EESL Secondary 3 Students Visit Atelier Paré

Earlier in January, EESL students in secondary 3 visited Atelier Paré, the Economuseum of wood sculpture in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré where they learned about four Québécois legends. These legends were : the Werewolf, the Flying Canoe, TiPit Vallerand, Pit Caribou and the White Lady. Although these were all Québécois legends, the stories were told in English, allowing the students to both learn more about their cultural heritage and practise their English listening skills.

The storyteller was very charismatic and used lots of puns in his storytelling, such as ‘bare behind’ in the legend of TiPit Vallerand. Students therefore learned what a pun was in English and how to use them!

The storyteller used the beautiful backdrop of a large sculpture carved completely in wood in order to talk about the legends. Key scenes from each legend had been carved into the sculpture, such as in the werewolf legend when the friend of the drunken men decides to disguise himself as a werewolf in order to scare his friends into attending Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve instead of getting drunk in the local tavern! For the legend of the Flying Canoe, the sculptor had carved the scene of the drunken lumberjacks falling down and out of the canoe into the trees for having broken their deal with the devil and swearing on their way home to their wives.

After listening to these legends, students had some time to explore the woodshop and admire the many other sculptures hung up around the workshop, all depicting various well-known Québécois legends. They also got to see some of the woodcarving in action, as the storyteller and sculptor began carving his other sculptures which he hopes to put on display in the workshop in the near future. Students really enjoyed this day out and as well as having fun, were fully immersed in the English language and legends of Quebec.

By Katherine Watts (British Assistant)