From biking to baking to longboarding, students at a Thunder Bay, Ont., public school are sharing how they’re persevering through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students at École Gron Morgan recently took on the project, which has allowed them to showcase how they’re learning new skills to cope with the stresses brought on by the pandemic.
“The students were asked to choose their own interest or a skill they’ve learned, like biking, or baking or even math, and explain how they set a goal, pushed through any mistakes and struggles, and with that determination, accomplished their goal,” said Jo-Anne Lacroix, who teaches Grades 5-6 and 6-7. “The pandemic has been hard on everyone, but especially for our kids.
It was mostly just a happy, enjoyable experience to see my friends accomplishing something that they were really great at.– Mya Piper, Grade 7 student
“We’ve asked them to do incredible, unprecedented things like learning extreme health protocols, to changing their modality of learning many, many times with very little notice. So they already have lots of grit.”
The students were allowed to submit their project in any form they wished. Many did videos, but other options included a radio show or slideshow, said Lacroix. The projects were presented virtually.
“It was fun, but it’s also really emotional … hearing these kids say that, you know, they miss their friends, or they miss their family and this is how they’re dealing with some of that isolation,” said Lacroix. “It’s hard to hear that, so I actually turned my camera off when they were presenting because I was crying.”
Grade 7 student Mya Piper focused on dancing lessons, which were challenging as they’re being held virtually.
“I showed it through making an immersive video and taking a bunch of shots of me doing stretches or tricks or some of the moves you were learning,” said Piper. “And then I put them together with a voiceover.”
Whenever Piper felt stressed or worried, she said, she “would just turn on some music and dance it out also because I couldn’t see people in person.”
“I really look forward to my dance classes where I can virtually see my friends and teachers every single week.”
Grade 5 student Clara McCartney’s presentation showed “how frustrated people can be when they are trying to find their grit, but are falling a little short … trying to push through and make something amazing.”
“But they can’t quite do it,” she said. “You might have noticed how in my video I said I wish I was one of those gritty people like that. That’s often what can make you frustrated, seeing comparisons to people who have practised and perfected.”
Watching the presentations by her fellow students was fun, but also sad, said Piper.
“First, it was great to see them, even if it was just a video recording,” she said. “Secondly, I was interested to see what they’ve been doing, have fun or develop grit throughout COVID.
“Also, I felt a bit sad because I haven’t seen my classmates in so long. Overall, it was mostly just a happy, enjoyable experience to see my friends accomplishing something that they were really great at.”
The presentations can be viewed on École Gron Morgan’s Facebook page.