Links to two of the winning essays submitted in response to the DEFT Learning Academy Sesquicentennial essay writing contest are provided below:

'Robin and the Maple Leaves', by J. H., Grade 5 (DEFT) English Language student.

'What I like about Canada', by K.T., Grade 8 (DEFT) Math student.

SOMEONE’S HAVING A BIRTHDAY!  Well, it’s not really a ‘Someone’.

Who – or What – then?  Why, it’s our country, CANADA! (in the event that you somehow didn’t yet know).


Well, it’s not really That BIG … as some other country birthdays go!  The Republic of San Marino (circa 1600-1631) – one of the world’s smallest countries, with an area of 61.2 Sq. Km, claims to be the oldest on the planet.  China and Japan are also included on most ‘country longevity lists’.

Canada’s BIG Birthday is called a SESQUICENTENNIAL … which itself is a big word.

The word is formed from the prefix ‘sesqui’ (origin - Latin) which indicates one and a half, and the noun “centennial” (origin – Latin and English) which means a 100th anniversary.  Therefore, a simple math representation for Canada’s Big Birthday word might be 1.5 x 100.

While the entire 9.985 million Sq. Km area of Canada will be celebrating, it will be especially exciting to be in Ottawa this July 1st.  The following Internet websites offer information about some of the scheduled and planned events.

It is a pretty big deal, and the DEFT Learning Academy would like to hear your thoughts about the event.  To facilitate this, we are sponsoring an essay-writing competition.  DEFT students – Math or (English) Language Arts – are invited to submit an essay that somehow relates to Canada’s Sesquicentennial.  Your essay could be written in a variety of narratives, historical, fictional, personal, scientific, persuasive, etc.  For example, What does living in Canada mean to you?  Or, what might be exciting about having a 150th birthday?  Or, a historical account of the formation of Canada. Or, about some important Canadian scientific discoveries. Or, finally, about something special you did that was related to Canada's Sesquicentennial celebration … to list just a few sample ideas.  In other words, this is an opportunity for you to share a story – your Canada 150 story – with us.  There will be prizes, and the winning essay entry will be posted on the DEFT Learning Academy website (complete student name will be withheld).

An essay outline form (with ideas, format and ‘guidelines’, etc.) will be available at the DEFT Learning Academy by June 29th.  You may write on the form, or write or type on a separate piece of paper.  Submission entries must be original, and are due by (Thurs.) Sept. 7th.  They need to be a minimum of 75 words and a maximum of 300 words in length.  OK, it can be longer.  However, since we’re interested in original expression (of thoughts and ideas), we will be checking for plagiarism.

Happy Writing!  And, Happy Birthday, Canada!