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In the last days of summer holidays, children across the country begin filling their backpacks with the essentials they'll need for the first day of school. For all the changes and technological advances of the past 30 years, very little has changed about this back-to-school tradition. Indoor shoes, lunchboxes and coloured pencils still occupy the bulk of space in an elementary-school backpack.

"The technology [within] is the biggest difference," said Kerry Green-Duren, principal at Anderdon Public School in Amherstburg, Ont.

Liam Doyle, a nine-year-old student at Anderdon, will start Grade 4 on Tuesday. He shared the contents of his backpack with The Globe and Mail.

Interactive by CHRISTOPHER MANZA and MICHAEL SNIDER / THE GLOBE AND MAIL
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