TRURO – Young Elle Casey’s eyes open wide as she leans in for a closer look at the Titanic.
The three-year-old was one of a number of students at the Dr. Jane Norman Child Study Centre – a lab school within the Institute For Human Services - who have taken a special interest in the real-life story of the Titanic. So much so, they have created their own replica.
“It’s fun. I put the windows on it and it has silver sparkles,” Elle proudly told the Truro Daily News.
Four-year-old James Mongey was also fascinated with the famous boat.
“I loved the whole boat and I like the iceberg.”
Allie MacKay, an early childhood educator at the centre who has worked closely with the children on the Titanic project, said the children’s fascination with it began in September when they began looking at some factual books from the centre’s library.
“The kids picked the Titanic book off the shelf and kept going back to it,” said MacKay, adding the group then went to the town library to research the topic and to take out more books and learn Titanic-related songs.
“They were fascinated with what it was made of, where it went and who was on it.”
From there, the children wanted to build their own Titanic.
“They wanted to make it the real size,” chuckled MacKay, who convinced the youngsters to settle on about a five-foot replica, which is permanently displayed at the child study centre on Lorne Street.
Six children, aged two to five, helped make the ship, using paper mache´, buttons for the windows, paper towel rolls for the smoke stacks and other craft supplies.
The project ultimately became more than just a fun event, it enhanced the children’s learning, too, MacKay said.
“Every day they would find out something new about Titanic.”
Jane MacKenzie, director of the child study centre, said the initiative also fostered collaboration, fine-motor skills and problem solving.
“They thought about how many lifeboats to have on their boat. They wanted to make sure they had enough,” said MacKenzie.
“They are big thinkers. They are now talking about making a big iceberg as well.”