Elementary cycle 1 students had a unique experience last winter. They created a story about the school of yesteryear, the main character of which was an Elder they had previously been paired with. This project gave rise to very rich intergenerational virtual exchanges.
“The students were engaged and curious. They made real connections with people they didn't know at all before the start of the project. This has also enabled seniors to break the isolation experienced in this time of pandemic, ”says Josée Laprise, remedial teacher at Saint-Antoine school in Saint-Gédéon, in Lac Saint-Jean. She lived the project with the group of 1st year of school, in partnership with the teacher.
One of the peculiarities of the project is that it was imagined by students of the course Pedagogical use of ICT in preschool / elementary school in fall 2020 at Laval University, in partnership with Networked school (ERA). The FADOQ also acted as a partner in recruiting participating seniors.
The School of Yesteryear project took place in several stages, over approximately two months. The students first searched for information about the old elementary school, then prepared questions for a virtual meeting with an elder. The schedule of a school day, the rules, the games, the subjects taught were among the subjects covered. This preliminary work was logged using the app Padlet.
During the meeting, the elders were generous with comments, even presenting photos and memorabilia to the students. Following the videoconference, the students participated in a storm of ideas and laid the foundations for a story featuring the elder. During a second virtual meeting, they presented the basics of their story to the elder. Then, the eldest was literally the students' pen to put the imagined story into words.
Once the story was completed, the students had to illustrate it and produce a digital book. The elders finally read the story to the little ones. The first books produced are available on the EER website. In Josée Laprise's class, the story was even printed in color and wrapped. Thus, each participating student and elder received a copy.
Three classes and elders located in different regions of Quebec took part in this first experiment of the School of Yesteryear. All the participants also had the opportunity to exchange views a few times during the course of the activity. The project will now be offered among regular activities of the ERA.
When a university project comes to life
The Educational Exploitation of ICT in Preschool / Primary course was given in the fall of 2020 to 150 3rd year students of the baccalaureate in education by Thérèse Laferrière, Michelle Deschênes and Alain Fortier. As part of this course, the final work of the student subgroups was to create a cooperative or collaborative learning activity for preschool or primary education, turnkey to be presented to the course partner. , namely the Quebec Council of Cooperation and Mutuality (CQCM) and the Network School (ÉER). If possible, the activity should include an extracurricular partner of the team's choice, in this case, FADOQ. The activity also had to rely on digital tools to be carried out and take into account the pandemic context.
“The School of Yesteryear activity seemed very promising to us and we chose to offer it in our network. This is an example that teaching students can have excellent ideas and that their university projects can really materialize, ”says Julie Turcotte, EER resource teacher at the Rives-du-Saguenay School Services Center.