If you have ever travelled to Brantford Ontario Canada, you might have been excited to visit the home of Alexander Graham Bell to learn about the invention of the telephone. You might have come for a hockey tournament and had the privilege of meeting Hockey Legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter, who loves hanging out at the rinks. You may have picked up brochures with beautiful pictures of the Grand River or did research about Joseph Brant, who was the negotiator between the Mohawk and British during the American Revolution. But you might not know that Brantford is the home of the first residential school in Canada; that the building still stands with the names of children carved into the bricks and that it is one of the few residential school buildings still standing in Canada.
Over the past number of years, I have developed quite a lot of love for Facing History and Ourselves. So much so that I thought this Valentine’s Day I would share my love to other educators by sharing five incredible resources, approaches and strategies that Facing History and Ourselves has to offer that I hope will be a gift to fellow teachers and to your classrooms.
It can be difficult to discuss current events in your classroom, especially if you feel as though you are not an expert on the topic. Leah Mauer, a Toronto District School Board educator, takes us through her thought process mid-January as she decides to overcome her discomfort and confront her students' fears and questions about 'World War III'.
With the holidays approaching many of us are busy organizing family dinners, making or buying gifts for our loved ones and maybe even preparing for travel. As we anticipate this festive time of year, it can feel like the weeks are passing extra quickly with little time to slow down and savour the moment. Before you and your students break for the holidays, I wanted to leave you with a few ideas to spur reflection and personal growth in yourself and your students - ideas I hope will bring new energy into the new decade.
Lesson #1: Reflecting on Our Consumption Patterns: How to be a more conscious consumer
In this blog post, British Columbia educator Lindsay Hutchison shares how she engaged her Genocide 12 course students in an inquiry project on resistance during the Holocaust. She walks us through the design and reflection behind this project and shares her assignment outline and several of the students' creative responses.
In a Facing History and Ourselves classroom, teachers are often developing creative ways to engage students in learning history. In this blog post, Elise Bigley tells us how she created a digital game- and invites students to create their own digital game- to deepen student learning from primary testimonies and source documents. She introduces us to the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre's incredible archive of the experiences of Jewish refugees who were deported from Great Britain as enemy aliens during WW2 and interned in prison camps in Canada. These stories allow us to uncover a lesser-known moment in Canadian history and raise important questions about stereotypes, racism and the choices we make towards those who arrive at our borders.
For the past few years, my school community school community at St. Joseph’s College School in downtown Toronto has recognized October the 4th as a day to honour the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirited People. Since 2017, our school community has worked collectively to use art and activism to spread awareness around this day in hopes of creating change. This is an important issue to us; being a school for girls and young women, gendered violence resonates particularly with our student population.
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As your school commemorates Orange Shirt Day this year, we hope these 5 resources and teaching ideas will equip you to teach your students (and colleagues) about Canada's Residential Schools, and inspire and empower students to create a meaningful response.
Welcome back to another school year! We are so excited to work with you for a fresh new year of learning, and growth. We want to start with words of appreciation for the work that you do and the relationships that you forge with your students, so we created a found poem for you using the text from a strategy so many of you start your school the year with: contracting for courageous and reflective spaces.