MANITOULIN—Little Current Public School (LCPS) Grade 1 students have been exploring their communities first hand this year through a series of field trips.
“We have a section about local community as part of the Grade 1 social studies unit,” explained Grade 1 LCPS teacher Pam Rohn who, along with her fellow Grade 1/2 colleague Casey Boisvert, have been organizing the field trips. “As part of the unit we explore questions such as ‘What is a community?’ ‘Who are the people in my community?’ ‘What are the services in my community?’”
With students from Little Current, Aundeck Omni Kaning (AOK) First Nation and Sheguiandah First Nation between the two classes, Ms. Rohn and Ms. Boisvert decided to take the students on a series of field trips to explore each community and the services, building and people within it.
“Earlier this year we visited AOK and the students learned about, and tried, traditional drumming, learned the history of Anishinaabek people, ate scone, toured the buildings and met with Chief Patsy Corbiere,” shared Ms. Rohn. “Each student also showed the class where they live. As well, we have done a number of walking tours of Little Current and visited places like the Little Current Post Office, met the mayor (Al MacNevin) and sat in the council chambers and local businesses like Laidley Stationary.”
The Expositor met up with the LCPS Grade 1 classes during their most recent community outing to Sheguiandah First Nation.
“Ms. Rohn approached us and asked if we would host a group of students and share our community with them,” Sheguiandah’s Right To Play community mentor said. “We have taken them on a tour of the band office, introducing them to staff, played traditional games with them, taken them on a tour of the health centre where they made beaded bracelets and right now they are snowshoeing (around the powwow arbour). This afternoon they will be eating corn soup and scone dogs at the recreation centre and then touring the water treatment plant.”
Ms. Rohn explained that this is the first year that the Grade 1 LCPS students have gone on such extensive field trips, but she believes it has been a big success.
“It has really brought learning to life,” said Ms. Rohn. “The kids have shown so much pride in their communities—sharing where they live, places they have visited, pointing out buildings that are significant to them. It is really learning first hand. It has also had a big cultural component, teaching all the children about Anishinaabek culture.”
“It’s really been great,” added Ms. Boisvert. “The trips have provided them with a more full learning experience and prompted a lot of questions that they can have answered first hand from people in their community, and their classmates communities, as they are exploring and learning.”