Lili Mongeau practising for the Our Spirit of Canada at the Whalebone Theatre.

CEAP student-driven play about Canadian history

Students will be presenting the play at the Whalebone Theatre in Parksville

The CEAP (Collaborative Education Alternative Program) has been working on Our Spirit of Canada since October of last year, and they’re finally getting to present it this week.

CEAP teacher Lesley LaCouvee said inspiration for the project came from a need for the class to engage in a group project.

“What we wanted to do was involve every single member of our classroom while looking at Canada,” LaCouvee said. “Our grades 4 to 7 group researched Canada and all the significant historical moments and then what we did is we placed them on a large timeline and then the children did what’s called a dotmocracy.”

LaCouvee said the children assigned dots to the moments that they felt were the most salient.

Along with the grades 4 to 7, LaCouvee said the kindergarten to Grade 3 students learned three Canadian songs as well as learning some dance sequences.

LaCouvee said a lot of the kids are taking big risks such as performing solos in the show.

Grade 6 student Ember Westerhof will be opening the song I Believe which was the 2010 Winter Olympics theme song.

“Everyone was singing a song in the group and I just liked the song,” Westerhof said. “They asked if anyone would like to try singing a solo, and I thought why not because it’s all my friends.”

Of the 52 students in the CEAP elementary program, LaCouvee said 100 per cent of the students are involved in the show in some capacity.

The play, LaCouvee said in 100 per cent original work.

“They worked as a group together to form those little sort of playwright things then (Shannon Cowan) pulled the whole piece together using all their original work,” LaCouvee said, adding that Cowan, who has a background in writing, was brought on to help the students write the play.

Cowan said she is very proud of what the students came up with over the weeks that she worked with them.

“I was very moved and blown away every week. They would just come up with some amazing scenes. Just naturally funny, naturally uninhibited with their writing,” Cowan said. “They get to take theatre and history and writing and put it all into one project, I think makes it real life for them.”

Westerhof said the Our Spirit of Canada has been a fun project, but it’s also been a lot of work.

“When you actually see a play, you don’t realize how much work actually went into the designing, the scriptwriting and blocking out the stage and props and costumes. It’s a big thing,” Westerhof said. “We’re making an original thing. We didn’t get it from anywhere. We created it as a group.”

LaCouvee said the idea for this project came about with the B.C. Ministry of Education’s new re-designed curriculum which looks for more personalized learning and inquiry-based learning.

“This was a perfect example of bringing a multi-age group together and being — for everyone — to learn and to pull something out of it that was interesting and exciting,” LaCouvee said.

LaCouvee said they also received a generous grant from the B.C. Arts Council called Artists in the Classroom.

Our Spirit of Canada will be at the Whalebone Theatre at Ballenas Secondary School (135 North Pym Rd., Parksville) on June 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. The show is by donation.

Just Posted

Development, taxes and 222 Corfield discussed at Parksville all candidates meeting

All candidates met on Oct. 11 to answer the public’s questions before the Oct. 20 election

Inspiring Qualicum Beach teacher suddenly passes away

English teacher and counsellor Carol Myhre remembered as ‘source of joy’: superintendent

Qualicum district students to develop experiments that could head into space

Youngsters compete to have designs reach International Space Station

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Rick Mercer says pot is ‘excruciatingly boring’

Comedian hopes Canadians will move onto something else once marijuana is legalized

2 charged for feeding B.C. bear Tim Horton’s timbits

Court documents show that Randy Scott and Megan Hiltz have both been charged with feeding or attempting to feed dangerous wildlife.

Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set for parole bid after 25 years in prison

Bernardo’s parole hearing at the Bath Institution is expected to attract numerous observers

Feds aiming to select preferred design for $60B warships by end of month

Defence insiders say the government wants to select a design by the end of the month from among three options submitted by several of the largest defence and shipbuilding companies in the world.

B.C. city wants control over its cannabis advertising rules

Without a say, towns and cities risk Washington-State-style flood of advertising, proponent says

Defence cautions against mob justice in Calgary child neglect trial

Jennifer and Jeromie Clark of Calgary have pleaded not guilty to criminal negligence causing death

Feds eyeing options to expedite pardons for minor pot convictions

Internal discussions have focused on an application-based process for speeding up pot pardons

Island pot smokers won’t be allowed to light up on the ski hill

Mount Washington maintains smoke-free policy in light of marijuana legalization

U.S. pot firms urge Trump to dominate North American marijuana industry

Cannabis producers claim the U.S. is “rapidly losing” its competitive advantage to Canada

Most Read