Project 1: ROOTS

Logo General Information
Project Overview
Educational Information
Internet Use

  General Information

Lead Teachers: Heidi Gatherall - Learning Resources Teacher

Dwight Ford - Grade 6 Teacher

School: Newtown Elementary School
25 Jackman Drive
Mount Pearl, NF
A1N 2P5
Grade Level: Grade 6
Project Start and Finish Dates: January - April or May

  Project Overview

  • Request other classes across Canada to participate (may use kidslink, web66, or some other source that would lead us to classes interested in the project)
  • Begin researching family tree early in January
  • Share ancestry with the class. Make a class graph, chart, or some sort of record which would allow the reader to easily identify the distribution of descendants of each country represented.
  • Create a giant map of Canada and show ancestry (possible using colour coded dots eg. a red dot would equal 2 ancestors from France, etc.)
  • Transfer collected ancestry data into a product that can be shared with other students over the internet.
  • Share information with others participating in the project. (In our situation, LRT takes a few students at a time to help send the information over the internet.)
  • As data is received from other participants, add the information to the large map (eg. coloured dots by the city or town where the participants live.)
  • In class discuss the concept "Canadian Mosaic" and debate: Is this still true? Do we still hang on to the customs and traditions of our ancestors?
  • With internet participants across Canada, ask for examples of family customs which have been passed down from ancestors and still practiced (eg. music, stories, traditions). All examples gathered will be shared with each of the participants. (Very important to understanding Canadian issues eg. Quebec Separation)
  • Find out more about ancestral home country. Connect with the Genealogical Society on WWW to contact people in home country. If able to contact someone in country of origin, students will ask about local customs and their own family history.
  • Report findings to other grade 6 classes (or present to another group of students) using some form of multimedia.

  Educational Information

The Social Studies Curriculum for grade 6 students of Newfoundland and Labrador focuses on aspects and issues of our Canadian culture. Included are issues such as national unity, Quebec separatism, and our "Canadian Mosaic." Settlement patterns, regional isolation, ties to country of origin, are just a few of the factors which effected Canada's multicultural mosaic. By communicating with parents and grandparents, discussing family/national traditions, and sharing them with other 11 and 12 year olds these students will be able to gain an appreciation for family and country. Students will use maps and graphs and anecdotal reports to communicate their findings. Stories, songs, customs, artifacts, etc. may be collected and displayed on the world wide web or merely in the classroom.

This project is easily adapted to the learning needs and interests of the students. The information skills involved include: inquiring into family ancestry and traditions, decision making as each student determines where and how to find answers to his/her questions, collecting and organizing data, presenting findings, and reflecting not only on the project but also the place of each student in his/her family and Canada.

The media skills include:

map making, labelling, and interpreting
  • word processing and graphing
  • designing/building a web page (html editing)
  • using internet
multimedia design and use (presentation with maybe MS Power Point)
oral reporting (with presentation)

Assessment within the classroom will be up to the teachers involved. Although the content of this project may be general enough for most students across Canada, specific student learning outcomes may vary from province to province. The students will be encouraged to use formative and summative evaluation to assess their:

persistence in researching
attitude towards the project
research and presentation strategies
understanding of the Canadian Mosaic and unity issues
attitudes toward family traditions
The project may be evaluated through a questionnaire or online discussion. Teachers will be expected to reflect on how the project went and provide suggestions for possible improvements to it.

  Internet Use

Initially, the students will need to contact other students across Canada to ensure the participants include a wide variety of represented regions. By creating a web page and browsing other sites students can recruit more participants. Once the local data on ancestral origins is collected and graphed, students can once again use the internet to share the information with participants, perhaps using the web page. The traditions can be shared using email or the web page. Researching individual families may be done online using the Genealogical Society. Connecting to others in the countries of origin will also require internet time. Students will need to use search engines and indexes to access people and information through Netscape.

Since student access to the internet is limited to a few students at a time until our school finishes with its technology revisions, Heidi Gatherall, the Learning Resources teacher will work with the students on the internet. Dwight Ford, the classroom teacher, will continue with the rest of the class on aspects of the project which can be done in the classroom. The whole group, including both teachers will meet periodically to assess progress and goals.

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