Project 1: Project Ancestors

  General Information

Lead Teacher(s): Learning Resource Teacher and Grade Five Teachers
School: St. Andrew's Elementary
141 University Avenue
St. John's, NF
A1B 1Z4
Tel: (709) 726-3682
Fax: (709) 726-1012
Grade Level: Grade Five
Number of Students: Approximately 52 students
Project Start and Finish Dates: January 1998 - March 1998 (however it is hoped that this could become an ongoing project whereby students next year could access and extend the data collected during the previous year.

  Project Overview

During this project Grade Five students will identify and study the various cultural groups that have shaped the development of Newfoundland. They will research the Maritime Archaic, Beothuck, Dorset, Inuit and Vikings. As well they will study the various European settlers (such as English, Irish, French, Dutch and Portuguese). Students will look at where these various groups lived in Newfoundland and how they influenced the development of Newfoundland. Students will learn how to gather information about past cultures and inhabitants. As an extension of the project some students may also look at other places where the ancestors of our province have lived and connections between Newfoundland and these areas.

  Curriculum Connections

The main curriculum areas that will be addressed during this project are Social Studies and Language Arts. As well there are learning outcomes in the areas of Math and Religion. By utilizing the Internet and the computer network in the school, students will also achieve mastery of several of the learning outcomes that are identified in the Curriculum Framework for Technology Education.

Social Studies:

The Social Studies textbook, The Atlantic Edge, deals with the history, geography and culture of Newfoundland and Labrador. By the end of Grade Five students are expected to have a broad understanding of our place in the development of this province. Some of the learning outcomes that are identified in the Social Studies curriculum are:

  • Students will look at patterns of community settlements throughout the province.
  • Students will analyze why people choose to live where they do.
  • Students will study the changes in Newfoundland communities from their founding until the present.
  • Students will examine the artifacts of the various native groups and of the early explorers and their settlements.
  • Students will investigate the past and present culture of the province and research the various influences on the development of culture.

Language Arts:

During Grade Five in Language Arts there are a large number of skills that are to be developed. Some of the following skills that would be particularly relevant to this project are:

  • Reading Skills: Locate required material;
  • Access Reference material using sources such as books, magazines, encyclopaedia and computers;
  • Interpret reports and interviews;
  • Writing Skills: Understand and use the writing process;
  • Write for informative reasons;
  • Publish research work;
  • Speaking Skills: Use audio visual material to compliment spoken word;
  • Listening Skills: Follow directions and determine relevant and irrelevant facts.


Part of the Mathematics programme for Grade Five is the study of diagrams, charts, graphs and maps. Students are expected to be able to collect data from these sources and then to construct their own tables, charts and graphs using this data. During this project students will have opportunity to use these skills to record and present their findings.


The Grade Five Religion curriculum requires that students develop an awareness of how events in the past have importance for today’s living. Students are encouraged to think about a sense of justice and fairness as well taking responsibility for how their own actions may have a global impact on the world around them. This project will help students connect events in the past with their lives at present.

Technology Education:

In the area of technology education there have been six general curriculum outcomes identified. During elementary school student will be expected to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the nature of technology;
  • Solve technological problems;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of technology and technological change;
  • Read, comprehend, write and use the language and terminology of technology;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of technology to enhance the learning process and develop active learning strategies using technology;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of information and communication technology and use technology to communicate effectively;

All of these learning outcomes will be addressed during this project.

  Resource Connections

The STELLAR Schools Internet connection is necessary for students to achieve the full scope of this project. Through this connection students will be able to access the various sites where archaeological work is underway to study Newfoundland’s past. They will be able to communicate with these sites and view first hand some of the research that is being carried out. They would also be able to communicate with students in other areas where early settlers and explorers started other colonies and communities.

In addition to using the Internet and CD-ROM resources for this project, students will be using a variety of print media including encyclopaedia, books and periodicals. There will be several visitors such as archaeologists and historians. Students will be taking a field trip to the Newfoundland museum and also to the archaeological site at Ferryland in the spring. The school has purchased scanning equipment that will enable students to display their work on the Internet.


Both the processes used and the final product will be evaluated during this project. Formative evaluation will include (but not be limited to) anecdotal records, journals, observation and conferences. The summative evaluation would include grading the final report based on the learning outcomes that have been identified for this project. Students would be evaluated not only individually but also as cooperative group members.

As a part of the efforts that are being made at St. Andrew's Elementary School to encourage students to avail of the vast variety of resources available today, this project will become a integral part of the school's technology programme.

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