Living history at Bonville Public School

In 1972, I was teaching a multilevel special education class in the small Eastern Ontario village of Bonville. The Public School enrollment was approximately 120 pupils (K to 6)and was comprised of three three classrooms and a portable in which I was teaching. Although Bonville was a smaller rural community the children were quite interested in sports and were following the 72 Summit series very, very closely.

In my Special Education class during that time I was using the Summit Series as an Integrated Theme for Language Arts , Mathematics and Social Studies. The students were writing stories every day related to the series and also keeping a scrapbook and journal. The goals, assists and shots on net were great for Mathematics and introducing the concept of graphing. The different locations of the games in Canada and Russia were great motivation for the geography lesson.

I was responsible for Physical Education in the school and in that regard I tried to integrate Hockey and the Summit Series into most of our activities for those few weeks in September. As we did not have a gym in the school, on rainy days I would have the children push the desks to the side in the classrooms and we would take shots on a selected goalie with a plastic hockey stick and puck.

The afternoon of the final game from Russia I invited as many students as we could cram in the small portable to join my my students. We had a small black and white TV that we placed as high on a shelf as we could so that everybody could follow the action. The emotions of the students were up and down as the game progressed. When Canada scored you could hear the cheering right through the school. When Paul Henderson scored the students were ecstatic ! They cheered and waved their paper flags and we sang O Canada. The singing of our National anthem also continued as the school buses pulled out of the school grounds to take the students home.

Although it is 40 years ago I still have fond memories of the students and that special “magic” day in Canadian history.

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