Project 1: The Great Newfoundland Dog Trek

Logo General Information
Project Overview
Curriculum Connections
Resource Connections

  General Information

Lead Teachers:Aubrey Dawe

Jill Burry

Beverly Fisher

Christine Shelley

School:Matthew Elementary School
P.O. Box 640
Bonavista, NF
A0C 1B0
TELEPHONE: 709-468-7242
FAX: 709-468-1137
Grade Levels:  Special Needs group from Grade Five
   (Mrs. Hewitt's class).
 All three classes of Grade Six
   (including Special Needs groups).
Project Start and Finish Dates:September 1996 - June 1997

  Project Overview

Matthew Elementary has forged a relationship with Mr. Lloyd Nelson of Whitby, Ontario. Mr. Nelson is coordinating a Newfoundland Dog trek from British Columbia to Bonavista to greet the "Matthew" as she arrives from Bristol, England, on June 24, 1997. Three other groups (treks) are working with Mr. Nelson to coordinate this event. All four groups have "adopted" classes from Matthew Elementary.

Mr. Nelson's trek has adopted Mr. Dawe's grade five Special Needs group. A trek out of British Columbia, led by Rod and Joan Leach, has adopted Mrs. Burry's grade six class. A trek out of Ada, Michigan, led by Mike and Sandee Lovett, has adopted Mrs. Fisher's grade six class. The fourth trek, out of Silver Spring, Maryland, has adopted Mrs. Shelley's grade six class.

These four classes will complete various research projects related to the Newfoundland Dog, including but not limited to, the origin of the Newfoundland Dog and its place in the history and culture of Newfoundland and Labrador. The World Wide Web will be an integral research vehicle as we carry out this project.

Our groups will respond to various challenges issued by the individual treks. An example of a recent challenge would be to research the events surrounding the sinking of the SS Ethie off the coast of Newfoundland in 1919.

More recently, we have been challenged to learn about the delivery of the Royal Mail by Newfoundland Dogs. This will also benefit the Cross-Canada trek as they hope to build a cart similar to the ones used by the Newfoundland Dog in the delivery of the mail. The trekkers will bring this cart to Bonavista in June 1997 where they will cart for the Queen. Our students will be involved in events organized by the trekkers. They will ride in the carts and stand with the dog handlers alongside the Matthew at dockside.

This project was initiated through the presence of Matthew Elementary on the World Wide Web ( from which Mr. Nelson originally made contact. As Lead Teacher for this project, Mr. Dawe is in constant contact with Mr. Nelson by E-mail. The other three trek leaders also communicate by E-mail with the three grade six teachers involved with this project.

Student stories and pictures, and the results of our research will be uploaded to our Home Page under a "Special Projects" section. We hope that our students will become directly involved in the process of HTML editing (subject to ability level) and uploading to the directory on "Calvin" which contains the files for our Home Page.

For further information about the Cross-Canada Newfoundland Dog trek and its relationship to Matthew Elementary School, please point your web browser to

  Curriculum Connections

This project is directly connected to the Elementary Language Arts curriculum. It is our intention to integrate this project with the following Student Learning Outcomes for Elementary reading and writing:

Our students will:

     Read with skill and understanding.
     Read to find and use information by reading across the curriculum.
     read text that goes beyond present knowledge and linguistic development.
     consistently use a learning resource centre.
     Understand and engage in the three broad functions of writing by writing to inform.
     Writing to reflect on and organize learning.
     Writing to express personal experiences and the thoughts, ideas and experiences of
     Writing for a variety of audiences and recognize the variety of information required by
       various audiences by writing for self, younger children, general audiences, peers and
       older audiences.
     Independently engage in stages of a writing process by understanding and using the
       language of writing (e.g., drafting, revising, description).
     Using pre-writing techniques.
     Engaging in a drafting process.
     Revising for organization and style.
     Editing their written work for appropriate use of language conventions.
     Engaging in the publishing process.

This project is directly connected to the Technology Education curriculum. It is our intention to integrate this project with the following Student Learning Outcomes for Technology Education:

Our students will:

     Demonstrate knowledge of the nature and characteristics of a variety of media and
       communications systems.
     Identify and investigate real life communication problem situations and opportunities.
     Identify and clearly state communication problems.
     Identify ways in which information and communication technologies are used.
     Identify advantages and disadvantages of selected communication technologies.
     Develop a vocabulary of terminology and language, related to communication
     Employ the language and terminology of communication processes and
       communications tools.
     Work effectively in several communication medias.
     Explore and identify information and communications tools in daily use at home and in
     Use communication technologies to build new knowledge from existing information.
     Use communication technology as a tool for a variety of purposes.
     Use a variety of communication technologies and tools.
     Use communication tools to access, evaluate and select appropriate information, and
       to create, modify and disseminate information.

  Resource Connections

The STELLAR Schools Internet connection will greatly enhance this project. Currently, we have one computer in our Resource Centre where students might be able to access the Internet, and then only with a teacher using his/her personal STEM-Net account.

This type of situation is not really conducive to effective teaching/learning for whole classes or even small groups of students as a direct "hands-on" experience is not possible.

The STELLAR Schools Internet connection will enable us to have up to eight work stations. This will obviously allow for small group access by the grade six students and full access for Mr. Dawe's Special Needs group. It goes without saying that research and communications will be greatly enhanced with the addition of seven work stations with Internet access.

Community resources will also be used as there are presently a couple of families in Bonavista who have Newfoundland Dogs as pets. We hope that we can arrange school visits by these dog owners and their dogs.

We will also use a variety of resources in our school's resource centre such as the Encyclopedia of Newfoundland to supplement our Internet research.


     Our students will write narrative stories that will include a Newfoundland Dog as a
       central character. They will publish these stories on the World Wide Web.

     Our students will create graphic representations of the Newfoundland Dog in various
       media. They will display these throughout the school and where possible, on the
       World Wide Web.

     Our students will research the origin of the Newfoundland Dog and its place in the
       history and culture of our province. The results of this research will be in various forms
       and subject to personal interest and challenges issued by the trek leaders.

     Our students will become actively involved in a major event in celebration of our
       province's history. This participation will continue throughout the 1996-97 school year
       and will culminate with the arrival of the Cross-Canada trek in Bonavista on June 24,
       1997 where our students will meet the trekkers and their Newfoundland Dogs.

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