Using the Blackfoot site by pqhJNdjb


									                          Multimedia in a Project-Based Classroom
                                       The Blackfoot
                                   By Michelle Speight

Rationale for the activity-

Problem: A common problem is that there is a lack of age-appropriate websites and texts for
grades two and three students to gather information about our First Nations peoples. The
creation of the website itself has been implemented to give students the opportunity to learn
about the Blackfoot people in an age-appropriate context. The other problem that remains is how
to address the wide range of reading and comprehension skills that exists in most elementary
classrooms. How do we assess that students understand what they are reading and experiencing?

As an educator the questions to consider then are

   1. How do we measure comprehension in students with a broad range of reading and
      comprehension skills?
   2. How do we present information for students at varying levels of reading and
      comprehension when resources are few?

Goal: Through the use of a classroom and teacher-generated website, students will use
information gathered on the website in small groups to create a multimedia presentation. This
presentation will highlight their learning through hands-on experiences, interviews, and
information gathered through books, movies and websites. This will give students who struggle
with reading and comprehension an opportunity to share their learning (through experiences) in a
collaborative multimedia project.

Rationale for using Technology
Technology is used at various stages throughout this assignment. It is used for the research
component, collection of photographs and experiences, in the planning of writing, demonstrating
learning creatively, and to present a cumulative collection of our experiences and learning.

                 It allows students the opportunity to access age-appropriate information
                  quickly and without “getting lost” on the Internet
                 Technology provides a meaningful platform of learning whereby students are
                  actively engaged in “real-world” experiences in a project-based setting and are
                  given the opportunity to share their knowledge with a keen and interested
                 It promotes collaboration both in our own classroom and beyond the walls of
                  our school. Students in other classrooms are also encouraged to take part in
                  the creation of this multimedia presentation.
                 It accesses a variety of learning styles and abilities by giving the students the
                  opportunity to choose how they will learn and how they will best represent
                  their learning in the multimedia product.
                 It meets the demands of many areas of the curriculum.
                 The finished product is an excellent platform for assessment.

The assignment allows for many of the Grades two and three Social Studies and Division one
ICT outcomes to be fulfilled. I will specifically focus on the Grade three Social Studies
curriculum and the division one ICT outcomes.

Social Studies Outcomes:

Grade Three, Social Studies, Topic C
Focus: Communities
Special Communities

  1. How do people keep their customs and traditions?
  2. Why do people keep their customs and traditions?
  3. Can we keep our customs and traditions and still be members of a larger group?
  4. Should people keep their customs and traditions?
  5. Should we be concerned with others’ feelings about change?
  6. Should individual differences affect how people treat each other?
  7. Should people in special communities be allowed to live as they want?

Process Skills:
The students will be able to do the following:

Locating/Organizing/Interpreting Information
    Identify possible sources and locations of information
    Acquire information to answer questions through listening, viewing and reading
    Acquire information by skimming materials to select specific information and/or
       supporting information and/or supporting details
    Distinguish between fictional stories and factual information about people in

    Read and interpret maps
    Locate communities under study relative to one’s own community
    Describe locations using intercardinal directions (NE, NW, SE, SW)
    Compare distance

   Examine case study descriptions of communities to identify ways people perpetuate their
      Identify differences in perspectives and the underlying values of those people/individuals
       who may choose to change some specific of their lifestyle and those who desire to remain
       the same.

Communication Skills:
   Chart or draw a picture to show the contributions made to society b culturally distinctive
   Orally, present information on a community, giving consideration to content, audiences,
    social studies vocabulary, pronunciation and enunciation
   Present information iu written form, applying the skills of revising and editing b y
    considering content, organization, vocabulary, sentence structure and mechanics

Participation Skills:
    Observe established group or class rules
    Participate cooperatively in group work and class discussions by contributing ideas
    Plan and carry out an action that would show an appreciation of someone else’s way of
       maintaining a tradition

Attitude objectives:
The students will be encouraged to develop:
    Respect for someone’s opinion and viewpoint
    Appreciation, understanding, and tolerance of people who maintain a distinctive lifestyle
    Appreciation of the contributions made to society by culturally distinctive groups
    Understanding of the forces that temper change in a distinctive community

Division One ICT Outcomes:

C.1 - Students will access, use and communicate information from a variety of technologies.
Students involved in the project are provided with a variety of technologies including use of the
Internet, Search engines, a variety of multimedia software, use of chat rooms to share
information, video conferencing to interview others, video creation and exchange, and the use of
filmstrips, videos, slide projectors, digital cameras, and digital camcorders.
More specifically, students accessed and retrieved appropriate information from electronic
sources for a specific inquiry and were given the opportunity to process information from more
than one source to retell what has been discovered in a variety of ways throughout the projects.

C.2 - Students will seek alternative viewpoints, using information technologies.
Responsible Technology education inherently means that one technology or source of
information is simply inefficient and irresponsible. Students in the project are asked to access a
variety or sources including magazines, movies, pictures, hands-on experiences, books,
interviews, and the Internet. During the projects, the students have had many meaningful
opportunities to evaluate sites during research about our First Nations people. Most importantly
however, is the “real people” aspect that this project, like many telecollaborative projects has
created. Students are actually able to contact and speak to First Nations people, for instance.
This is so much more valuable than any text book!

C.3 - Students will critically assess information accessed through the use of a variety of
Students are asked to think critically about sources of information on a regular basis. Students
are taught how to look for authenticity on Internet Sites and in other resources throughout the
projects. Internet sites are specifically focused on in Division I as sources to be skeptical of.
Students are asked to constantly compare and contrast information from similar types of
electronic sources to authenticate information. The project itself gave the children many
opportunities to access Internet sources and sites and to communicate with a variety of “experts”
from all over the world.

C.4 - Students will use organizational processes and tools to manage inquiry.
Students are given a specific plan to follow when accessing new resources. They are asked to
formulate new questions as they learn new information and to organize information using a
variety of resources given specific age-appropriate strategies. This means teaching students to
use technology to track sources and gather information so that it can be used meaningfully in the
project. This process is an evolving one since children are constantly questioning themselves and
information because the projects inherently provide so many points of view.

C.5 - Students will use technology to aid collaboration during inquiry.
The inquiry stage of learning is one of the most important elements of these projects.
Collaboration in the classroom is a very important way to collect information to share
information before, during, and following the completion of the project. Since this project is so
inherently collaborative in nature, making collaboration in the classroom lends nicely to the
success of the project. Information gathered and shared in the classroom is also shared with our
collaborative classrooms in the project through our project website and correspondence.

C.6 - Students will use technology to investigate and/or solve problems.
Students have been asked to define problems within a context using our web quest and then
solving our problems using a multimedia displaying their own work which has been supported
by the use of technology. The project website has been a specific trigger in order to successfully
meet these standards.

C.7 - Students will use electronic research techniques to construct personal knowledge and
Using the project’s theme as a starting point, students have been developing questions that reflect
a need to know more about the First Nations people. The project has given the children the
opportunity to gather information in a meaningful way and to then construct conclusions based
on the work and experiences from collaborating with actual First Nations people and learning
from other students around the world. Electronic research in these projects is so much more
meaningful because we are actually investigating and questioning in order to learn more about

F.1 - Students will demonstrate an understanding of the nature of technology.
These grades two and three students have become quite proficient at identifying the appropriate
techniques and tools for needed to communicate with others (email) and storing, retrieving, and
selecting information necessary to ensure the success of the project that means so much to them.
The terminology that the students use is used in context of the project and is used proficiently
and knowledgeably.

F.2 - Students will understand the role of technology as it applies to self, work and society
Because the project has driven the children to learn more, the children have become to
understand the value of technology in real-world applications and its value in everyday life. The
fact that we are corresponding and collaborating with “real” people adds a real and meaningful
aspect to the use of the technology itself. The children are better able to recall and identify
appropriate technologies to be used for specific tasks to make the project itself be successful.

F.3 - Students will demonstrate a moral and ethical approach to the use of technology
Given the often difficult financial circumstances of many classrooms around the world,
computers are not always available or even working. The children in these projects have
developed an outstanding ability to work collaboratively to share these limited resources. Since
the computers have become so important to our learning, the children consistently demonstrate
and recognize the incredible personal value of the technology itself and always demonstrate
proper etiquette in using computers.

F.4 - Students will become discerning consumers of mass media and electronic information
During these projects, students are consistently asked to compare and contrast different
electronic sources including video, CDRom, Internet explorations, filmstrips, photos etc. in a
project-based setting. These students are always asked to have at least three different resources
when accessing information. Since the children have become proficient at accessing these
different resources it tends to become a bit of a personal challenge for them. The project has
opened up their eyes to the world of possibilities. Their interest in the project motivates them to
want to learn more and from wherever they can!

F.5 - Students will practice the concepts of ergonomics and safety when using technology
Because the children become so proficient at using the technology, appropriate posture and safe
behaviour on the computers is not only emphasized, but it becomes quite natural for the children.

F.6 - Students will demonstrate a basic understanding of the operating skills required in a
variety of technologies. Including: perform basic computer operations, which may vary by
environment, including powering up, inserting disks, moving the cursor, clicking on an
icon, using pull-down menus, executing programs, saving files, retrieving files, printing,
ejecting disks and powering down, use proper keyboarding techniques for the home row,
enter, space bar, tab, backspace, delete and insertion-point arrow keys, operate basic audio
and video equipment, including inserting, playing, recording and ejecting media

Not only can the students perform all of the above operating skills, I believe that because of their
involvement in the project, they far exceed it. This project asks the children to push themselves
to learn more. Our students are creating and editing movies and photos, creating Claymation
videos to showcase their knowledge of legends, creating Power Point Presentations, using chat
rooms, making virtual reality images. The projects are inherently generative; therefore the
children ask themselves to learn more because it interests them. All they need is a little

P.1 - Students will compose, revise and edit text.
The students create their own original text, using word processing software on a daily basis.
Correspondence with experts and other students not only gives the children an opportunity to
compose, revise, and edit their work in a meaningful way, the children are then motivated to
learn how to insert pictures, photos, and then create their own “special technology features” as a
part of their learning.

P.3 - Students will communicate through multimedia.
To support communication with our collaborative classroom, students have had access to a
variety of multimedia applications. This includes using clip art and a part of our research and
correspondence, using paint programs for creating books and quilt patches, accessing sound clips
and voice applications in projects like learning how to speak Inuktitut, creating movies and
presentations to communicate ideas and a sense of collaborative learning.

P.4 - Students will integrate various applications.
The project itself integrates a variety of applications into a meaningful learning package.
Students learn how to balance not only text with graphics but to also understand that the ultimate
goal in these projects is demonstrating what we have learned using technology as a means of

P.5 - Students will navigate and create hyperlinked resources
Students are consistently navigating not only on the Internet, Intranets, and guided CDroms and
PowerPoint “Quests,” but are we are also giving the children the opportunity to navigate and
hyperlink between resources and applications. Students are also using the information attained
by these navigations in meaningful and guided projects. An example of this would be the use of
web quests to attain information that would be used to construct their own Power Point
presentation. Students also learn how to make direct reference to resources by making

P.6 - Students will use communication technology to interact with others.
What more can I say…. That is exactly what this is all about. The project gives the students the
opportunity to interacting with others, near or far, using technology. The key is that it is done in
a constructivist, project-based, and generative fashion lending itself to deep and meaningful

Assessment Rubrics

For this assignment, several rubrics are presented. These rubrics are provided during the
introduction of the assignment so students are aware of how they will be evaluated and how they
will be graded.
The following two examples are rubrics specific to the Power Point presentation itself.
Depending on the skills of your students, they may actually create the Power Point presentation
from scratch or if they are younger and less experienced, they may be using a teacher-generated
template. Either way, the rubric may need to be revised to better reflect the skills of your

                  Our Power Point Presentation

             Names of group members: _____________________________________________

Congratulations! You have finished your project! Now it is time to see how you did. Together
 as a group, write down how your group did in each box. Write at least one comment in each
box. When you are finished looking at your project as a group, find another group to help you
evaluate your project. They will use the second column. When you are finished both of these,
     then you are ready to have your project evaluated by me. I will use the third column.

                     1. Student evaluation         2. Peer Evaluation         3. Teacher Evaluation

    We have
 completed our
  story board

Our story board
   has both
 pictures and
  text which
 describes our

 Our title page
 has a title, the
 names of our
 group, and an

                    1. Student evaluation   2. Peer Evaluation   3. Teacher Evaluation

Each member of
 our group has
  his/her slide

  Each page has
information and
 graphics found
 in our research

We have each of
  our sources
documented on
our references

    Write one
 sentence about
how you worked
  together as a


This rubric, or something similar could be used for the assessment of the presentation of the
Power Point to the classroom.


KNOWLEDGE: 4 3 2 1 0
Shows an understanding of the material
Able to answer questions

Does their “fair share” in presenting the material
Participates in each part of the presentation

LENGTH: 4 3 2 1 0
Long enough to adequately cover assigned material

CONTENT: 4 3 2 1 0
Topic covered thoroughly
Enough information has been given to explain the topic
Did not exclude any important information or include
any unnecessary information

DESIGN: 4 3 2 1 0
Very creative
Easy to see and follow
Did not include any unnecessary graphics

Included class in the learning process
Did more than lecture to the class

TOTAL ________

Something like this can also be given to the students to evaluate their peers while presenting.
Some of the wording may need to be changed to better support the needs of your students.

Rubric for Peer Evaluation (5 points possible)
Each of your classmates not presenting on the day you are will evaluate your presentation using
the Scoring Rubric below. Your final points for this portion of your evaluation will be the
average rating from everyone who hears your presentation divided by 3.
                      3 Points              2 Points             1 Point               0 points
Preparation      Presentation was      Presentation was The student ran           The student did
                 "ready to go"         "almost ready to the presentation          not have the
                 when it was this      go". We had to     off her/his disk        presentation
                 student's turn.       wait for this                              completely ready
                                       student to copy                            and was finalizing
                                       the presentation                           some things as
                                       on to the desktop.                         class began and/or
                                                                                  while other
                                                                                  students were
Organization                           Information was      Information was       There did not
                                       presented in an      somewhat              appear to be any
                                       interesting way      difficult to follow   sequence or order
                                       that was easy to     because student       to the information
                                       follow               was "jumping          presented.
                                                            around" from
                                                            topic to topic
Technical                                                   Show contained        Show contained
Specifications                                              between 5-10          <5 or >10 slides
                                       Every slide          Slide transitions Slide transitions
                                       contained a slide    were not used for were not used for
                                       transition           1-2 slides        more than 2 slides
Mechanics                              Demonstrated an      Showed good           Showed little
                                       outstanding effort   effort in the         effort in the
                                       presenting the       presentation,         presentation.
                                       information          however graphics      Graphics and text
                                       through creative     and text reflect      appear to be
                                       use of graphics      only an "average"     "thrown together
                                       and text             effort                at the last minute"
Overall          An outstanding        A good               The presenter did     The presenter
Presentation     presentation. The     presentation. The    not seem              displayed little
                 presentation kept     presenter            comfortable with      knowledge and
                 my interest and       demonstrated the     the program and       understanding of
                 was among the         ability to utilize   needed a lot of       the components of
                 very best in class.   the various          outside assistance    assignment,
                                       features of the      in getting through    software,
                                       program,             the presentation.     computers, etc.
                                       however, the
                                       presentation did
                                       not always keep
                                       my interest
I have also created a rubrics link at: to better
support these types of projects. It includes a wide range of different rubrics as well as links to
may sites with a wide range of rubrics for different types of projects and grade levels. Please
feel free to refer to and revise any of the rubrics provided.

Interviewing students following the completion of a multimedia project is also helpful to provide
feedback for both the students and teachers involved in the project. I also often ask each student
to independently demonstrate some of the technology skills acquired through the project to
ensure that each student has had equal access and understanding of the knowledge acquired from
the project. I use a checklist of specific skills learned to assess this area of achievement.

Feedback or Interview Questions for participants:
The following questions can be used to gather student feedback:

      Did this project help you learn more about the First Nations people? Why or Why not?
      What three things did you learn about First Nations people?
      What three things did you learn by using Power Point to show your learning?
      What are the advantages of using technology to show your learning?
      What were the problems you came across when using technology?
      Why do you think it is important to share our learning through Power Point
       presentations? Why is it important to share our learning on our web site?


Resources/support needed

      Internet access to Blackfoot Web Quest
       ( )
      Email accounts for each student
      Encyclopaedias, movies, slides, book tapes
      Blackfoot Band members for interviewing, story tellers, dancers if available
      Computers in classroom, computer lab and/or at home where available
      Connections with another classroom interested in Blackfoot culture.

Useful Links

       Great Rubric Links
    Canada’s Digital Image Collection
    An amazing resource site

Great Blackfoot Information sites
    Our project web site.
    Factual information about the Blackfoot.
    Traditional Tipi designs.
    The Glenbow Museum.
    Artifact Collections.
    All about the Buffalo and how it was used by the First
        Nations people
    Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump
    A student generated Web Quest including
        information about Powwows.
    How to make pemmican
    All about Story Robes

Professional Development

        A website created to help Alberta teachers. Includes computer tutorials, lesson plans,
        techniques, and a slew of other pieces of information.
    The Galileo project. This site contains projects for K-12 using a
        professional development model to reform the use of education through technology.
    ThinkQuest U.S.A- a catalogue of education websites
    ThinkQuest Canada, an
        opportunity to enter your finished web quests in a National competition

Activity Description:

As part of a project-based unit on the First Nations People, students will be engaged in a number
of hands-on, “real world” experiences which will be culminated together with research about the
First Nations people into a multimedia collaborative presentation. The finished presentations
will be presented to the class and exchanged with students in another community via our project
web site.

The assignment is designed to:

       Teach students the importance and the influence of the traditions and customs of the
        Blackfoot people on our own culture.
       Test students' ability to collaboratively use a variety of sources to solve a problem.
       Give students a variety of learning opportunities in a project-based, differentiated
        environment to learn more about the Blackfoot people.
       Have students create multimedia presentation highlighting their discoveries about the
        Blackfoot people using experiences from interviewing, viewing and listening, fieldtrips
        to the Glenbow Museum, and research through books, movies, and our Blackfoot
       Give students the opportunity to learn more about themselves and our community by
        looking at its history.


Using the Power Point template provided, complete each slide using the knowledge that you and
your group members gained from our classroom learning and using the Internet links provided
on each slide. Read the title of each slide carefully and decide together as a group how you will
enter all of your information. You are welcome to add photos from our experiences and any
descriptions of things that you experienced to help you learn more about the Blackfoot.
Remember that you are trying to teach an audience everything there is to know about the
Blackfoot by creating this presentation.

Step by step description of the activity:

Since the creating of this multimedia presentation is a culminating element of our learning, there
are a number of things that will need to happen before the children can successfully create this

1. Teacher Preparation:

   1. Spend some time looking at the curriculum. What objectives do you intend to cover
      through the teaching of this unit?
   2. Take a moment to write a project-based unit description. Ensure that it is written in forty
      words or less. Sell your project to the participants (and yourself) with your description.
   3. Think of all of the real-world opportunities possible for the duration of your project.
      Examples of these experiences could include: interviews with band members or band
      elders, First Nation Story tellers or dancers, opportunities to make pemmican or bannock,
      “museokits” from the Glenbow museum, field trips to the Glenbow Museum or Head-
      Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, connections with other classrooms; and possibly connections
      with students from a reservation who could participate in email correspondence. Take
      time to plan out when and how all of these things can happen. Making a time-line will
      give you the opportunity to better plan when and how the learning will develop over the
      duration of the project.
   4. Take a careful look at your computers. What software and hardware is available to you
      for this project. What tools do you have to make this project a success? Ensure that you
      have equal access for all of your students to alleviate problems during the project. A
      word of advice: having computers in the classroom with Internet connection would
      ensure that your students could use the technology as a part of the project-based activities
      during the project, thereby making meaningful connections for you and your students for
      the duration of the project.
   5. Look for resources in the classroom such as books, posters, ordering videos, and hands-
      on manipulatives. This could include the use of artifacts and hands-on centres that focus
      on specific aspects of traditional First Nations’ lifestyles. Preparing these ahead of time
   will give you the opportunity to better function as a facilitator and problem solver once
   the project begins.

2. Introducing the project:

   1. Introduce the project. Using First Nations artifacts is a fascinating way to spark the
      interest of the students. Since many of the artifacts are unusual and made of
      unfamiliar materials, students will enjoy guessing about what they are and what they
      could have been used for.
   2. Ask the students to sketch individual artifacts. For this activity, students may enjoy
      having the objects inside of a bag so that they can not actual see the object and then
      attempting to feel as they draw. I begin with students only being allowed to feel from
      the outside of the bag and then being allowed to actually touch the artifact and draw.
      Students are only allowed to look at the artifact at the end.
   3. Ask the students to use descriptive language to describe:

      What the artifact is made out of
      What it could have been used for
      If it is “man-made” or not
      What it feels like
      What it smells like
      Its weight
      Where it would be if they could imagine it somewhere else: “What would you see
       around it? What do you hear? What do you feel? What do you smell? What is
       happening around this artifact?”

   4. KWL: (Know, Want to Know, and Learned) Once the students have had a long
      “deep” look at the objects, ask the students to imagine who the people were that
      owned and used these artifacts. What could we conclude about these people? Then
      tell the students that they belonged to the Blackfoot. Generate a list of things that the
      students know about the Blackfoot people and/or First Nations peoples. Ask the
      students what they would like to learn about the First Nations people. Giving
      students the opportunity to express their knowledge and the direction that they want
      their learning to take is a very important generative element to project-based units.
   5. First Nation Centres: Prepare hands-on centre activities based on what the students
      want to learn more about. The following are some ideas for centres for you and your
      students. What you choose will depend on the interests of your students.

3. Possible First Nations Centres:

      Tipi making: A hands-on opportunity to create models of tipis using construction
       paper. A tracer is provided. Students will read an information card about tipis, their
       history, tipi designs and how they were constructed. Students will answer questions
       about what they have read and then construct a tipi using the information read on the
       information card. Later students might like to make a village for display using the
       tipis that they created.
          Story Robes: A hands-on opportunity to create story robes using pictographs on
           brown paper. Laminated cards with traditional pictographs and their meaning are
           provided for the students as well as an information card about story robes and an
           example. Students will read the information card about story robes and then answer
           questions about story robes. Students will then create their own story robe using
           traditional pictographs. Students will then write a story to describe the story on their
           story robe.
          Uses of the Buffalo: Students will have a hands-on opportunity to put together a
           “buffalo puzzle,” which pictures all of the different parts of the buffalo used by the
           First Nations people. Once put together, students will make a web using pencil and
           paper or Kidspirations to describe what the uses of each part of the buffalo were.
           Students will use this website to find out the traditional uses of each part of the
          Music of the First Nations People: Students will have the opportunity to listen to a
           variety of First Nations music. While listening to the music, students will use pastels
           or other media to draw “what they see” while listening to the music.
          Looking at People: This is a hands-on opportunity for students to look carefully at
           First Nations people through old photographs. Students will use an overhead
           projector to project images of First Nations people onto a screen. While looking at
           each photo, students will write a story based on what they “see, hear, smell, and feel,”
           as they stand next to the person in the overhead. Students are asked to reflect about
           what life is like and how it is different than life today.
          Aboriginal Masks: This is a hands-on opportunity for students to look at the
           differences of First Nations people around North America by looking at masks. By
           looking carefully at what each mask is made of, how it is decorated, what it depicts,
           and the stories that accompany each mask, students will have the opportunity to
           decide which mask would best augment the lifestyles of the First Nations people of
           the prairies. Students will learn about each mask and then choose one of their
           favourites to recreate using construction paper.

4. First Nations Legends: Students will have the opportunity to learn more about the Fist
   Nations people in our study of Language Arts. Looking carefully at different Legends of the
   Blackfoot people, students will have the opportunity to identify:

          What is a legend?
          What are the elements of a legend?
          What characters are repeatedly used in the legends of the prairie First Nations
          How legends from the First Nations people of North America are similar to the
           legends of other aboriginal peoples from all over the world

   Students will then have the opportunity to plan and write their own legends based on what we
   know about them. There are several ways one can do this:
          Plan and write a legend independently in the form of a simple story
          Create their own books featuring a known legend or one they have created on their
          Work collaboratively to create a legend in the form of a story
          Work collaboratively to create a legend in the form of a reader’s theatre script

   Working together collaboratively to create a legend in the form of a reader’s theatre script
   can add other exciting elements to your students’ learning. Students could then create
   puppets or masks to perform the plays they have written or they could even create a
   claymation movie using the scripts created. There are several resources available in creating
   a claymation movie, easily and with limited resources. Refer to the following links to learn
   more about how you can make claymation an exciting element of your students’ learning.

        Logitech sells affordable web
           cameras which come with free claymation software. The cameras are also useful for
           taking photos in the classroom and for web conferencing.
        Stop Motion claymation software is affordable
           and easy to use
        Free claymation downloads and ideas
        An awesome
           step-by-step tutorial with movies to show you how to do it!

5. Real-World Experiences: Give your students real-world opportunities to learn more about
   the First Nations people while engaged in centres and discovering about legends.

          Going to the Glenbow Museum and participating in curator-guided programs about
           the Blackfoot are an excellent way to provide opportunities for students to learn more
           about the Blackfoot people. Often these programs are curated by Blackfoot people.
           The Glenbow Museum also offers a week-long Chevron-Texaco sponsored Museum
           school program which gives the students the opportunity to learn more about the
           Blackfoot people. You can find out more about this program by looking at our
           experiences on our Museum School Connections project site at
          Asking students to generate questions for a real interview with a First Nations person
           will also be a wonderful opportunity for your students. Contacting Aboriginal
           Support through the Calgary Board of Education at:
  may be an excellent resource to help find
           someone to visit your classroom. Generating questions ahead of time is very useful
           in ensuring student input and appropriateness of questioning.
          Story tellers and dancers are also another wonderful resource for children. There are
           many story tellers and dancers that will visit schools for a fee. Contacting and
           booking can often be done through websites like:
           Performance costs are dependant on audience size.
          Connect with another classroom to give your students an opportunity to share their
           learning with others. This could be a simple exchange of project learning, or even
           connections with students who actually live on a reservation or in communities with a
            high percentage of First Nations Students. Students could then use other students as
            “experts” as the project develops. With these kinds of connections, students will have
            a target audience to share their learning with which develops a meaningful and
            engaging medium for their learning. If you are interested in learning more about this
            telecollaborative format, please take a look at some of the examples of such projects
            at You will also be able to find other amazing project support
            resources; both material and human.

 6. Art Activities: Students will enjoy making their own life-size paper mache tipi in your
 classroom, (which is great for reading or working inside of!), or painting trifolds using First
 Nation Themes to give your classroom that “extra touch.” As a part of your study of First
 Nations legends, student may also enjoy learning about the legend of the dream catcher.
 Making a dream catcher is also an easy and engaging hands-on activity to enrich your
 students’ learning. You can learn more about Dream Catcher legends and how to make them
 at the following sites:

        Dream Catcher
        This link includes a legend and
            excellent diagrams and instructions
        Different Dream Catcher legends from
            different nations

Your students will be simultaneously engaged in all of the above activities throughout the
project depending on how you choose to group your students. You may want to group your
kids by:

          Area of interest or ways the student learns best
          By topic
          Or randomly

Eventually each student will have an opportunity to learn all of the areas described above in a
project-based, differentiated fashion.

Once the project begins to complete, the students are ready to make their multimedia

7. The Multimedia project: Depending on the applications available on your school
computers, either Hyperstudio or Power Point are excellent programs for your students to use
to create a presentation that culminates their learning. Depending on the skills and grade-level
of your students, your expectations for the completed project may be different. If the skills of
the students are low or if you are worried that the “bells and whistles” may take over in place
 of content, a template may be most appropriate. An example of such a template can be found

 Getting Started:

       1. The templates should be loaded onto each computer ahead of time for use by each
          individual group or into individual folders. It is helpful to have one template on each
          computer available if a server is not available at your school.
       2. Spend some time demonstrating what the template looks like. Using a Smart Board,
          projector or Averkey attached to your television are excellent ways to demonstrate to
          the entire classroom. Printing copies of the template can also be used if these options
          are not available to you. In such cases, however, it may be more beneficial to take a
          couple of students at a time to the computer to show them the template while others are
          engaged in other project work. It is important that students have the opportunity to
          look at the template and watch it being used so that they can begin planning what they
          will be adding to their presentation. At this point, advise the students how they will be
          graded and provide an evaluation rubric to the students.
       3. Teach a few students at a time how to use hyperlinks to access the website and how to
          enter information. Choose students who you know have good technical skills to be the
          first students. Ensure there is at least one “technically-able” student in each group.
       4. Ask the students who you have taught to demonstrate what you taught them to at least
          one other student. Use the “driver seat” rule. This means that if you are in the driver
          seat, or chair in front of the computer, you have control of the mouse. Trained students
          are to use their words, not the mouse. This process is a little slow at first but will save
          you many hours of stress in the end. Slowly each student in your class will be “trained”
          by their classmates and with assistance from you.
       5. Once everyone is “trained” use a centre approach for students to have the opportunity
          to work on their multimedia presentation. Encourage the students to add information
          from their own experiences and from research using books, notes taken from movies,
          and the project website.
       6. Present the projects using a Smart Board, projector, Averkey, or private demonstrations
          to others. Ask students to evaluate their peers based on a rubric provided to the
          students ahead of time. The rubric should be consistent with the one provided to the
          students at the beginning of the project.

8. Follow up activity:

A First Nations Assembly!

Some incredible learning has no doubt taken place. The students will be excited to share what
they have learned with their peers, teachers, parents and learning community. An assembly that
includes the learning of students through multimedia and more traditional forms of expressing
our learning can be incredible! Why not:

       Feature some of the music your students listened carefully to?
       Ask students to share what a legend is?
      Act out the legend of the Dream Catcher through puppetry?
      Show your amazing Claymation movies?
      Demonstrate some of the dancing you saw when your First Nations dancer visited your
      Show off some of those amazing trifolds you painted?
      Re-enact the chasing of the buffalo off of cliffs?
      Sing some traditional First Nations Songs?
      Make a classroom-generated Power Point showing some of the incredible things you
       have been learning, trips you went on, artifacts you studied, and guests you have had?
      Read some of those incredible story robe stories and show them to everyone?

Just imagine!

Student Feedback

Here is some of the feedback from some of our students on a similar project we did studying the

“In our Arctic project we had pen pals. We wrote to them and they gave us responses. I liked
doing it because we actually got to talk to people from the Arctic. I learned that they didn’t like
to be called Eskimos and they are supposed to be called the Inuit. Eskimos is what they are
called in the U.S. and that’s not good because its not a very nice name to call people and I would
not like to be called that if I were them. Our library books didn’t talk about all of the people in
the Arctic and how their school was. We found out all of that by talking to the people. The first
thing I would tell people is to not call the Inuit “Eskimos”, and not to ask them too much in
email because they might not be able to answer all of the questions you ask. I liked doing this
because you can learn how they are different from us from emailing them. Making our website
gave us the chance to tell people stuff that wasn’t in books because we could actually talk to the
Inuit and not a lot of people get to do that” By Connor, grade three

“In our Arctic project we made little igloos and we made one big igloo which wasn’t such a
success because it kept on falling over. We made it out of milk jugs. We made a website and we
put on some projects that we did and we also emailed people in Nunavut. My pen pal was about
eight years old. His name was Swen. I learned that it was a tough life getting to school on
winter days because it was snowy there. I also learned that he didn’t have a lot of toys and that
they had to kill some of their food. His dad hunted caribou and Swen went hunting with his dad
to catch caribou. Books in the library don’t always have the information that you need. When
you talk to someone who is actually from the Arctic you know it’s true because they have
actually experienced it. They have even had stories told to them by their elders. It was more fun
talking to someone than just reading a book. You could even find the information faster.
Everyone should make a website because they’re really fun to make and you can put lots of
things on them like research projects, things you did, pictures, and things you have learned from
your penpals. By Mikala, grade two
“We made an igloo out of milk cartons and we had got the Glenbow museum to lend us some
artifacts that were from the Inuit. I liked that because it was fun to see how many different
things that they had from us. I learned that it can be very cold there and it’s hard for them to live
when it’s very very cold. My pen pal was Palou. He has a dog and one of them died. He also
has a sister and a fish. He is kind of the same as us but he is different because he lives in a
different climate and wears different clothing for the weather. It’s more fun writing letters
because some of our books are older and we don’t know those people. When we email them
they tell us about themselves. You can’t write to a book. I also learned that people actually live
in the Arctic! It was not how I expected it. I thought they had no flowers up there but they do in
the summer and the spring. They usually get a special kind that is pink. I would tell kids to try
this because it is very interesting and you get to learn about people from all around the world
from just one project.” By Kristian, grade three

You can also read more from other students about other similar projects at this site:

Read what parents have to say about similar projects:
“…During the “Arctic and Alberta” project, Rowan participated in an email pen pal program
with a boy in Nunavut, learning firsthand about how his lifestyle in Nunavut differed from hers
in Alberta. For the “Virtual Pioneer Museum”, Rowan was able to take digital pictures of her
pioneer artifact and learn how the Virtual Reality software worked to make her artifact “move”
on the web. Digital pictures from both Zoo School last year and Museum School this year are
posted on the school website, along with the students’ journal writings and drawings. Rowan
finds it very thrilling to see her and her classmates work on the Internet!...”

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