ECI 832 -Major Project – The Final Product

For this semester’s EC&I 832 course I choose the major project option of creating an internet based social activism project. My reasons for doing so are detailed in my very first post to my blog feed titled “Major Project Proposal”. However to summarize, I chose it because it seemed like a fun and engaging opportunity in the world of graduate course work where things tend to feel heavy and complicated.

Due to the current global climate I discussed in previous posts, this internet based social activism project was posted as planned, but not engaged with in the enthusiastic manner I would hope (outside of my wonderful classmates and their supportive comments and retweets). That being said, like everything in our lives these past few weeks – the project changed courses.

What I am sharing with you today is the outcome of my final project, a cross between our course options 1 and 3. A Social Activism Project that took place on Twitter during these past five weeks, as well as a Curriculum Resource that accompanies the project and promotes Digital Citizenship Education.

As a believer in open source content, I wanted to make sure that whatever I taught my class (or intended to teach my class) was publicly available for educators who may be interested in contributing to the project themselves. Therefore I created a shared Google Drive Folder called “Michif Monday Resources”. You can learn more about the folder in the following video:

Excuse the sniffles, I had a well timed stress induced allergy attack.

In the folder I shared my resources that I created myself as well as those I utilized by Common Sense Media for the implementation of learning beyond the 280 character limit that twitter offers.

The final product of my resource was a mini-unit document I created, shared in the folder. You can view it and take a copy for yourself here.

The idea behind creating this resource is stated in the purpose and intent of the unit:

“The purpose of this mini unit is to provide some curricular connected context to the Michif Monday language learning campaign, in which students and teachers can take part in on Twitter. The intention of each one of these lessons is to provide students with some background information regarding the Métis people and culture from which the Michif language originates.”

Take a peek at the document in the following video:

Each lesson focuses on different elements of Ribble’s Communication Element, and different 21st Century Skills as indicated in the lesson’s introduction.

The document is hyperlinked with everything an educator might need to implement the unit. Which was not necessarily as easy as I had first imagined as I had to teach myself how to make documents read only, and force “Make a Copy” on Google Drive so that certain documents would not accidentally be edited online and ruin the opportunity for others to share. I also wanted to protect my own content, and give proper credit to authors and contributors in the references to each document.

If you are an educator on Seesaw you will be happy to know that in addition to google documents to share with your students I also designed Seesaw activities to compliment every lesson, and linked them in the document for you to use! The teacher notes to these lessons provide you with references and credits.

Take a look at the lesson format for each of the five lessons in the video below!

I say “every unit”, I mean “every lesson” again, allergies.

A short overview of the lessons in the unit is as follows:

As previously stated in the Aims of this Project section, the intention of these lessons is to provide information and context for learning about the Métis peoples and their distinct culture. 

These short lessons are to provide a pathway into more meaningful conversations regarding culture. It is strongly suggested that these lessons and activities are supplemented with other learning and research. To take a deeper look into any of the topics outlined by this mini unit, collaboration with local Elders is encouraged. 

Lesson One – Greetings – Who are the Métis?

In order for students to understand that the Métis have formed a unique cultural identity it is important for students to understand that Métis culture contains elements from both their Newcomer and First Nation’s heritages. The aim of this lesson is to understand that Immigration to Canada was the first step in the hundreds of year’s long process of the formation of Métis culture. 

Lesson Two – Let’s Stay Home – Traditional Métis Settlements in Canada 

Inspired by current events (the COVID-19 Global Pandemic) grade 4/5 students chose the words for this week’s vocabulary. The aim of this lesson was then designed to show what traditional home life for Métis people was like historically, and how their interactions with New coming Europeans influenced the lifestyle of both groups. 

Lesson Three – Art & Artists – Unique Métis Art forms

For the Métis people artwork is an expression of their unique cultural identity, and a perfect metaphor for the mixing of their cultural heritages to form something new. The aim of this lesson is to collectively create an online interactive inventory of Saskatchewan artists of Métis ancestry. Through the study of these artists, students will observe how their culture affects their artistic expression, and has made an impact on Saskatchewan’s culture and arts. 

Lesson Four – Family – Métis Women

This week’s vocabulary focus on family. The lesson to accompany focuses on the contributions of Métis women to the larger “family” of Métis communities. The aim of this lesson is to examine the challenges Métis people have confronted both historically and contemporarily through study of the Oral Stories of Métis women. 

Lesson Five – Celebrate – Métis Dance & Music 

This lesson comes at the end of the mini-unit and the five weeks of #MichifMonday vocabulary twitter challenge, and therefore the accompanying vocabulary words focus on celebration. 

Since Métis dance and music also borrow and combine elements from Euro-Canadian heritage as well as First Nation’s cultures learning about these cultural elements can help students understand the unique ways Métis people have adapted their own culture. The aim of this lesson is to explain the significance of dance and music to Métis peoples and its contribution to Saskatchewan intercultural development.

To learn more about additional resources I created for the project (like a helpful YouTube Playlist) give the video a watch:

Finally, one of the most important components to the Resource are the “Detour Lessons” from Common Sense Media that teach the 21st century skills that students are intended to utilize in their lessons. More information below:

Now that’s the resource! Please reach out to me in the comments with questions or suggestions, or simply let me know if you went to the shared folder and found something there to inspire you!

Thanks for sharing in this learning journey with me!

Kahkeeyow kee weechchihinaan zeusk ouma ka takowshiahk.