Silk road led to student bazaar

When the upper grades of Victoria Terrace Public School here studied the ancient trade routes, the students did more than just read about them.

The theme was the Silk Road, and the students created their own suk with the help of their teachers and Elora artist Sandra Phillips. She receives a grant to work with students, and the results for the students at Victoria Terrace was spectacular.

They not only created the colours and sights of a Middle East suk (bazaar), but also the sounds and smells. In fact, as students went through the ancient style market, their was plenty of noise as voices babbled and students hawked wares. Incense provided an extra sensory feeling to the whole scene.

Teacher and librarian Patsy Collier explained that some students were learning about the trade routes, and the idea was to create an area similar to what would have been seen on those routes between China and Europe.

Students made masks representing Babylonian gods and goddesses, with Phillips bringing in the pigments to make them as authentic as possible.

A grade 5 class offered jars of clay filled with various organs and a grade 6 class provided theatrical masks. When one of those broke, the students used the shards to demonstrate an archeological dig.

“A suk is exactly what it is meant to be,” Collier said of the loud talk and musical entertainment that was continuous.

The theme was particularly appropriate because Victoria Terrace had junior kindergarten to grade 6. The older students were studying ancient cultures like the trade routes, and the younger students will soon be working in clay.