Mr. Selle’s and Ms. Style’s students have been busy creating and practicing speeches in English 3U. They are speaking to the theme “I Know This Much is True” and have already come up with some interesting and insightful stories.
Since the project is online, we have had to adapt to a new forum and discuss presentation skills we might not have otherwise considered: how clean should our space be before we present? Hoodies or no hoodies? How can we avoid looking down at the camera? How can we make our physical gestures and voice extra expressive? With the occasional internet glitch or spotty microphone, students have come up with creative solutions and helped each other create their best work.
Many students have used this opportunity to share some of their most profound experiences. They shared their thesis statements in breakout rooms and offered feedback to each other at a formal rehearsal. After completing a reflection on peer-feedback, students will complete the final step of their project and film their speeches.
I’ve really enjoyed writing about my life and the experiences I’ve had in my speech. This unit has been a great way for me to share a little bit more about myself with others while sharing some truths about life! My favourite part has been writing about my experiences in Dominican, it’s something I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to share otherwise!” ~ Kaelyn Vanderniet
It has been a delight to watch the dedication of our students and the way their stories have strengthened our classroom communities.
You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown
This past fall, a group of senior level students embarked on a dramatic quest: to produce and perform a full length drama production. Working with a small cast, limited budget, and a desire for excellence, they decided to perform the musical You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown featuring characters from Charles Schulz’s beloved comic strip, Peanuts. Four student directors and eight energetic cast members got to work.
Twice a week they met after school to learn songs, lines, and choreography. With the assistance of Mr. Vanderwoude, who volunteered to play piano for practices and performances, scenes started to fall into place. By mid-March, the directors felt that they were on track for their planned performances at the end of April.
When HD announced that after the March break they would shift to online learning, the whole team, now dubbed the “Final Act Drama Company,” scrambled to find a way to share their hard work. Eventually, they came to the sad conclusion that they would not be performing their show.
Despite the unfortunate ending, it was still a great experience for all the members of the cast and the directorial team. Favourite memories include growing together as a cast, rehearsing “Book Report” in all of its wacky choreographic glory, the uncontrollable laughter that seemed to come with each practice, and the “aha” moments that came when choreography started to look good.
Some of the students involved reflected on the experience, saying,
“Even though we weren’t able to perform, getting to create hilarious scenes and sing
zany songs with this drama team will be an experience I will never forget.” ~Ashlyn D.
“I was disappointed that we didn’t have the opportunity to perform, especially after the immense amount of work our directors put in to get us a show, but I’m very glad I still was able to spend as much time as I did with my friends practicing. If anything, I miss the cancelled practices more than I miss the potential to perform” ~Providence W.
“ Though we did not get to perform as originally planned, the times we had together were so enjoyable and there are so many good memories from us all. I’m going to miss our practices.” ~Jackie M.
Last week, Nutritionist Jenn Potter joined the Introductory Kinesiology class to talk about food myths and answer student questions. Jenn challenged our class to eat a more balanced breakfast, with specific instructions to focus on protein intake. Here are some of the examples that our class created.
Grade 11 Entrepreneurship
Our business class has been busy brainstorming and planning business ideas!
During our time in remote learning, we’ve learned about MVP (minimum viable product) strategies through designing our own product landing pages, powtoon videos and conducting currency surveys.
As we continue to learn about business and what it means to be an enterprising person, we’ve been blessed by the presence of some amazing experts in our Zoom classes:
Dave Swan, Director of Innovation and Technology at Skyjack (Guelph)
Dave joined us for two class sessions to talk about agility, innovation, iteration and prototyping, as well as how businesses are being affected by and adapting to the current pandemic. Following Dave’s visits, there were many great takeaways from students. One of our classmates noted:
“Foresight is never something I really thought about within innovation. It makes complete sense to look to the future and do the best you can to stay on top and work with the customers and the changing times.”
Ella Dam, Grade 12 student from Chatham Christian High School
Ella currently runs two online businesses through social media platforms. She spoke to our class about how young people have much to offer the business world. Ella took our class through the set up and running of her photography and thrift store businesses, giving us tips on finding our target markets.
Dragica Lebo, Hamilton Business Centre
Ms. Lebo spoke to our class about the importance of business plan writing, providing us with some important tips on what to include in our business plans. She also spoke to our class about the Summer Company grants that are available to students who want to start their own businesses and took time to listen to some of the business ideas from our class. We now have some keen students thinking about potential summer grant applications!
We’re looking forward to future visitors, and are excited to be digging into our business planning!
Grade 9 Integrated Arts
It has been exciting to think about the different ways we can explore the arts (visual and dramatic) from home. During the first weeks of our remote learning, our class learned about storytelling and how to tell a story well. We were so grateful for Ms. Sara Van Barneveld who joined one of our Zoom classes to give us some pro tips on telling a great story. Some of those tips included how to use pace, voice and tone well.
Our students then took their own turns at storytelling. Each student chose a children’s book that would be appropriate for a student between Kindergarten and Grade 3. Once books were selected, students emailed authors and publishers, asking permission to use their stories. Once they had permission, students were tasked with practicing their readings and creating a video recording of their story being told.
All of our videos were uploaded to an unlisted YouTube channel and shared with the primary grade teachers at some of our Christian elementary schools, as well as with our staff, to share with their students and children. It has been fun to watch the number of views change on our video stories as they are enjoyed by people in the community!
Senior drama students spent the first weeks of school working on a project to be shared at the Spring Fundraising Dinner. It was a selection of personal stories that highlighted how members of our class had felt like they were “on the fringes” but then found a place of belonging at HD. The stories were nearly ready for performance when life as we know it came to a halt, so they were never shared. Because they are beautiful and meaningful, we wanted to give you a glimpse of them in this format.
Nathan knows the power of drama and its ability to transform people’s assumptions by revealing the truth about who they are and why they are valued.
Read Nathan’s story at hdch.org/nathans-story