March 15, 2011 Montessori Students show Walking Home Project’s Director Catherine Pulkinghorn their final projects


Walking Home Pender Street – Montessori Student Final Projects

Review by: Diane Macqueen, teacher Maple Grove Elementary

After three separate walks with Walking Home Projects in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and Chinatown, students began doing research and making projects in our classroom, reflecting their experiences.  I gave suggestions, but also tried to stay out of the way, trusting in the process of creativity which would emerge.

One of the fantastic Walking Home Pender Street final projects influenced by Centre A's exhibit "i can see your underwear" (Photo credit: Catherine Pulkinghorn

I loved the re-creation of the freezie sculpture from the “i can see your underwear” exhibition we visited at Centre A Artist Run Centre, by artists Natalie Purschwitz and Kelly Lycan. There was a bit of trial and error involved, but Kailan and Crystal managed to build the scaffolding and keep the freezies from leaking all over the place.  I think they now know the meaning of site-specific installation art!

What a great map! Students made a 3D map of the walks we took together in DTES & Chinatown! (Photo credit: Catherine Pulkinghorn)

One of the most wonderful projects was the huge 3D map created for our classroom floor.  Aiden and Noah’s idea became, in the end, a beautiful collaborative and synergistic effort among many members of the class.  The 12 foot by 12 foot map was made of a couple of project boards duct taped together with the entire tracing of the routes we travelled during each of the three fieldtrips.  Footsteps showed the route we took.

The Chinatown Millennium Gate, Jack Chow Insurance and more - Wow! (Photo credit: Catherine Pulkinghorn)

Several students wrapped boxes with construction paper and glued pictures of the buildings on the side.  These included the Holden Building, the old Interurban Railway Station where Centre A is now, and the Woodward’s Development building.  Justin C. created the Jack Chow Insurance building, the thinnest building in the world.  Some pictures (e.g. the last interior Chinese courtyard outside of Catherine’s studio at the Yue Shan Society, Market Alley) were glued directly on the map.  The map includes the Woodward’s Complex with the old “W” (made by Henry out of modelling clay).  Nearby stood the new “W” on a marvelously engineered structure made by Noah.  Berlant, (with some assistance from Cortnee ) made a beautiful model of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

A wonderful replica of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park (Photo credit: Catherine Pulkinghorn)

Amber, Alvina, and Rachel made a model of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park ingeniously making bamboo out of clear straws filled with green modeling clay.  Sabrina and Becca made a model of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen statue.  Lisa, Danica, and Taylor did research and created a model of the Chinatown Millennium Gate out of modeling clay.  Henry created very small Chinese characters out of modeling clay to put on the gate that say “remember the past and look forward to the future.”  The intricacy of this work was amazing.

Clay model of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen- Wow! (Photo credit: Catherine Pulkinghorn)

The class was excited about Catherine Pulkinghorn, Director of Walking Home Projects, coming to see their work and hear their presentations, and I was very proud of what they were able to show her.  Catherine’s visit felt like a perfect culmination of this project, and a “walking home” to our neck of the woods.

Walking Home Projects Director Catherine Pulkinghorn visited Maple Grove Elementary to see students' final projects (Photo credIt: Catherine Pulkinghorn)

Thank you so much Catherine, Laurie, and Sam for all your hard work.

Diane Macqueen