Democracy - 2003/04
are the implications of living in a democratic society within a larger global
context? Working closely with a specialist in middle east politics from
the University of Calgary, students in Ms. Bechtold's Grade 10 Social Studies
class examined democracy in light of the invasion of Iraq. The study culminated
in a video conference where students from two different cities presented
and defended their positions around this controversial topic. For more information
and some video clips see, Democracy in Iraq at the Galileo
"Doing the Democracy in Iraq unit was quite different than assignments
have done in the past. The part that was the most different was going to
the University of Calgary and being able to talk to several different students
from Edmonton. I found it very exciting and I thought it was a good learning
experience, as we all had different points of view, so we were able to argue
points to come to a consensus. I have never been able to talk with people
like this for a school project. The Moderator, Mr. Gladstone, taught us
a lot about democracy and democracy in Iraq before the video conference,
which was very helpful when it came time for the symposium. All in all it
was a great learning experience; probably one of the best I’ve ever
Bechtold's Grade 10 Social Studies class explored Immigration and Human
Rights issues which culminated in a video model parliament with a school
preparation for the debate students were required to establish themselves
as an expert on the topic of their choice, reveal their position and two
to three reasons in support of that position. They were required to reflect
the ideology of the new Conservative Party. Students prepared briefing
notes, anticipated arguments, developed counter arguments, supported their
position and discussion points and prepared a closing statement.
After the debate,
students were given time to reflect on the experience. Although happy
with their performance they felt that they would have done better if they
had more practise debates in class, researched both views and prepared
arguments and counter arguments. Students would also like the opportunity
to continue the debate online.
From one student:
Social Studies at the National Sport School is not like other schools.
We had the chance to go the university and do different projects. In my
other social studies, it was like, sit in the classroom, all lined up
desks, and just learn straight out of the textbook.
Sovereignty - 2003/04
Ms. Bechtold's Grade 10 Social Studies class, students explored the history
of Canada through skits. Script writing was done with the help of Ryan Gladstone
and Bruce Horak from Monster Theatre in Toronto through teleconferencing
and students were directed in the production of their skits through video
conferencing. Students performed their skits for staff and students at school.
Video clips and more information on the Galileo
I think it has just been more interesting (this year in Social Studies)
and because it’s more interesting it makes it fun - better than
just sitting down and writing notes all day. In this project we were part
of what we were learning - it made it more interesting, which makes it
fun and makes me more of a learner.
That’s why the play was good because we had to take all of this
information that we learned and put it into something totally different.
We’re reteaching it to the audience. I think teaching something
is the best way to learn it.
Grizzly Bear Hunt 2003/04
In Mrs. Biegler's
Grade 9 Science Class, students investigated the ethics of the Grizzly
Bear Hunt in Kananaskiis country as part of their Bio diversity unit in
Science. The inquiry culminated in a classroom debate, where pairs of
students took the role of the stakeholders: government, tourists, biologists
and hunters. The time frame for this project was 2 weeks.
From one student:
I think it’s really important the students have their own opinions
and that they don’t just believe something because they read it out
of the textbook. It's important that they use a lot of sources and that
they understand both sides of the argument and then they state their opinion
The students were self-directed. They would get right to work –
they knew what they had to do. In groups they took on the roles that were
assigned and took ownership of these roles. They did more creative things
– one student phoned the premier. If I were to do this inquiry again,
I would need to spend more time planning - there was not enough depth
of knowledge displayed in the debate.
Economic Systems 2003/04
Ms. Bechtold's Grade 9 Social Studies class, students explored the question,
Which economic system provides the best quality of life?
From a student
"Well, one of our biggest projects that we did was a web site (eZine)
and it was to do with Russian history. We were put into groups and were
all given tasks to do for the web site. We researched our own information
and wrote articles for our website from either the communist or anticommunist
point of. Once we were finished we uploaded the web site to WebCT and presented
it to the class."
Videography - 2005/06
The video project was a cross-curricular multi-grade project that began in
October 2005 and continues throughout the year. In May 2005, Susanne Bechtold
applied for the Artist in Residence grant in order to help defray the
cost of bringing in a videographer to assist students in developing their
filming skills. We were awarded the grant and Richard Zywotkiewicz was
booked for 5 full days.
Part A - In-Camera Editing
A mini timetable was
created to accomodate Grade 9, Grade 10 and Grade 11 CALM students
to allow them 2 hours a day of hands-on filming experience. The focus
of the sessions
was in-camera editing. Students learned how to use camera techniques
to help develop their stories. View the sample clips below.
Note that these clips are
produced entirely in camera - no software was used to edit.
This clip shows the effect that camera angles can have, Scolding
Featuring: Curt, Kael, Shelby, Mike and Nick.
Watch how the in-camera editing leads the audience through
the sequence of events, Who Dun It? featuring:
Matt, Dana, Jamie and Michael.
Closeups and framing the shots help to tell the story, Ghosts,
featuring: Nicki, Jessie, Alexa and Gilmore.
Use effective camera techniques to sell, Shiny
Medals featuring: Raywyn, Tori, Denae & Chris
Part B - Video Editing
Each class then used their filming expertise and went on to create videos
on specific topics related to their subject area.
- Social Studies 10, S.
Bechtold - Racism by Gilmore, Mike H., Curt, Aaron, Jessie and Christian
- CALM, A. Oster - A Day in the Life
- English 10, P. Trehearne - Romeo & Juliet by Dana A., Alex M. and Kyle T.
Medicine Interactive Website - 2005/06
Students in the Sports Med class were involved
in creating an interactive web site for other students and parents. Each
student researched an injury common to his/her sport and created a complete
scenario including diagnosis, etiology, treatment and prognosis. Students
also created taping videos as well as first aid information. All of the
information is being organized into an interactive web site including
information on basic anatomy and physiology. Each student took on several
roles including project manager, assistant project manager, web site designer,
software technician, videographer, editor and technical writers. Several
experts (physiotherapist, acupuncturist, sport psychologist and athletic
therapist) were invited into the class to provide students with practical
Genetics - 2005/06
In Biology 30, students acted as Genetic Counsellors and
preparing to talk to couples that are experiencing different genetic issues
during pregancy. In preparation for their role, students investigated
how sexual reproduction results in genetic diversity, learn about DNA
replication, listen to a genetic counsellor, understand classical genetics
(Gregor Mendel's rules and Punnet Squares) to predict genetic disorders.
Magazine - 2005/06
As part of Blast Class (Grade 9 Option) this
year, the Grade 9 students became the staff of an new online magazine.
Because the theme
for the month of November was health, the Grade 9's project was to create
an online magazine for high performance youth athletes that incorporated
health concerns and other interests.
The class brainstormed the possible content of the magazine,
divided into an editorial and technical group and chose a overall manager
as well as department heads for the technical and editoral staff. At the
same time they created rubrics on how each person would be evaluated.
Over the period of three weeks the class functioned
as the staff of an online magazine. They held staff meetings, collaborated
articles, made decisions and and produced the first edition of Blast
Magazine. The students found that they had to work with others
to bring their part of the magazine to completion.
Studies 20 - 2005/06
The content of social studies draws upon history, geography, economics,
the behavioural sciences and humanities. It prepares students for active
and responsible participation in a changing world. It seeks to equip
students with the knowledge and skills necessary to function in the society
in which they must ultimately find their place. Students are encouraged
to think critically about their individual and collective roles in the
Curriculum matters will be organized around inquiries.
Inquiry recognizes that knowledge is dynamic. It invites students to push
their own understandings to the limit. It connects to events, issues and
challenges outside the classroom. It deals with issues and questions about
which students should care.
The Social Studies 20 curriculum, as outlined
in the Program of Studies by Alberta Learning, focuses on Nineteenth
Century Europe and the Interdependence in the Global Environment. Students
will examine nationalism, industrialization, imperialism, international
rivalries, diversity, development, quality
of life and alternative futures.
Students are expected to take an active role within the context of a
community of learners as they complete photo essays, debates (online and
in class), social action projects and group position papers.