Four grades 3-5 teachers at Anderson Elementary came together for an Innovation Grant project, wanting to look at how they might integrate iPad technology into their First Nations curricular focus. I met with the teachers and we brainstormed ideas together, looking at the First Peoples Principles of Learning and focusing on the principles of self-identity, story and connectedness to place.
I met with each of the classes and we looked at an aerial map of Richmond and its surrounding waterways. We asked students to try and determine where Anderson Elementary would be on the map, trying to get a sense of their awareness of the place where they live and go to school. We talked about the formation of our island delta and the arms of the river surrounding it.
We also looked at the Musqueam place names map on the Musqueam website and discussed how the names of places were descriptive or purposeful – such as the “boiling point” – the place where people gathered to boil clams and crabs over a fire or the driftwood beach – the place where large logs and driftwood accumulated along the river. We then visited the neighbouring Garden City park and students thought of a special place there that they felt connected to or had a story to share about and considered what they would name that place. Using the camera app on the iPads, the students took photographs from different perspectives of their special places.
To create the students’ digital stories, we did some “app smashing” using the camera app to take photos, taking screenshots of maps on Google Earth, using DoodleBuddy to create title slides and 30Hands to put the images and student narration together to create stories of their special places.
The following are links to one digital storytelling project from each of the four classes:
Teachers Lotti Smith, Adrienne Ferguson, Sandy Dhari and Richelle Walliser shared their project at the Innovation Celebration at the end of May.