Every fall I send out information from the Blue Metropolis Foundation inviting teachers and students to participate in their free social and educational programs. The programs support student writing and photography about their local community by pairing classes with professionals.
It is an amazing opportunity for teachers and students to engage in authentic writing and be part of an anthology that features students from across the province.
This year, i’ve taken a different approach- Let the students promote the program with their own words.
Let’s hear directly from Secondary 1 & 2 students at Grosse Ile CLC on the Magdalen Islands.
Learning is Fun!
In the fall of 2013, we began the Quebec Roots: My Community, My Values project. We did research on our islands by reading, but most importantly by interviewing the older people in our community. We found out that they had a lot to share.
First of all, we learned that the older generation liked to talk and they had many stories to share. They told us of heroism of our ancestors and how they helped save shipwreck victims. Some of them even died doing this. We learned the names of many shipwrecks and how many of us came to be here. We learned about the way fishing was fifty and sixty years ago, the difficulties they had and how they overcame them. They were very smart and innovative! They had no technology like fishermen do today.
Secondly, we learned that it takes a lot of hard work to become published writers. We had to learn to interview and to take proper notes. We had to learn to write precisely and descriptively as Monique Polak told us. “Take me there!” Every word is important. Choose the best ones. We had to write, revise, edit, rewrite, and then revise, edit and rewrite again. Most importantly we had to learn to accept criticism for our work.
Our ten top reasons of why we should participate in Blue Met are:
- It makes learning fun.
- We don’t get a lot of opportunities to do different things.
- We learned a lot about our own community through listening to the older generation.
- We become more aware of issues that we hadn’t given much thought to before, such as erosion.
- We learned to appreciate the natural beauty of your community, to see it through someone else’s eyes. (We didn’t see clotheslines or the patterns of the sand as anything spectacular before!)
- We realize that our community is interesting! We get to show others how we live.
- We get to show off our community to other parts of Quebec.
- To let people know we exist. (It’s not easy to find us on the map!)
- You get to learn about photography.
- We get to take ELA outside the classroom!