Monday, August 7, 2017

Chilcotin Holidays

Carpentry work in ESL


It probably sounds funny to you, but that's exactly what is happening here at the ranch. Classes don't have to be in a classroom with a board, but outside working on a new shed. Our new challenge was to build an extra stored cabin to organize all the stuff we need for the summer and still do some English work, like in any other ESL lesson. The idea was to go from the practical side to the theory side. Indeed usually we talk about the vocabulary and the main expressions about something and then use it. This time we would do it the other around. Practice first and theory later. As an ESL teacher this was all new to me too, from the beginning to the end, as I had no experiences at all in carpentry work. In the other hand my student Annina, had worked in the construction field before. This was a new experience and we all learn from these in the end. I also thought it would put me on the same level of my student because she always starts a new lesson without a clue of what is going to happen next. This time I would be just like her.

Our leader, called Carl, has been building and fixing things for his whole life. He doesn't talk much, but when he does it's either to tell a story or advice, both are very valuable in the long run. Let's talk about our construction. First, we nailed 2x4 planks together in a same measured length. We used big common nails and fixed the walls on the existing wood base. When the walls were erected it was important to check that they were level. The next step was to fix the OSB boards from outside the cabin. We cut the board to the right size with a circular saw and fixed them with nails too. Then we made one pattern as a template for the roof truss. We nailed 2 planks together in order to reach a length of 120 inches. We marked the measure with 2 nails. We had never worked with inches before, this was very special. Then we took 2x4 planks and laid them down on the pattern to make a triangular shape. Then we had to set the degrees of the roof with a square. The angle we used for every bevel was 12x6 inches. We cut 2 planks so that the roof top was in the middle (that means 60 inches). Then we had 25 planks that needed to be cut exactly like our template, with the same length and incision. Then we nailed all the planks together by 2. It's better to ensure every time that the planks fit properly. Otherwise it may happen that the whole production is wrong. 

After that we set the roof truss on the top and fixed it with toe nailing. That was a very good team work and highlight for all of us. 

We enjoyed doing it very much. It put everything into a new perspective. Everything has a new meaning at the ranch, any new experience is part of another bigger one. As a student Annina started to wish again that someday she would build her own little house, shed or shop. 

Watching Annina and Carl together made me realize how much communication is not only about talking. Let's keep our lessons outside now that the summer is coming. It's much more fun to learn about how to ask proper questions with a hammer and nails in our hands.

Celina, France

Chilcotin Holidays

About Chilcotin Holidays

We are a licensed guide outfitter and we conduct guided wilderness adventures throughout our 5,000 square km operating area. This guide area has been operational since 1880, making it the oldest in British Columbia. More about us HERE.

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