By Denys Gigučre
Robert Smolenaars, an elementary teacher from Burlington, developed this gem
of a web site that you’ll want to add to your Favourites for sure.
Curiouscanuck is a web site for Grades 1 to 8 students that draws you in
from the first click of the mouse and challenges students’ minds and
abilities at every turn. One of the many features that make it amazing is
its suitability and interest for kids of all age groups — the activities,
resources and graphics go from fun and entertaining for the earlier grades
to clearly more advanced and sophisticated for the later grades
When I visited the site at the end of September, for example, the On This
Day feature for Grades 1 to 5 told students about the gambling scandal sur-rounding
the defeat of Chicago White Sox in the 1920 World Series. On This Day for
Grades 6, 7 and 8 commemorated the judgement by the Supreme Court of Canada
to grant then-Prime Minister Trudeau the right to request the patriation of
the Constitution without provincial consent. It also highlighted a number of
historical facts, like the Upper Canada legislature decree in 1793 that all
slave children born in Canada after this date would become free at age 25.
The site suggests resources and activities in language, social studies, the
arts, math, health and physical education and science. If you have students
who like to challenge you for fun, don’t tell them about the Problem of
the Day brain-boosting problems — they may get too much of a kick out of
Here’s another Favourite. A companion site to the regular Ask Jeeves web
site, this one focuses specifically on kids’ questions. It’s fun and
educational and provides a good start for school projects
of every kind.
All kids have to do is key in a question and follow the links to the
answers. I found that the vast majority of resources the site links to are
very suitable for children and give them a range of options depending on the
level of details they want.
The site has useful quick links to sections well worth a visit like Study
Tools, Net Mom Picks and Art Tour. Key in Who Invented? and you’ll get to
an excellent section touching on topics ranging from leukaemia-fighting
drugs to television, kevlar, the microscope and a host of other interesting
The ability to peek at what kids are asking right now is another neat
feature. It allows you to see what kids are asking and follow the links they
are given to answer their questions.
Give the site a try, it’s a great start for any Internet search.