(This is the 2nd post of 3)
A KIDS’ GUIDE to CANADA — BY KIDS, FOR KIDS
(Revised March 2016)
“A Kids’ Guide to Canada – By Kids and For Kids” is a national project which aims to provide elementary students in every part of Canada and in all educational settings with an exciting opportunity to contribute to Canada’s celebrations of our 150th birthday in a lasting and meaningful way. It will invite students from JK-8 to connect with their peers across this vast physical and multicultural landscape, and to collaborate and create an online interactive Kids’ Guide to Canada which is truly made by kids and for kids.
To honour student voice, an initial pilot project in the fall of 2016 will see elementary students from every elementary grade and every part of Canada participating in each step of the project design and field-testing process.
Then, beginning in January 2017, school-aged children from JK-Gr 8 will create digital artifacts to celebrate and introduce their home communities to their peers right across the country, and then post these on a national interactive map.
From a simple photograph to a complex mystery panoramic tour, students will be invited to honour and share anything of interest to them within their local school area – from their favourite hangouts, local landscapes and resources, common forms of employment, and famous historic sites – to favourite family activities, local cultural and sporting events, and community leaders with wisdom to share. The content will range as far and wide as our students’ imaginations and willingness to share. Digital citizenship and safety for students will be embedded throughout, while online resources will be provided for teachers wanting additional support in learning new skills in the world of connected education.
While this digital content will be visible to the public,behind the scenes, classes participating in the project will be encouraged to connect with other classes in order to pursue conversations and collaborative activities to deepen their learning together.
Which leads to the heart of this project. The project includes a special focus on connecting Indigenous and non-Indigenous students across Canada, especially those living in our more remote, marginalized, and northern communities. It seeks to help our very youngest Canadian citizens to create positive personal relationships with their peers based on mutual intercultural understanding, respect, support, and collaboration.
The world is changed one person and one relationship at a time. This project aims to help our youngest Canadians do just that.
- To provide an authentic and meaningful way for the children of Canada to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday – to use the occasion of Canada’s 150th birthday to provide all elementary school-aged children with an exciting reason to learn about, celebrate, and share their home communities with the rest of Canada, focusing on the theme of Canada’s 150th celebrations: “Strong, Proud, and Free.”
- To provide an opportunity for Elementary students to discover and use their voice – to truly collaborate in every step of the project’s creative process, and to help produce an interactive guide to Canada which is made by children and for children.
- To connect elementary students of all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds – with a special focus on valuing and connecting Indigenous and non-Indigenous students with each other and their counterparts in the many diverse communities across Canada. [see TRC Call to Action 85 ii ]
- To foster a culture of mutual understanding, empathy, respect, and collaboration amongst Canada’s youngest citizens – to help school children meet and create personal relationships with their peers across Canada, in order to help dismantle our limiting and out-dated Canadian cultural stereotypes. [TRC Call to Action 63 iii ]
- To support teachers across Canada implementing new pedagogies for connected learning, and developing the new cultural competencies needed for teaching in a global classroom effectively, especially as these relate to helping our students learn about, from, and with their diverse Inuit, First Nations, Metis, Francophone, Anglophone, and New Canadian peers.
Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action #63 iii …building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect. #85 ii …continuing to develop media initiatives that inform and educate the Canadian public, and connect Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.
If you are interested in supporting this project, or helping to organize and promote this project in your area, please contact A Kids’ Guide to Canada c/o firstname.lastname@example.org