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Heritage Inquiry Returns to Grade 4

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Grade 4s have completed their IB PYP unit of inquiry into “Where we are in place and time,” where they each chose to learn more about a historical Canadian topic.

Walking through the research process from beginning to end is a crucial component to this unit, which culminates in an annual school Heritage Fair where students shared their knowledge with the community. In addition, they each created an artifact which represented their learning to display in the Junior school Learning Commons.

“They had to choose something that they were interested in,” said Teacher-Librarian Mrs. Sarah McLeod. “So we looked at primary sources and secondary sources and they chose something that piqued their interest, and each student found resources that could help support them in their research.”

In addition to creating an artifact, the research summative was to provide ‘The Top Five Facts You Should Know About…’,  their topic. Properly citing sources of information is also an important component of the project.

Oak Bay Archivist Anna Sander virtually met with the Grade 4s to provide some guidance on research topics, and Mrs. Marnie Seliwonick, Mrs. Erin McCall and educational assistants provided support.

“It’s very interesting to see such a wide, wide range of topics chosen,” added Mrs. McLeod. “Being able to see what each student was interested in as they went through their research and stayed engaged was really fantastic.”

Sophie studied the Kyuquot Checleset First Nations. “I made a guessing game with different animals to learn about the First Nation,” she said. “It helped me and other people learn about the animals there.”

Jake chose to research lacrosse for his project. “I didn’t even think I could pick lacrosse. I learned it was Canadian, but I had thought it was a European sport.”

Lulu researched racoons. “I thought I knew a lot about them, but once I started learning about them, I realized I barely knew anything about them,” she laughed.

Laird studied the European wall lizard. “They’re an invasive species to Vancouver Island,” he said. “And they’re killing a whole bunch of native species, which is a big problem.”

Emma chose to do her project on the Victoria Golf Club. “I learned that the club was founded in 1893 and is the oldest in the country and second oldest in North America.”

Juliet’s project was on Beacon Hill Park. “I learned that many First Nations lived in the park, and there’s actually a burial ground on the Southern Hill.”

Shayar explored the Port Alberni tsunami. He said, “It was the strongest earthquake and tsunami recorded on the continent.”

Ismail researched Canada’s involvement in D-Day. “It happened a long time ago, but it was very sad that so many people had to be there.”

In addition, interested students are participating in a co-curricular to prepare YouTube videos about their topic. These videos will be presented at the virtual South Island Regional Heritage Fair in May.