New Pilot Grade 8 Program

During part of this year’s grade 8 program students in some classes will examine concepts like culture, hegemony, and society. Through the lens of the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable development, we examine the challenges to Canadian society in achieving advances in goal number 10 (Reduced Inequalities) and through the lens of Goals 1,3,4,6 and 8. The context for this learning will be the experience of Canada’s Indigenous People. Learning will take place in experiential, inquiry, and outdoor settings. Students will sharpen their critical literacy skills. They’ll also access and produce works in a range of media.

Classes 8A, 8B, 8C, 8D, 8E will participate in the pilot this year. For class dates and more information, click on the Grade 8 Program Information tab, and choose your specific class from the menu on the right.


General Outline

Session 1

Unless we are foiled by extreme weather, Session 1 takes place in the Redhill Valley. Students meet at Elizabeth Bagshaw school. We access the trail network of the valley nearby and hike to one of the outdoor meeting spaces. Along the way, we’ll learn about the pre-contact experience of Indigenous People who lived in this area. At the meeting place, we’ll do an activity that will help students understand the ways in which colonialism affected Indigenous People. This session revisits prior learning  and deepens their understanding through dramatizations so that students are in a position to engage with the activities in the coming sessions.

Session 2

At the Enrichment Centre at Dr. Davey School, students will examine the meaning of culture. Students will learn about the Indian Act and the residential school program through a critical examination of the graphic novel and accompanying CD Secret Path by Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire. For some classes, it was necessary to reverse the order of sessions 2 and 3.

Session 3

Through our partnership with the Hamilton Public Library, students will learn to access resources, compile reading lists, and borrow materials. We’ll do a survey of a range of different works by Canadian Indigenous authors, and students will be given the outline of an independent enrichment activity that they can take back to their home schools.

Session 4

This session has a STEM theme. Students will build and program robots at Orchard Park Secondary School.

Session 5

The entire session will focus on fine arts enrichment activities related to the graphic novel Secret Path, or the title that they borrowed from Hamilton Public Library in Session 2.

Session 6  

Students will have an opportunity to advocate for and defend the literary work that they borrowed from the Hamilton Public Library in session 2. They will present their position with details extracted from the text. They will have an opportunity to use media in creative ways to articulate their position.