June 13, 2019 --
From Claymation, to K'nex, to Lego projects, students at Giscome Elementary School accepted the challenge of thinking creatively. Their ingenuity resulted in a delightful display for an audience gathered at the school on Tuesday, June 11.
Students in Shelaine Clasper's Grade 4-7 class participated in an Intermediate Technology Celebration of Learning, which brought to a close a year-long portion of their curriculum. Three individual students and a team of two showed stop-motion animation video clips, four and a duo presented K'nex projects and three students – a pair and an individual – showed their resourcefulness with Lego.
Two students – Landon and Alex – even offered up a high-calibre acoustic guitar performance.
The common feature of all the projects was the inclusion of an adaptation to overcome a problem.
"From September to now, this has been extremely valuable," Clasper said. "They've learned independence, they've learned how to work with an idea and adapt and modify and extend it into other areas – like science when we're building habitats: 'Hey, my tree didn't stand up but if I put a Styrofoam ball under it, now it will stand up.' Or, 'Hey, that colour didn't work, but it's going to work if I do this.' So it's extendable past what we can see here."
The stop-motion Claymation clips were: a person gathering firewood and tossing it into a fire pit (made by Morgan); the Easter Bunny hiding eggs (Ashlyn); a new take on the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale (Karis); and a person building a snow fort in preparation for a snowball fight (McKayla and Emma).
K'nex projects included: a vehicle called The Shredder (made by Mya); a forklift/tractor unit (Seth); a car that could be steered (Logan); a monkey with a banana (Sophie and Marisa); and an exercise bike (Cloe). As for the Lego builders, the pair of students (Kadin and Colby) made a house with some movable features and the individual student (Kyle) constructed a space ship with an escape pod.
Clasper said she was "totally amazed" by the ownership the students took of their Claymation clips, and she was pleased to see her pupils bring the K'nex and Lego projects to new levels.
"We've always had K'nex, we've always had the Lego, but to put it in formally rather than a play activity without specific outcomes attached to it, this was a first for me," Clasper said. "We had specific criteria and expectations on the kids to do more than just play with Lego."
For the students, there was also great value in having to present their projects to an audience.
"Especially for the kids that have challenges," Clasper said. "It's a way for them to be in a positive environment where they're not scared because they know everyone's supportive. It's parents, it's familiar community people."
As part of the day, Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall visited Giscome Elementary and played some outdoor hockey with the students.
Giscome Elementary is a rural school located about 40 kilometres east of Prince George. The school has two roomy and bright modular classrooms, as well as a library and a small gym.