Salima Parvez, kindergarten teacher at Tomsett Elementary, received an Innovation Grant this year to investigate playful storytelling through the First Peoples Principles of learning. Drawing from our experience with the Quality Teaching and Learning project (QTL), we have planned some story retelling and story creation experiences for her students. Salima is using some of the TTOC release time provided through the grant to visit Diefenbaker and Steves classrooms that are involved in the QTL project.
Salima has read The Little Hummingbird with the students and they have enjoyed retelling and re-enacting the story. During my visit last week, we talked with the students about Richmond might have looked like thousands of years ago (before Costco, Superstores, cars and roads etc) and how the land and river was shared by Aboriginal peoples for fishing as well as food and plant gathering. I read them several pages from the book Sharing Our World, which explains the significance of many animals important to Aboriginal culture of the Pacific Northwest. The students were then asked to think of a story involving the animals and to create a scene or setting for their story.
As the children created their scenes and chose their animal characters, Salima and I sat alongside the students, listening to and documenting their stories. We took photographs, video clips, used the notes app to scribe students’ stories or the SodaSnap app to capture a photograph and short story. The focus of the project is to focus on oral storytelling and finding ways to capture the students’ stories is an important part of the process, so that we can see how the students’ sense of story and use of language is developing.
Here is a link to a short video of some of of the students’ stories HERE.