Subject: Humanities, Social Studies
Teacher: Jennifer Woodard
This grade 9 project centered around grade 9 students telling the stories of new immigrants to Canada. The project was done in partnership with the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society.
The hope of this project was to engage students in the issue of Canadian immigration and citizenship in an authentic way. It was an attempt to use technology to have students make meaningful connections with what happens outside of school.
Rather than just reading about the immigration process, students were able to experience immigration first hand. The power of the project lay in students experiencing the change in quality of life many immigrants experience in moving their lives to a new country. One immigrant told our students, “I used to be funny in my first language. I’m not funny anymore.” Our students were able to connect and identify with the stories of lives being changed through immigration to Canada.
In this video you’ll hear teacher Jennifer Woodard explain the impact of this project on her grade 9 students:
Students worked through many tasks and activities leading toward the creation of the digital story. As they moved through this project students:
- did a literature study of short stories and newspaper articles on immigration
- examined and debated the Herouxville Code of Life
- invited immigrants from CCIS to the school
- interviewed and collected images from new immigrants
- examined powerful examples of digital stories
- wrote scripts and created immigration movies
- presented the immigration movies during a final celebration
On the IO site you will find all the resources, handouts, assessment rubrics and steps that the students worked through in order to create the final immigration digital stories.
Here are two examples of the final digital stories completed by students. Watching these two stories gives a sense of the variety of immigrant story experienced by our students. There’s elements of struggle, hardship, celebration and achievement in these stories.
As always, we would love to receive feedback, comments and suggestions. Our teachers are also available to discuss the project further and support anyone wanting to use this project in their classrooms. Please comment below.