Each June our Aboriginal Team here at ESQ visits our feeder schools and selects a cohort of students to participate in our Aboirginal Transition Program. Over 2 weeks these 6-10 students visit our school and are guided through a variety of activites as an exploration of high school education. They create connections to both the building and the teachers that they will be working with during their grade 9 year. In addition students in the program go on several fieldtrips to extend their education beyond ESQ. The group visits Camosum College and UVic and explores options in both institutions to further their education. Students are also taken on nature excursions including a fishing trip, guided hikes, and exploring the community gardens adjacent to ESQ.
This year I had the pleasure of working with the 2013 kids for an afternoon scavenger hunt activity using the iPads. My goal was to have them explore the school and identify various Aborginal resources and symbols to prepare them for the beginning of their high school journey in September. Students were shown a worddoc that outlined the items they must locate in order to complete the scavenger hunt. Each student took a photo of the doc and used the image from the camera roll to search through the building for the items. The list looked like this:
You will have 15 minutes to take pictures of the following:
Picture of Esquimalt High School
Picture of Aboriginal Identity
Picture of your group
Picture of Aboriginal Support
Place in the school you wonder about
Picture of Learning
Place you want to spend more time
Picture of Fun
You must also take a video no longer than 20- 30 seconds of someone in your group telling a joke, doing a trick, or showing off a personal talent. Remember: Your video must be appropriate to show in school and something you would show your grandparent.
Upon returning to the class each student shared their learning by mirroring their images via Apple TV to our class LCD. They were asked to say a few words about their photos and why they were inspired to capture what they did. Students participated without hesitation and were encouraged by the laughter and recognition from their peers. They displayed a range of Aboriginal symbols including paintings, bulletins, posters, and our welcome figure. They also located a bundle of Aboriginal resources including the offices of our Aborginal counsellors. Overall the activity was a great way for these students to explore the school, capture their learning, and share their opinions. I was pleased that the entire process was paperless (other than the original worddoc) and that the students were familiar with using the ipads from their middle school classes. I look forward to seeing this great crew in my classroom in September!