École Mer-et-montange students have beamed themselves into the future and in the process, won $3,000.
Teacher Chantal Rousseau’s Grade 4,5,6 split class designed a graphic novel, using the computer program Comic Life, depicting their lives in 2025. The class chose to set the scene at its 20-year reunion.
The concept was one of 10 winning entries in a contest sponsored by the Centre de la Francophone, which received 80 projects that were judged by an international panel.
Rousseau said the contest was a valuable learning tool for her students who each had to decide where they would be living, what occupation they would have, and what present-day obstacle they were able to overcome in 20 years.
“This is one of the most rewarding projects I’ve done,” Rousseau said. “No kids said they wouldn’t be speaking French in 20 years, so I think it’s pretty positive.”
To show themselves in their future settings, the students pasted photos of themselves into scenic pictures of places such as Australia, the Dominican Republic, and New Brunswick.
The students communicated with one another on the pages with word bubbles. One student explained how when he was in elementary school it was difficult to find French learning tools. A classmate expressed to him how, 20 years later, it was so much easier to find those resources as now she could order everything she was looking for online.
Rousseau said it turned out to be a “beautiful project” all made possible because of the technology the school offers its students.
“All the teachers have a Macbook and when they’re in Grade 4, each student gets a Macbook,” Rousseau said. “Technology is a big part of francophone schools in B.C.”
Rousseau said each page was made by the students, who were in charge of writing their own script and then putting everything together on the computer.
A big part of the project also included photography.
The story starts with a before and after scene. The first picture shows the students in present time, in front of their school. In the ‘after’ photo, the students are dressed up in their occupational outfits, attending their 20-year reunion.
“We took over 250 pictures for the project,” Rousseau said. “They were taken around school. We decorated the school for the 20th reunion and we had a cake with 2025 written on it, we had a buffet of food and the kids did posters and we had balloons. It was really, really fun.”
Rousseau said the project also gave the students an opportunity to reflect on who they are as a francophone and on who they will be in 20 years.
As one of the winning schools, the students will get $3,000 to spend on books, CD’s and DVD’s.
“The kids are really excited, they’ve asked if they’re able to select their books,” Rousseau said.
“It’s good for them to be in the school and be proud of what they did.”
To view the project go to meretmontagne.csf.bc.ca