Students at Star Academy share how they used what they learned about the Aboriginal Groups of Canada’s history through an interactive cross-curricular study to educate themselves and others to help create change for the future.
During the month of March, the grade 5/6 class at Star Academy studied the Aboriginal Groups of Canada. Our class learned about different First Nations tribes and their reserves in Canada. We studied famous Canadian aboriginal artists and we explored issues, both past and present, concerning the First Nations culture groups. We then dug deeper into our own family history, finding out what our name means and making a family tree. This cross-curricular study came alive as we listened to guest speakers, played games, completed reading and writing activities, created crafts and participated in so many other fun activities.
Cool Interactive Learning
The students learned a lot about Aboriginal art by recreating the work of Norval Morrisseau and Bob Boyer. Artwork inspired by Bob Boyer had the students create a painting using geometrical shapes on a felt canvas. To study Norval Morrisseau we drew animals that we felt a special connection with using chalk pastels on a piece of construction paper.
To learn more about First Nations peoples, an aboriginal spokeswoman named Shannon Thunderbird visited our school and led a workshop to teach about her tribe and share traditional stories. She performed many songs and dances. The school even composed their own song, which we sang together with the beat of drums. All the students loved the experience and greatly appreciated her visit.
On March 29th, the staff and students of Star Academy hosted an Open House to showcase what the entire school (K-8) had learned through participation in the study. Everyone was so proud to show their family and friends how much they had learned throughout the month. The Primary and Junior classes (K-3) even put on a musical theatre performance of the legend, “Coyote Steals the Summer”.
Using What We Learned to Teach Others
This month-long intensive study was a great experience for the students because we got to learn about our great country’s heritage and the people who originally lived here. Perhaps the most important thing that we learned was how to show respect for the aboriginals by recognizing the damages that have been done to their culture and educating ourselves and others before we can hope to change anything for the better.
[Written by Christian Warren and Pierre Roy, students in the Intermediate Class at Star Academy. Christian is a Grade 5 student, who enjoys reading Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings as well as designing and constructing with Lego. Pierre is a Grade 6 student, who enjoys taking pride in his work and assuming leadership roles in the classroom, especially in managing the use of technology.]
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Does your child’s school have something similar to Star Academy’s Aboriginal Study Month? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.