Historical figures come to life at Stettler Elementary

Stettler Elementary School was taken back in time as parents, teachers, and students learned about figures from Canadian history

Grade 5 students at Stettler Elementary School educate parents and students about figures important to Canadian history on Thursday

Grade 5 students at Stettler Elementary School educate parents and students about figures important to Canadian history on Thursday

Stettler Elementary School was taken back in time as parents, teachers, and students learned about figures from Canadian history from the figures themselves.

Well, not really. Grade 5 students dressed up as historical figures and sat on stools until their “button” (a piece of paper on the floor) was activated by stepping on it. Then, they would hop off their stools and recite a short biography of the figure in question.

“I think their level of understanding of the era and the characters is a lot higher,” said teacher Bonnie Lynn. “We discussed things like why characters would wear certain costumes…how you can tell people’s occupation or position in society from what they wore. And so they obtain a cultural appreciation.”

The students started the project at the beginning of April. They chose a character from a list provided by Lynn, and then spent about a month researching the character and putting together a report, which was presented to the class. The students then picked out information from the report to create a shorter version to recite to onlookers.

“When they did their reports, they tried to find a connection with the character, something they had in common,” Lynn said.

Parents were invited to see the result of their children’s work, and Lynn said they were amazed.

“Because we looked after doing most of the costumes at school, a lot other parents hadn’t seen them dressed up yet,” she said. “So they were impressed with how well they looked and impressed by how well they knew their information.”

Historical figures included Alexander Mackenzie, Harriet Tubman, Henry Kelsey, and Laura Secord.