Category Archives: Elementary School

When consensus-building is beautiful: Barrie Learning Commons has a special gift


 

They made a what? Teacher Caroline Leppanen from Hewitt’s Creek Public School in Barrie, Ontario delighted us with her learners’ amazing creativity in this inspiring report:

My grade 6 class spent a great deal of time inquiring about Truth and Reconciliation, First Nations circle teachings, Grandfather teachings, and residential schools. We have completed our Project of Heart! And are excited to share it with you!

We will hold a dedication ceremony in September.We have shared our process via Twitter @leppanens_world

Our plan? The table will be placed in our Learning Commons. It will be a place for groups to come when they need to arrive at a consensus. It will be a place for people to come when they are in need of a restorative session. Its tiles all tell a story of my students’ learning. They will share these stories at the dedication ceremony.

Editor’s note: We’ve add the Hewitt’s Creek photos to our albums page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/projectofheart/albums — it’s a great place to see how educators across Canada have incorporated POH tiles and artifacts in their classroom.

Resource: Blanket Exercise Workshop

As someone who does a lot of work with students (of all ages) to teach them about residential schools I am always looking for hands on learning ideas relating to Indigenous history.

The Blanket Exercise Workshop developed KAIROS is a “teaching tool to share the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.”

The Exercise teaches Indigenous history and invites participants to take on the roles of Indigenous people in Canada through an interactive learning session. Standing on blankets that represent the land, they walk through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. Participants are directed by facilitators representing a narrator and the European colonizers.

The Blanket Exercise website includes resource and edu-kit materials for both adults and children.  It also includes guidelines for educators wishing to facilitate their own workshop.  A great resource for those looking to introduce a hands on activity to teach about Indigenous history in Canada.

Resource: Ruby’s Story

Some of the most common questions we hear relating to residential schools education are: Why should we teach children about the history of residential schools? And how do we teach children about residential schools in a classroom setting?

Ruby’s Story, written as a blog post by âpihtawikosisân discusses the experiences of a present day First Nations student in Grade 2 when she decided to focus on residential schools for a class assignment.

Ruby’s Story is an excellent example of why it is important to learn and talk openly about residential schools at all education levels.

Truth and Reconciliation Resources for Teachers

The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto recently released a list of teacher resources relating to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

This list compliments the residential school resource list previously compiled by OISE.  The residential school resource list includes suggestions of books, videos, websites, and news articles for a variety of ages.

The newly developed reconciliation resource list is divided into three sections: articles, reports, and education resources.  It includes background information on the TRC, cultural genocide information, youth voices on reconciliation, and suggestions of classroom activities. The bulk of the information is geared toward high school and upper elementary school grades.

Educators planning activities around reconciliation might find the Kitchen Table Dialogue Guide, Community Action Tool Kit, and Reconciliation Dialogue Workshop Guide particularly useful.

The complete reconciliation resource list can be found by clicking here.