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Project Profile

Project Title:
Preconceived Notions
Initiative:
Literacy in Action - Listen, I Read
School Name:
Hillcrest Elementary School
School board / First Nations school jurisdiction:
Bluewater District School Board
Project Theme:
  • Connect [relationships]
  • Thrive [health & wellness]
  • Lead [leadership]
Grade Level:
8
Subject Areas:
The Arts, English, Health and Physical Education, Mathematics, Social Sciences and Humanities, Technological Education
City:
Owen Sound
Province/Territory:
Ontario
Community Partners:
Owen Sound Police Department
Sergeant Ted Kitto

Preconceived Notions

LISTEN, I READ
BOOK: DUST
AUTHOR: ARTHUR SLADE

Our class will produce a dramatic arts presentation that targets preconceived notions for students. We will identify stereotypical personalities from history such as the wild west (cowboys) and the early 1920's (gangsters), etc., that were easy to pick out. We will continue to with skits in which the audience must identify people and situations that aim at taking advantage of students such as consumer awareness, advertising, technology, peer pressure and the increasing popularity and influence of video games. We will finish by offering strategies to think for ourselves before making choices.

Update (June-29-12)

Leading up to reading the novel, Dust, by Arthur Slade, our class thought that the idea of "preconceived notions" would be the theme for our student-driven social movement. After studying the novel and meeting with Mr. Slade, we modified our theme and it became "things are not always as they appear".
We brainstormed ideas to help our community to become greener, more friendly and even contemplated performing fundraisers to support the Kony 2012 movement. In the end, we settled on improving the quality of student life at our own school and began our own, Hillcrest 2012 movement.
We felt that students were afraid to be themselves, to get involved in a positive way or to voice opinions for fear of being put down or bullied. We began our movement with a survey, completed by all grade 8 students and a few key points became evident:
1) our students felt least safe on the playground and in the hallways, between classes;
2) most thought of themselves as positive citizens, that feared voicing opinions or ideas to improve the atmosphere in the school;
3) the students felt that the biggest reason for the lack of confidence was due to the poor attitudes of a small number of students;
4) we were in need of more opportunities for students to get involved, where they felt comfortable.
As a class, we started with an activity that most students don't see as a "cool" sport and we went to our local curling club for half of a day. The impression was consistent from all students. Curling was fun and our initial impressions were way off the mark.
To extend our enthusiasm, we started our Hillcrest 2012 campaign by plastering those faults that we wanted to see disappear from our school, all over the halls. We gave them an unknown face to represent those who create the negative influence, but who don't own up to it. We wanted to see these qualities disappear from our school.
To continue in a productive direction, all volunteers, students and staff, met during lunch time to brainstorm activities that students would like to see started in our school. Activities such as lunch and a movie opening our computer lab at lunch time and organizing intramural soccer leagues for the younger students, were some of the ideas that came to fruition this year. These are just a few that we hope will continue for our school next year and for years to come.