This is an extraordinary example of effective collaboration, student engagement and cross-curricular tasks coming to life! Teachers and students used an authentic audience to deepen learning and increase community connection.
The Vault and the Flip Flop Coffee Shop were transformed into vibrant and interactive galleries on February 2nd, as CMJHS grade 8 students proudly showcased their extraordinary Renaissance displays to the public. This unique educational experience, titled “We are Made by History,” was the result of a collaborative effort between a group of dedicated teachers and their students, who wanted to bring the grade 8 Social Studies curriculum to life. The students and teachers were wrestling with the question of “Why does the Renaissance matter?”
The project’s genesis can be traced back to a group of grade 8 teachers who were determined to make the subject more engaging for their students during Covid. They reached out to an instructional coach, who connected them with Garfield Gini-Newman from TC2. Gini-Newman, an expert in critical thinking and curriculum development, helped guide this group of teachers through the initial steps of forming a cross-curricular team and defining their goals.
The project’s cross-curricular approach allowed students to apply their knowledge and skills from multiple subject areas. While delving into the Renaissance, students honed their critical thinking skills, which proved invaluable in researching, curating, planning, and building their displays. This immersive learning experience emphasized the importance of understanding historical context and how it shapes our world today.
To ensure their displays were engaging and impactful, students sought guidance from outside experts, including those from the prestigious Royal Tyrrell Museum and Rocket Grid Studio. These professionals provided invaluable insights into how to create eye-catching and informative exhibits that would leave a lasting impression on visitors.
The “We are Made by History” exhibit was a resounding success, with visitors marveling at the students’ creativity and depth of knowledge. The Renaissance displays, which covered a wide range of topics, from art and architecture to science and philosophy, were a testament to the students’ hard work and dedication.