructed world (Barell, 2008; Krauss, 2013). Our natural inquisitiveness is the driving force to ask questions and formulate means of authentic learning, and it is this inquisitiveness and passion that moves us forward (Krauss, 2013; The National Science Foundation, ND; Pahomov, 2014) and pushes our ability to think in critical, creative and divergent ways (Bateman, 1990; Krauss, 2013). IBL is a student-centred learning process that emphasizes the importance of motivating students to engage in and learn through the process of purposeful experiential investigations and research in order to better understand the world (Abuhimed, Beheshti, Cole, AlGhamdi & Lamoureux, 2013; Galileo Educational Network, 1999-2014; Kanter & Konstantopoulos, 2010; Prince, 2004; Rusche & Jason, 2011). Inquiry invites children to explore questions of interest to them related to a given topic. Through inquiry, students can cover a large number of curriculum outcomes through authentically exploring a topic of relevance to them.
Why inquire into Paddles?
The canoe is an important part of Mi’kmaw culture and history and, within the concept of the Mi’kmaw canoe, is the canoe paddle. This inquiry project focuses on the making of canoe paddles as it encompasses many mathematics outcomes and is a project that students can engage in with relatively little time and resources needed to complete the research and making of their own canoe paddle.
How do I Connect this to Curriculum?
Teachers are encouraged to use the Inquiry Project Details below for the appropriate grade. These projects include links to provincial Mathematics (WNCP), Science, Social, English Language Arts, Mi’kmaq Language, and other content area outcomes. These guides also contain examples of essential questions that can be used to start an inquiry project on canoe paddles. There are also suggestions about how the eel inquiry fits within various units within the curricula.
Paddle Making: Grade 8 (coming soon)
Paddle Making: Grade 10 (coming soon)
Links and Reources for Paddle Making
- “How to make your own canoe paddle”
- Paddle Making and Other Canoe Stuff
- How to build a traditional canoe paddle
- Tuktu Paddles: Wood Selection Guide