Community in Our Own Words

Topic:             Strengthening Community

Date:               Celebration to take place late spring in preparation for Multicultural Day: June 27.


Authentic Audience Experts:
Story connections and resources connections 

  • Elders
  • Long-time community members 
  • Parents
  • Librarians/historians/museum curators
  • Artists, chefs, dancers
  • Cultural and political leaders

Project Overview

Exploration of our identity can create a ripple of change in our community. Relationships between individuals, family and community shape and guide us.

K-7 teachers are invited to take part in this authentic project which will culminate with a celebration of learning and a collaborative collage that represents the love we see in our communities to be presented to leaders in each of our communities.

The project will focus on the significance of the community identity and how it is connected to wellbeing and collaboration.

Specifically, through a Career, Social Studies and the Arts lens, you can choose one or more of the following:

  • design an interpretation of individual identity
  • design an interpretation of group identity
  • design an interpretation of the learning journey and reflections
  • assess the significance of stories and traditions from our communities to reflect on individual contributions to collaboration

Funding For the Project
Classrooms may be provided with ILT support including release time for planning or co-teaching and co-assessing.

Project Background

Strength in community is developed through honoring our strengths and roles and then using these attributes to contribute. Strong, independent, healthy learners are aware and rely on strength of community.

For example:

  • Awareness of individual strengths and culture
  • The role of elders and their knowledge of local history
    • What were our values in the past in comparison to our values today?
  • Impact and significance of place to community
  • Recognition of small and big contributions to community

Project Process

  1. You can approach this project as a group in addition to an individual project
  2. You can use the Project Design provided below
  3. Your school language and cultural leaders could support you by providing instruction on indigenous culture and history of the area and language terms of place names, family names, as well as areas of strength ( Ex./6 St’at’yemc principles.)
  4. For additional support, you can arrange to work with an ILT member to collaborate with you through 1 afternoon of release time, and/or work with you in your class.
  5. Before the Celebration, create a presentation of your class’s findings or demonstration of learning.  This can be done by creating artistic presentations, displays or performances.
  6. Your class will then reflect on their experiences and share their learning with others. They may possibly determine a plan to contribute in order to strengthen community and may even challenge other community stake holders to contribute as well.

Possible Hooks

  • Game: Secret Identity – Each student writes a thing or activity that they like and the class tries to guess who it is by the activity
  • Data collection- Create a questionnaire to ask important people in our lives about what their background, traditions, and strengths (organization, public speaking, interpersonal relationships, numbers, arts) are. Tally/discuss experiences to create motivation/engagement and possibly record data, graph or illustrate numerically. Students may want to record age or generation of the people they interview to determine trends.
  • Possibly invite in community experts such as elders or cultural leaders, parents of various cultural backgrounds, local librarians, historians, museum curators, chefs studying local foods and herbs, and long-time community residents to discuss ways that connection through our identity and/or spiritual self can strengthen us and help us to find ways to contribute to our community.
  • Show one or more of the following video links or read one or more of the following books:
    • Inuit story teller and author Michael Kusugak- recounts a story from his youth to Canadian youth participants of Inuit arts and culture week hosted at Historica Encounters in Ottawa Canada:
    • The Philosophy Of Personal Identity – Who Are You?  – Are you the same person you were as a young child? What is it that links your past self to your present and future self? In this video we take a look at some of the main arguments in the philosophy of personal identity, a topic which has divided philosophers for hundreds of years.
    • The Philosophy Of Personal Identity – Who Are You? – Who are you? What makes you who you are? This Miniclip follows Sheng as he explores the different things that create his identity – including his values, hobbies, cultural background, religion, language, and personality. By following three simple steps, students will learn how to recognize their unique identity – and celebrate it!
    • Identity Awareness Activity: – Crystal Chan-my assignment- this is a student describing her school project in self identity.
    • STEM Activity for 2nd Grade: Self-Identity Box: – David Lee EdTech – Our 2nd graders built a foldable box that contained objects that represented who they were. This project incorporated social studies, engineering, science and mathematics. In design class, Becca Goess and I helped students build and design their foldable boxes. We first had them learn about measurements to gain an understanding of the size and dimensions of their box.

Book List:

  • I was born Precious and Sacred by, Debora Abood
  • You hold me up by, Monique Grey Smith
  • Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by, Emily Pearson
  • Two Coyotes created by, Lilwat7ul Culture Centre
  • Why Ravens are Black created by, Lilwat7ul Culture Centre

Project Design Framework

The ILT has prepared a plan to help support this project and a framework through which to work with your students. In this project, students will participate in the following activities:


1. Decide how you wish to proceed

  • Individual, groups and whole class
  • Decide which focus your class would like to look closer at. For example, traditions, cultural and historical backgrounds, strengths, volunteer and/or career roles of various community leaders and important people in our lives.
  • Decide how your class could use knowledge of this community strength to make their own contribution. Students would decide to share a presentation with a community group or help them in some way.
  • For example, share tea time and connect with elders while sharing a song, poem or other creative aspect about their own identity.
  • Share a playtime in a little buddy class or at a daycare facility and observe a child’s strengths and abilities.
  • Reflect on what the strengths could be and design an award for the child based on the 6 st’at’yemc principles and present this award to the child. Younger students could teach other community members or leaders what the 6 principles are and present a strength that they share with their community.

2. Identify key issues such, as orange shirt day, related to historical barriers to cultural identity (ex. Loss of language, customs, and traditions). Sample Inquiry Questions:

  • What have been some barriers to maintaining traditions or culture in the past?
  • What do you notice about the way cultural stories language have evolved as a result of the natural landscapes in those areas?
  • How can finding your own strengths build your own culture?
  • What can you do to increase awareness of multiculturalism and the value of different cultures?
  • How can we make a change locally that may have positive consequences in multiculturalism globally?
  • How can the communities of Squamish / Whistler / Pemberton / Mt.Currie / D’Arcy / Skatin, Xaxtsa7, Samahquam work to increase multicultural awareness and unity?
  • How can we create a contribution to strengthen community identity and unity?
  • Identify “need to know” information and an action plan for obtaining this information. (eg. expert speakers, research, videos etc.) 
  • Conduct preliminary research on the problem.
  • Students choose method of collecting data or information.
  • Create questionnaire for important people, family or community members. 
  • Collect tourism data from past years.
  • Extend research by reaching out to community members/groups to get at least 2 different perspectives on cultural identity.
  • Consider Indigenous perspectives.
  • Possible ideas and questionnaire and ideas to generate discussion and analyze Data
    • What is their heritage, it’s strengths, and how did they realize the strengths of their heritage? 
    • How have their traditions developed over time?
    • What have been some important moments from past and present in their community?
    • How has their culture evolved, revived or reignited?
    • How is their culture supported in the community?
    • What do they do to enhance culture and unity in the community?

3. Determine perspective of a community stakeholder/s and Indigenous perspectives.  What are the needs of the community related to culture?

  • With your group, determine what you feel is the biggest barrier to cultural identity today and strategies to enhance identity?

4. Prepare a summary of your community feedback along with conclusions about what culture contributes to our own identity and how we can preserve and enhance it.

5. Identify possible options to determine our own identity.


  • Our own interests, strengths, culture, background, and/or traditions.
  • Who can you seek for advice in the school? In the community?
  • Why might understanding our own interests and strengths benefit our school and community?
  • Create a presentation with photos/data/videos/writing/digital art about your own individual or class identity.

Strategy presentation strategies or examples may include:

  • Gratitude gift giving: in the class a gift is given to another student can be grateful of the good doings of another student or something that has helped the school or another person in class
  • Self-Identity Box: create a box or time capsule of artifacts form a student’s life that makes them who they are
  • Self-Identity Mobile: Hang some artifacts that display each student’s identity
  • Identity Portrait: Trace their silhouette and draw photos that represent who they are
  • Cultural Video: Make a short video showing individual or group culture and practices and explain how traditional values affect everyday lives
  • Create old or new recipes and family recipe books, clothing designs, songs, dances, or art that represent identity
  • Create cards like baseball or pokemon cards that explain descriptions of strengths/powers of students

8. Present your project to your choice of community members as well as with and to your own school community and possibly other schools participating in the project in a celebration of learning gathering.

  • Set criteria with students for the demonstration of learning to include
    • Explanation of Problem
    • Interpretation of data
    • Explanation of solution with details
    • Include Indigenous perspectives
    • Research summary (include writing criteria/standards)
    • Process (collab, draft revision, feedback process)
    • Description of contributions to community
    • Unique expression of identity (poems, stories, dramatic interpretations, dances, songs, videos, visual art, speeches, ethnic foods, food preserves, crafts, fashion, etc..
    • Contribution to community mural project

8. Students will contribute to a community mural and representatives from each class would be selected to gift each mural to leaders of selected communities. See directions and app for the mural in the following link:

Resource Section

Sample Assessment and Reflection Tools:

Project Assessment Template

• SD48 MAP contained in each sd48 student folder

Areas for Growth Applying Evidence of Extending

Student can ask questions and offer judgments, conclusions, and interpretations supported by evidence they or others have gathered.  Student can gather, select, evaluate, and synthesize information.  Student communicates confidently in organized forms that show attention to the audience and purpose. Students can interpret and communicate ideas.

Sample Reflection Questions:

  • What do you know and understand now that you didn’t before?
  • What are your learnings and what are you able to teach others?
  • Why is it important?
  • How has your thinking changed throughout this process?
  • What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
  • What’s next for you in your learning and what would you do differently next time?
  • What could we do as younger citizens to help make our community a better place?
  • What are your next steps?
  • What new questions do you have?
  • What can you do to increase the safety of you and your family in case of wildfire near where you live?
  • Note: Writing continuum could be used to assess the written component and assessed against criteria generated for the specific project.

BC Curriculum Big Idea (samples)

Career Education: 

  • Kindergarten -Strong communities are the result of being connected to family and community and working together toward common goals.
  • Effective collaboration relies on clear, respectful communication.
  • Grade 2- Strong communities are the result of being connected to family and community and working together toward common goals.
  • Effective collaboration relies on clear, respectful communication.
  • Grade 4 Leadership requires listening to and respecting the ideas of others.
  • Family and community relationships can be a source of support and guidance when solving when exploring our own strengths and abilities
  • Grade 7 – Careers:  Our attitudes are influenced by our view of ourselves as well as by our friends, family, and community.
  • Leadership represents collaboration.

Social Studies:

  • Kindergarten- Our communities are diverse and made of individuals who have a lot in common.
  • Stories and traditions about ourselves and our families reflect who we are and where we are from.
  • Grade 2 – Canada is made up of many diverse regions and communities.
  • Local actions have global consequences, and global actions have local consequences.
  • Grade 4 – The pursuit of valuable natural resources has played a key role in changing the land, people, and communities of Canada.
  • Grade 5 – Canada’s policies and treatment of minority peoples have negative and positive legacies
  • Immigration and multiculturalism continue to shape Canadian society and identity
  • Grade 7 Geographic conditions shaped the emergence of civilizations.
  • Religious and cultural practices that emerged during this period have endured and continue to influence people.

Possible Curricular Competencies:

Social Studies:

  • Grade K-7-Explain the significance of personal or local events, objects, people, or places (significance)
  • Grade K-7 – Use Social Studies inquiry processes and skills to ask questions; gather, interpret, and analyze ideas; and communicate findings and decisions
  • Grade 5-7 – Take stakeholders’ perspectives on issues, developments, or events by making inferences about their beliefs, values, and motivations

Career Education:

  • K-7: Identify and appreciate their personal attributes, skills, interests, and accomplishments and relate them to possible career choices
  • K-7: Recognize the importance of positive relationships in their lives
  • K-7: Identify and appreciate the roles and responsibilities of people in their schools, families, and communities
  • 4-5: Appreciate the influence of peer relationships, family, and community on personal choices and goals
  • 6-7: Question self and others about how their personal public identity can have both positive and negative consequences
  • 6-7: Question self and others about the reciprocal relationship between self and community

Extra Resources for Research

Family recipe book ideas:

How to make a time capsule:

Ministry Assessment Resources studies.pdf