While it’s not a new or innovative concept, at Blueberry School we know that we are not likely to achieve deep or lasting student learning and engagement without connecting the learning in our classrooms to the lives of our students outside of the classroom. We also know that one way to do this is to form meaningful connections with our community. This is evident in our Education Plan where we identify several strategies to “Engage Our Community”, one of which I am wanting to share!
Parklandia is a new and exciting project in which Gr 6 students at Blueberry have the opportunity to learn about Local Government from Duncan Martin of Parkland County. Students learned about the voting system, the structure of their municipal government and then were tasked with creating the best possible community for citizens to live, work and play! They were charged with creating a community with all of the necessary infrastructure (e.g. schools; recreational facilities; hospitals; commercial and residential zoning etc.) which would attract residents and businesses, while managing the typical challenges that a rural community might face.
As you can only imagine, a project such as this undoubtedly fosters the development of those “soft skills” such as collaboration, teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving, to name only a few. I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes in a rehearsal for the upcoming school Parklandia fair where students were excited to share their findings with their peers and myself. While the pictures below are just some of the evidence of the amazing learning that occurred through this project, I encourage you to check out this website for one of the more creative and unique results of the learning.
While there were only 3 declared winners at the regional “Parklandia” fair, all of the students who had the opportunity to learn through this highly engaging project in Parkland School Division are winners!
I can’t wait to see the next creative learning opportunity put in front of these students!