Friday, 9 October 2015

Integrated Projects: Learning Through Cross-Curricular Programming

Grade 7 and 8 students learn best through meaningful and rich experiences that connect to real life, incorporate multiple disciplines, give students choice and provide time for experimentation.  

In June, a diverse group of Grade 7 and 8 teachers met to brainstorm and develop integrated projects to improve how we address these students' needs. These week-long projects meet expectations for social studies,  English, science and math.  Each grade will have the opportunity to participate in two projects this year.  The first project will run during the school year and the second project will be implemented during the culminating period.  

The themes for the first projects are:

  • Grade 7 - Designing for Disaster:  In teams, students will design a device that will help a literary character survive a disaster.  They will need to use their scientific knowledge and understanding of how humans acquire, manage and use natural resources based on their environment to help them achieve their task.

  • Grade 8 - WAPT (Water Action Project Toronto):  In teams, students will create a proposal for Toronto City Council that focuses on improving water sustainability within the city. In creating the proposal, they will investigate the various ways people impact the physical environment and sustainability of water resources in Toronto, and use statistical data to support their ideas.

The integrated projects are developmentally appropriate, sensitive, and encourage critical thinking skills. These projects are piloting an integrated approach for the Grade 7 and 8 program that could be extended into the flexible spaces in the new building in the future.

The opportunity for teachers to meet as a team for extended periods of time during the Summer Institute allowed for efficient and innovative programming to be created. Grade 7 and 8 teachers are excited to continue planning and building an authentic cross-curricular program for our students!

Elysia Jellema and Erin Klassen
Grade 7 & 8 Teachers

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