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Community-Based Learning

Ormstown Elemenatry School Oral History Project:.

Lindsay Pattison, an affiliate of the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, takes us to Ormstown Elementary school where she spent an afternoon talking to the Grade 6 class about doing oral history.
Here are the sounds she recorded.

REMINDER: you can arrange a videoconference with a content provider and the costs will be reimbursed if you contribute an evaluation of the activity to the “ Resource Bank of Content Providers”.

http://www.learnquebec.ca/en/content/clcprojects/fundingreq.html   - Please note that you need to use your LEARN password to access the form.

Community-Based Education is learning that is rooted in what is local -- the unique history, environment, culture, economy, literature, and art of a particular place. The community provides the context for learning, student work focuses on community needs and interests, and community members serve as resources and partners in every aspect of teaching and learning. Together we have discovered that this local focus has the power to engage students academically, pairing real-world relevance with intellectual rigor, while promoting genuine citizenship and preparing people to respect and live well in any community they choose.

Community Based Learning in schools uses the local community as a classroom learning resource, and allows student activities to be a potential resource for the community. Community Based Learning helps schools and communities get better together.

The Project Resource Team would like to thank the following schools and teachers for leading the way in many Community Based Learning projects (CBL) within the CLC network.

As you will see in the projects below, students get to practice writing, researching and communicating in activities that culminate in a product or knowledge that is useful for the community.
This site is continually being updated with descriptions of community based learning projects taking part in our CLCs.

Baie Comeau CLC

Mecatina CLC
Community Quilt Project

St. Michael’s CLC
Our Hidden Hills Radio Hour Production

Netagamiou CLC
Chevery Festival of the Arts, Conference & Trade Show
Oliver Fully Loaded
Sleepy Time Story Hour

Laval Liberty CLC
Green Club and AVEC

Gaspe CLC
Gaspesian Heritage E-Zine
Bird Nesting Boxes

Quebec High School
Mapping our community
Québec High School and its surrounding area activity outline

Authentik Magazine

Voices from Quebec

Resources on Community-Based Learning

Compiled by:  

Ben Loomer
Community-Based Learning Coordinator
Community Learning Centres Project

Sample projects:
Mecatina CLC - Community Quilt Project

Students and seniors worked to create a quilt that represents the Coast way of life, and to have youth and seniors working together and learning from each other. 

The community quilt project started in Melinda Gallichon’s social science class.  They were discussing the loss of traditional ways of life and the traditional skills that were being lost.  Students worked on a paper quilt with each square representing traditional ways of life.  Not long after, the class decided to learn how to make a real quilt and 8 adults and seniors in a local quilting group volunteered to share their knowledge with the students.  The CLC coordinator, Molly Organ recounted a story about an after-school quilting session where adults were having adult conversations and youth were having youth conversations, but after a while the conversations merged with a discussion of how “the walls were insulated|” with old catalogues, paper and anything to keep the heat in.  The students were fascinated by this information about how their ancestors lived.

This project was supported in part by a CHSSN grant that allowed for material, thread and snacks to be purchased.

The Mecatina CLC is currently recording the quilting process – so be sure to check back in the fall for more information.

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St. Michael’s CLC   - Our Hidden Hills Radio Hour Production

St. Michael’s Community Learning Centre began working with Theatre Wakefield in October of 2008.  After three meetings between our teachers, Peter Tremblay and Meghan Scott, and Theatre Wakefield members, Peter Gilles and Gwen Shea among others, the concept of the project was mapped out.  The implementation began with Theatre Wakefield gathering talent and the students personally interviewing seniors about the history of the area with an emphasis on the humour throughout the years. 

Interviews took place during the school day at our local Heritage Hall where the seniors were gathered for their weekly meeting and “kurling”.  Students followed up with telephone conversations to clarify points of interest and material was gathered to help visualize the tales.  Some of the stories that fascinated the students included the Battle of Brennan’s Hill in which local Irish farmers in the late 1800’s met the tax man in Wakefield and “encouraged” him to return to Ottawa empty handed.  Another point of interest was the only phone in the area at the Brennan’s Hill Hotel which served many purposes.  Our students were also captivated by the idea of using frozen horse manure shaped as pucks to play hockey while parents were socializing in the bar.  Teachers worked with students during the lunch hours to organize the material into story groups.

The culmination of this effort took place on Friday April 17th when all gathered at the Heritage Hall in Low Quebec (through the generosity and continuing support of the Municipality of Low) to spend a day of intense artistic creation.    Working in small groups of three or four students, one or two artistic facilitators and seniors, stories were chosen and work began.  Within three hours of amazing energy, laughter and synergy, skits, songs and commercials were fleshed out.

Spearheaded by seniors, Brenda Girling and Marthe Major-deBlais, the day had begun with the hall opened and coffee, tea, juice and fabulous desserts available all day!  Our wonderful seniors had also prepared a home made chili lunch with all the fixings!  These are the ways that our youth learn, through example, the spirit of giving and the joy of helping others.  Throughout the lunch, conversation centered on the artistic process; a fascinating continuation of the morning session. 
 Immediately following lunch, Theatre Wakefield’s remarkably varied talents had us performing the first run through of the Hidden Hills Radio Hour on stage.  Despite their nervousness, students and seniors held their laughter and performed their parts.  Students requested a repeat performance when it was discovered that there was some time remaining in the day.  The difference in the second run was a confidence running through the performers.  Bonds had developed in a very short space of time and after group pictures, hugs and exchanges of contact information, the participants slowly disbanded.    

In the following weeks I fielded phone calls and e-mails from our local seniors and participants from Theatre Wakefield while talking to students about the experience.  Enjoyment and the desire to work together again was the common theme, with all concerned singing each other’s praises.  Although this was truly a learning experience, it became clear that with some lessons, the process can be a joy.   We are looking forward to working together again and the number of those interested in participating is increasing daily. 

Check out the finished product at: www.ourhiddenhills.ca

Our Thoughts!

“I really liked spending all day at the Hall, being with my friends and getting the opportunity to act all day and try something new.”
Lisa Peck, Secondary Cycle 2 Year 2

“I had a lot of fun putting on a play with everyone.  It was nice getting away from all my school work for one day.”
Brent Thibault,  Secondary Cycle 2 Year 2

“I liked to play music for them and when my face turned red, my mind was saying - Don’t Laugh!  All together it was a good experience.”
Christopher Wyman, Secondary-Cycle 2 Year 3

“I liked when we put our skit together because we had lots of jokes in it and we had many laughs.  I learned that anyone can do something if they try.”
Brandon Yank, Secondary-Cycle 2 Year 1

“I enjoyed working with the players again and enjoyed writing our song and making the people laugh.”
Sean Megan, Secondary-Cycle 2 Year 1

“I liked working with the experienced people from Theatre Wakefield and I really liked doing the project with Dusty and Brandon.  I would do it again and again.”
Katarina Rockwell,  Secondary-Cycle 1, Year 2

“I learned a lot about Brennan’s Hills that I didn’t know before.  I learned about the Battle, the phone, the bar and the funny stories about it.  I learned so much doing it and it was so fun.  I loved everything about it.”
Marie-Pierre Nantel, Secondary-Cycle 1, Year 1

“I really enjoyed working with the people from Theatre Wakefield on the skits because it was really fun.  I learned a lot about the phone and about Brennan’s Hill that I didn’t know before.”
Hayley Carroll-Pare, Secondary-Cycle 1, Year 1

“It was fun to do and I enjoyed working with Courtney, Hayley and Marie-Pierre.  I learned a lot about acting and about Brennan’s Hill.”
Roxanne Brown, Secondary-Cycle 1, Year 1

“What I enjoyed about the Brennan’s Hill Radio Hour was the jokes.  It was a very funny experience.  What I learned in this experience was about the old days.”
Courtney DeCasmaker, Secondary-Cycle 1, Year 2

“I enjoyed making the skits with Brandon, Katerina and the two people from Theatre Wakefield."
Dustin Lalonde, Secondary-Cycle 2 Year 1

“It was fun talking to the seniors, creating the skits and performing them.  I would like to do this again.  I learned a lot about Brennan’s Hill.”
Courtney Diotte,  Secondary-Cycle 2 Year 2

“What I learned was how to make a skit of our past at Brennan’s Hill. I enjoyed working with the team of Brennan’s Hill.  YAY!!!!!!”
Gabe Dion, Secondary-Cycle 1, Year 2

“It was great seeing all the students working together and having a good time.  I could see them overcome their shyness and make the most of it!  I liked seeing that some students were really passionate about acting.  I hope they pursue this.  It really opened a door for them.”
Meghan Scott, Teacher

“Out of perceived chaos, the Phoenix, true to form, will rise out of the ashes.  There is a remarkable group of kids; they pooled their skills for a cause.  Talent is abundant; pride is evident, in the house where the nuns used to teach.”
Peter Tremblay, Teacher

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Netagamiou CLC - Chevery Festival of the Arts, Conference & Trade Show

Chevery’s celebration of the community was enhanced by a number of community based learning projects.  Students took part in researching and interviewing community members for a Social Studies class project through a “History of Chevery” lecture series. Students used this information as well as artifacts shared by seniors from the community (i.e. old photos) to create poster presentations about local landmarks.  The topics included the history of the community centre, the airport, how the houses were moved from outlying islands, etc.   The topic of "resettlement" by floating houses to the mainland from outlying islands was further explored through a theatre resettlement re-enactment. Students interviewed a local senior about the resettlement process of her house, then turned the story into a skit which was presented during the Chevery Festival of the Arts.

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Netagamiou CLC - Oliver Fully Loaded

Students in grade 4, 5 and 6 took part in a community based learning project that researched the community history and culminated in the production and sale of a wonderful children’s book about a tractor named Oliver.  Oliver played a big part in a small town’s development. One of the local landmarks, an Oliver 80 tractor, captured the interest and the imagination of the students.  They researched (took a community field trip to interview the son of the owner, conducted internet research to get pictures of restored Oliver 80 tractors), wrote, illustrated, translated, published, presented, and sold a children's storybook called "Oliver Fully Loaded" as part of a class entrepreneurship project. This tractor had played a major role in the community’s development as outlined by the students in the book.  The students presented their book Readers Theatre style by videoconference to other CLCs during Family Literacy Week celebrations, during the story hour sessions for preschoolers and during the summer Chevery Festival of the Arts.
“I liked that we learned about our history. I found it cool that Oliver is still there, and that it was put to good use, and helped Chevery. Writing the story of Oliver is writing down the history of our community... and we can sell the book to raise money for our school. I like this because we’re the authors, we did it ourselves... we’re the one’s that wrote the story. We did our own research before we wrote the book. We’re preserving history and people will know about our history”.

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Netagamiou CLC - Sleepy Time Story Hour

Ms. Bobbitt’s & Mme. Thivierge’s Grade 4,5,6 students have been doing monthly Sleepy Time Story Hour sessions for preschoolers with the support of community volunteer Jennifer Anderson (Chevery Senior Citizen’s Club) since December 2007 as a part of a class entrepreneurship project.  In this project, older students read to younger students and children from the community.  This simple act has many wonderful consequences for the community including, expansion of literacy resources, intergenerational leadership and entrepreneurship opportunities and a way to get young children ready for school.  A more complete description of this project, which was a first place winner of the Ministry of Education, Leisure and Sport- Best Pre-Kindergarten/Kindergarten award winner for the Anglophone sector for the 2009 Recognition Awards.  More information can be found at the link below.
pdf Netagamiou_CLC_presents_Sleepy_Time_Story_Hour.pdf

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Laval Liberty CLC - Green Club and AVEC

Laval Liberty’s green committee is comprised of over 17 students and 3 teachers. They have begun the first stages of becoming an AVEC eco certified school, having just received their bronze certification for creating safe places for the community to play on their permanent outdoor hockey rink, and by creating green spaces.  This community based learning project is part of the AVEC program (Avenir-Viable-╔cole-CommunautÚ) in Laval. AVEC is a social innovation and community mobilization program introduced to help young people develop a sense of eco-citizenship.
Laval Liberty’s efforts have focused on planting flowers and over 30 trees, which will grow to create a calm place to gather and eat lunch outdoors.  The CLC is also working on developing a community garden, composting, learning about emerging technology like the ZENN car, creating a recycling program for paper, plastic, school supplies, and batteries and partnering with a school in Afghanistan to support access to education, clean water and sustainable development efforts.
This project is laying the groundwork for Laval Liberty and the CLC to further develop partnerships and benefit the community by becoming a positive and environmentally sustainable community space.

Special thanks to: Lise Montagne, Mr. Laroche, Serres Beaulieu of Centre Jardin et Amenagement Paysager, and many more.

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Gaspe CLC - Gaspesian Heritage E-Zine

In partnership with the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network and the Gaspesian Heritage Web Magazine- the Gaspe High School grade 7 art class took part in CASA’s 2009 heritage contest.
Students created comic strips that reflected on local issues.  Examples include, the expropriation of property that makes up Forillon National Park, the Coffin murder case and the popularity of Perce Rock as a tourist attraction.  This community-based learning project creates a creative space to learn about the region’s heritage and issues that still resonate today. The video conference network was used to connect the students with the coordinator for updates during the project. Thanks to Ms. Roberta Billingsley-Mcgregor (coordinator) Ms. Dorothy Carrier (teacher) and Ms. Sarah Lucas (recreational technician) for their efforts.

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Gaspe CLC - Bird Nesting Boxes

Students from Belle Anse School, Gaspe Elementary, Gaspe High School and 2 French schools in the region were part of a grassroots community based learning project that culminated in building nesting boxes for woodland ducks and the Eastern Bluebird.  The project allowed students to learn about their local habitat, math skills through putting together the boxes and facilitated collaboration between the English and French communities.  Cross-curricular areas of learning include: health and well-being, environmental awareness, citizenship and community life.  The project was in partnership with the Barachois Interpretation Centre and the Nature Conservancy of Canada. The bird nesting boxes were made possible from local donations of material, a professional development grant and the tireless efforts of Mr. Peter Ross (Vision Gaspe-Perce Now). We would like to thank Ms. Kateri Monticone (Nature Conservancy) the students and teachers of the schools involved and the local suppliers of material. Although the project does not yet appear on their website, here is the link with a description of the Barachois area.

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Quebec High School - Mapping our community

Gina Farnell, an experienced geography and history teacher at QHS designed a “community mapping” project that provides an opportunity for students to explore their local community, think about the assets in the area.  Assets can be seen as community resources, like hospitals, banks, parks etc.  In this project students can also practice some concrete skills associated with geography.

One exciting aspect of this project is the opportunity to use students as community researchers.  An extension of this project could allow students to “map community assets” and provide concrete data for a community to understand what it has, before asking the question, what does it needs?

Gina has allowed us to post her lesson plans to be adapted to your community.

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Quebec High School - Québec High School and its surrounding area activity outline

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Authentik Magazine

A group of young women from Laval Liberty CLC, Laurentian Regional CLC, Netagamiou CLC and Gaspe CLC are writing, researching and writing to create an alternative English magazine for girls by girls.  Facilitators from the Maison des Jeunes Bordeaux-Cartierville are leading a community based learning project that looks into the theme of heroic girls.  The young women have learned many skills necessary to research, write, and layout a professional magazine that speaks to their local community and generation.

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Voices from Quebec 

Voices from Quebec is a community-based learning project developed by the Blue Metropolis Foundation in collaboration with the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network.
This educational programme by which English-speaking students from across the province work hand in hand with writers and local historians to carry out research on their communities.  The students learn to record oral-histories and create audio documentaries.  The work of the students helps to preserve local history and provide valuable information to local archives. 
A number of CLCs participated in this project, including Laval Liberty CLC, Baie Comeau CLC, Laurentian Regional CLC and Mecatina CLC
You can listen to the podcasts at: