2007 - 2008

 

School Projects

This year, ArtsSmarts Nova Scotia has over 35 exciting projects happening across the province. 

Bayview Community School, Mahone Bay

The Bayview Tapestry: A Medieval Diary

43 students, two classes of Grade 5

Reid Campbell, Artist

Genny Kirk-Baker and Kelly Unsworth, Teachers

Project Partners:

The Bayview Home and School Association and Bayboo Fundraising Committee

Project Description:

Students created and presented a play following the adventures of a young girl who dreams of medieval times. Led by her dream guide, the young girl visits guilds from the middle ages and learns about the various arts and crafts of the era through narration, music and tableau.  The audience is moved room to room following the action in the scenes.

Curriculum Links:

English Language Arts, Health Education, Music, Social Studies, Visual Arts.

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Eastern Shore District High School, Musquodoboit Harbour

English 12: African Heritage

28 students, Grade 11 and 12

Shauntay Grant, Artist

Diane Smaggus, Teacher

Project Partners: African Canadian Services Division of the Nova Scotia Department

of Education

Project Description:

Students had the opportunity to work with ArtsSmarts Nova Scotia artist Shauntay Grant, in conjunction with the Department’s new English 12: African Heritage course.  This course encompasses the experience, study, and appreciation of language, literature, media, and communication from an African heritage perspective.  The project focused on the course’s Visual and Performing Arts component.  This component provides an opportunity to look at some of the pioneers who helped to establish black cultural expression in the arts.

Curriculum Links:

English Language Arts, African Canadian Studies, Visual Arts

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East Stewiacke Elementary School, East Stewiacke

Climate and Vegetation: Responding Through the Arts

22 students, Grade 6

Sandra MacDonald, Artist

Sara Boone, Teacher

Project Partners:

The Parent-Teacher Association and the East Stewiacke “Healthy Schools” fund.

Project Description:

The grade six students studied a wide range of regions around the world, learning about climate and vegetation through engaging activities.  They participated in researching, creating artwork, and presenting what they learned about climate and vegetation of the world in a general sense, through research and classroom discussions.  Then the students worked in small groups to create a variety of different landscape paintings, applying the visual arts and social studies concepts learned. 

Curriculum Links:

Social Studies, Visual Arts

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École Beaubassin, Bedford

Our French Culture Through Parade and Puppetry

45 students, Grade 3 and 5

Charlotte Reinhold and Dominque Gusset, Artists

Nadine Doiron and Shelley LeBlanc, Teachers

Project Partners:

Conseil Scolaire Acadien Provincial (CSAP) provided funding for the project.  Parent volunteers helped with the puppet construction and the video production.

Project Description:

This project was designed to use art to encourage students learning about French Acadian heritage and contemporary culture.  Through puppet making, students developed a greater understanding of their French culture and a voice to express what they see as important aspects of this culture.  They developed poems, shorts, stories, or skits for their puppet characters, which were presented at the Mardi Gras/ Mi-Carême Parade Celebration that took take place at the school during “La Semaine de la Francophonie”.  It was an event for all students at École Beaubassin and community members to celebrate their French heritage and reflect on what it means to be an Acadian or a Francophone living in Nova Scotia.   The students also used video to record interviews with the students, with the puppets, and short presentations describing the puppet’s relevance to French culture in Nova Scotia. The finished video will provide a tool that teachers in the Conseil Scolaire Acadien Provincial can use to explore French culture in Nova Scotia. 

Curriculum Links:

Social Studies, French, Technology, Visual Arts

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Evelyn Richardson Memorial Elementary (ERMES) in partnership with Plymouth School

Theme Theater – Curriculum-Based Reader’s Theatre Encounters the Violence of Bullying

33 students, Grade 5

Linda Coakley, Artist

Mary Manning, Denise Dixon, Jennifer d'Eon and Becky Brannen, Teachers

Project Partners:

The Evelyn Richardson Parent Support Group fundraised for the project and assisted with set construction and costume design.

Project Description:

ERMES is rural community school with a fishing based economy with a population of 169 students in grade P- 6.  This project involved all the grade five students in the performance and production of a play.  They number approximately 33, and include students in both English and French Immersion classes.  The focus was on devising and presenting individual short scripts that inform about bullying.  This topic was looked through two “developmental lenses in the language arts camera” - characterization and conflict.  The project used inclusive, theatrical techniques such as Verse Choirs, Readers Theatre and sound collages, then the play makers performed for each others’ schools, held Open Forums for audience exchange and met as two unique creative teams to understand the leaps they made from page to stage.

Curriculum Links:

English Language Arts.  The project also addresses two concerns identified in the School’s accreditation process (carried out in 2006-2007):  low literacy scores and negative school climate.

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Gaspereau Valley Elementary School

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

220 students, Primary – Grade 6

Terry Drahos, Artist

Jean Corporan, Linda Sacouman, Tammy Crane, Karen Duncan, Ross Coldwell, Butch Collins, Ron MacDonald, Celeste Pray, Teachers

Project Partners:

Gaspereau Valley Elementary Home and School Board, the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board (the completed artwork was displayed at the Board’s office)

Project Description:

This year, Black History Month took on new meaning for the students at Gaspereau Valley Elementary.  Guided by ArtsSmarts Nova Scotia artist, Terry Drahos, the students at this rural school of 220 explored the work of two exceptional African American artists, visual artist Romare Beardon and poet Langston Hughes.  Terry's Powerpoint presentation on the Harlem Renaissance started the students on their creative journey.  Her introduction to the elements of design provided guidance for the student's art work: from Primary to Grade 6, each student created their own 9" x 9" collage that tells a visual story about their family or community. An Open House for the public was held at the school in March to showcase the completed artworks.

Curriculum Links:

Social Studies, Health Education, Visual Arts

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Halifax West High School, Halifax

The World – Mural Project

70 students, Grade 10-12 Visual Art and Advanced English

Renee Forrestall, Artist

Heather Horsfell, Heather McFarlane, James Falcone, Teachers

Project Partners:

Carmen Radulescu and the YMCA Diversity and Culture Program, Halifax Police Department’s Diversity Liaison Department

Project Description:

Student writers, researchers, and photographers created a 3’ x 9’ mural on masonite boards and thirty large photographs for the foyer of the school. The goal was to create an all inclusive visual welcome at the entrance of the school that embraces the diversity of students and the community as a whole.  a cityscape composed of elements The group researched and shared visual aspects from each of the 50 countries that are represented at the school, including food, dress, landscape, architecture, activities, etc. The cross-cultural understanding within the group grew as students researched and inquired about the cultures of their peers and throughout the planning of this project the students experienced the challenges and rewards of the collaborative process.

Curriculum Links:

Visual Art 10, 11, 12 and Advanced English 12

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JL Ilsley High School, Halifax

English 12: African Heritage

26 students, Grade 11 and 12

Gloria Wesley, Cindy Caine, Cory Bowles and Dominique Gusset, Artists

Kelly Curran, Teacher

Sabine Fels, ArtsExpress Coordinator, JL Ilsley Family of Schools

Project Partners:

African Canadian Services Division of the Nova Scotia Department of Education

Project Description:

  • Students at JL Ilsley worked with several artists in conjunction with the Department’s new English 12: African Heritage course. 
  • Local author Gloria Wesley led the students through one of their writing and poetry units, which complemented the recent ArtsSmarts project, SLAM BAM poetry (spoken word poetry project)
  • Cory Bowles and Cindy Caine gave workshops in Swing and Lindy Hop. Historical swing dances emerged during the Swing era in the late 1910-1940s and swing music features the syncopated timing associated with African American and West African music and dance.
  • Dominique Gusset guided the students through making a short documentary film to chronicle their art-related activities in the course.
  • An “African Canadian Coffee House” was held at the school, which featured poetry readings, public speaking and viewing of the student-produced short film.

Curriculum Links:

English Language Arts, African Canadian Studies, Visual Arts, Physical Education.

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JL Ilsley High School

Four Elements

90 students, Grade 10-12

Renee Forrestall, Artist

Al Reyner, Dana Caulfield, Frank Van Blarcom, Teachers

Ruth Gabriel Student Council Liaison

Project Partners:

JL Ilsley Student Council fundraised the School’s contribution to the project budget.

Project Description:

The focus of the project was the ancient formula of the four elements – earth, air, fire and

water – and the boundary zone between art and science.  Students learned how to express their reflections about science in artistic terms, using colour, line and composition as their principles of inquiry for topics such as climate change, warming of the polar ice caps, increased storm activity, rising sea levels, costal flooding, clear cutting, over-fertilization of crops and burning of fossil fuels.  The research they gathered was used to design collaborative paintings on four large wood panels, each representing an element.

Curriculum Links:

English Language Arts, Visual Arts and Science, including Attitude Outcome Statements.

By the end of grade 12, students will be expected to demonstrate ~

  • Appreciation of science
  • Interest in science
  • Scientific inquiry
  • Collaboration stewardship
  • safety

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John MacNeil Elementary School

Four Seasons Child’s Play Mural

250 students, Grade P-6

Marijke Simons, Artist

Kelly Code-McNeil, lead Teacher + all 16 Teachers in the school, Tyler Rutledge, Principal

Project Partners:

The Halifax Regional School Board contributed the the School’s portion of the project budget and the cost of installing the mural in the School.

Project Description:

The mural reflects the theme of active living, and consists of 4 separate images depicting children playing outdoors in the 4 seasons.  Students were introduced to Breugel’s painting of children playing from the 1500s which depicts about 250 children playing 80 games, many of which are still played today.  This painting and the ensuing discussion inspired brainstorming and list making of games and activities for the mural. Students also engaged in formal instruction on drawing the human figure. Students and groups of students posed for their peers as though they were playing games.  Students produced drawings of activities and games that were also included in the mural.  The younger grades teamed up to trace their bodies in an active poses and dress them according to the season.  The drawn murals were painted by small groups of students and parent volunteers with colour schemes appropriate to the season of the particular mural.  John MacNeil is an inner city school in a lower socioeconomic area of Dartmouth. It has a multicultural base with a large Afro-Canadian representation that will be reflected in the mural. There is no art teacher.

Curriculum Links:

Visual Art, Physical Education/Active Living/Social Studies/History, Technical Studies

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Northeast Kings Education Centre

Video Improvisation Ensemble Process

30 students, Grade 11 – 12

Kimberly Smith, Artist

Don Batstone, Teacher, Colin Chase, Vice Principal,  Everett MacPherson, Principal

Project Partners:

The community sponsored and attended the NKEC Short video festival screenings.

S’cool Life Fund.  http://www.scoollifefund.ca/ also contributed funding and the school raised money from ticket sales to the short video festival and sponsorships from local businesses.

Project Description

Thirty Film and Video Production 12 students and their teacher, Mr. Batstone, learned the Video Improvisation Ensemble Process  through a series of co-operative group activities called “Movie Games”. (http://www.creativeaction.ca/mgames.html)  This was facilitated through a series of twenty five weekly hands on workshops with ArtsSmarts Nova Scotia Artist, Kimberly Smith.  The goal was to create 30 short (under three minutes) improvised videos reflecting life and learning at NKEC.  Students presented their work at the first NKEC Video Improv Festival  which was open to the whole community.   The School also plans to institute an intramural video improv ensemble league that will become an integral and lasting part of NKEC school culture after this project.

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Plymouth School in partnership with Evelyn Richardson Memorial Elementary School (ERMES)

Theme Theater – Curriculum-Based Reader’s Theatre Encounters the Violence of Bullying

33 students, Grade 5

Linda Coakley, Artist

Cindi Kelly, Barbara Flynn, Teachers, Mark Thornton, Principal, Yolande Donaldson, Vice Principal, Heather Mills, Program Support Worker

Project Partners:

Funding was contributed by Plymouth School’s PTA, Student Council and the Local Nova Scotia Teachers Union office.

Project Description:

Plymouth is a rural school with a population of 217 students in grade P- 6.  This project involved all the grade five students in the performance and production of a play from both the English and French Immersion classes.  The students from Plymouth School went to Evelyn Richardson School for a combined performance for students, parents and the community, and then held an Open Forum for audience exchange.

Curriculum Links

Language Arts, Visual Art, Drama, Physical Education

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Riverside Education Centre

Communities Connecting

630 students, Grade 7-9

Rion Microys, Artist

All of the teachers in the school were involved as well as the administration staff, learning centre specialists and the educational assistant.

Project Partners:

The school fundraised the 30% contribution to the budget.

Project Description:

The project was a school-wide initiative to unite the four “neighbourhoods” (the school’s division of areas in the building) and celebrate the diversity of the community.  Artist Rion Microys guided the students through creating 4 animal sculptures using paper mache techniques.  The 4 animals are grouped together into one sculpture on permanent display in the school’s foyer and the school held an unveiling ceremony to celebrate their completion.

Curriculum Links:

Visual Arts, English Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Math, Personal Development and Relationships.

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Rockingstone Heights School

Stories in Cloth (Art and Social Studies)

150 students, Grade 7-9

Pat Louks, Artist

All of the teachers in the school were involved as well as the administration staff, learning centre specialists and the educational assistant.

Project Partners:

Local businesses were approached for craft materials and supplies.

Project Description:

Artist Pat Louks worked with the Junior High students on the ancient art of storytelling through textiles.  The main goal was to “weave” the textile arts into the Social Studies curriculum and further the students’ knowledge of the concept of culture, the diversity of culture and the views of the world.  Members of the local community were also involved.

The main project elements were cross-generational storytelling, exploration of different cultures through their traditional textile techniques and visual storytelling and graphic novels (telling a story through pictures)

Curriculum Links:

Visual Arts, Social Studies, Personal Development and Relationships.

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Sambro Elementary School

Puppets por Favor

111 students (all students in the school), Grade P-6

Melissa Marr, Artist

All of the teachers in the school were involved in this project.

Project Partners:

The Arts Express contributed a permanent puppet theatre to the school, which will also be used for community performances. 

Project Description:

This project immersed students in the world of puppetry, from hand puppets to shadow puppets and marionettes.  The theme of the project focused on the need to live together harmoniously and script writing explored the rights and responsibilities of the community’s citizens.

Curriculum Links:

Visual Arts, English Language Arts, Social Studies.

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South Shore Alternate School – Bridgewater, Liverpool, Mahone Bay

Cultural Diversity

32 students, Grade 10-12

Ronnie Scullion, Artist

Gary Mason – principal, Karen Wentzell – teacher/vice principal, Cynthia Trudeau – teacher/vice principal, Paul Elliot, Jessica Corkum - teachers

Project Partners:

Artech Studios in Bridgewater loaned some of the equipment needed to carry out the project: 4 computer laptops, Stop Motion Pro animation software, Video Editing and Graphics software, cameras, tripods, audio equipment, etc. Studio work space was also available to students as required.

Project Description:

Last year the Bridgewater campus of the Alternate School of South Shore School Board worked successfully on an ArtsSmarts project focused on global warming issues and claymation.  One of the claymation videos was shown several times on CBC television and reached the top 10 on the CBC web site.  This year, ArtsSmarts supported a project that involved all three campuses of the Alternate School.  Students worked in small groups of three or four. To accommodate different learning styles and interests the project activities included:

  • Hands-on art based activities: drawing, sketching, storyboarding (also included in writing activities), modeling as needed for preparing characters, costumes, sets and backgrounds
  • Writing activities: research and story development, storyboarding, creative writing, development of titles and credits for films
  • Hands-on technical activities: working with cameras, video equipment, tripods, audio recording devices and computers for film/video editing.
  • Organizational tasks: film budgeting and time management
  • Presentation of films – final film festival, media relations

The project’s videos were highlighted at the Expressions New Media Festival for Youth held in Bridgewater in April.

Curriculum Links:

Fine Arts, Language Arts, Technology

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Southdale North Woodside School

Creative Twinnings; Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone

90 students, Grade 3-4

Susan Tooke and Richard Rudnicki Artists

Maureen Waterfield (grade 3), Michelle Humber-Grant (grade 3), Darlene Milligan (grade 4), and Derek vanderMolen (grade 4)

Project Partners:

This project was inherently (global) community-based in its twinning with the school in Freetown, Sierra Leone. This is an important link in that Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone share common points in their histories. Among the founders of Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone, were Black Loyalists from Nova Scotia.  In addition, two “Socials” were planned (one in fall, one in spring) specifically intended as fundraising events for this project.  The local community was also invited to a small gala to celebrate the completion of the mural.
Project Description:

The school was offered an opportunity to ‘twin’ with a school in Sierra Leone, Africa. Students at SNWS exchanged letters and creative writing samples, drawings, photographs, and a recording of original music with students at the West African school. It was also an opportunity for SNWS students and their teachers to become more knowledgeable about West African culture, conducting research in their classrooms that supports interdisciplinary arts-based learning opportunities for students.  Southdale-North Woodside School is a P-6 elementary school with a population of approximately 370 students and 40 staff.  The four classes involved have a spectrum of learning needs. This twinning project sought to strengthen in the students both creative and compassionate capacities.  The project involved a multimedia installation project that was created by students in collaboration with the artists, Susan Tooke and Richard Rudnicki. The work consisted of two parts: a large-scale painted/collage “triptych” installation centrally located, which students and their families, and visitors to our school, see when entering the main doors and a smaller copy of this mural on canvas, to be sent to the twinning school.
Curriculum Links:

Visual Arts, Health, Social Studies.

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St Joseph’s A MacKay School

Acadian Culture: Bringing the past into the Future

112 students, , Grade P-6 French Immersion classes

Charlotte Reinhold, Artist

Lindsay Proudfoot, Tanya Deware, Debra Fraser, Collette Graves-Smith, David Ballum-Haftka, Teachers

Project Partners:

The school organized an Acadian exhibition that was open to parents and the community where the students displayed their work and demonstrated the techniques they used in a mini-workshop format.

Project Description:

The five French immersion classes that participated in this project each explored a different aspect of Acadian culture through art common in daily Acadian life, the largest component being quilting.  Traditionally, quilting has brought Acadian families and communities together.  This project brought quilting into the school with the hope of building a community of French language learners. 

Curriculum Links:

Visual Arts, French Language Arts, Math, Social Studies.

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Wolfville School

Writing and Living l’Acadie

84 students, Grade 6-7

Sophie Berube, Artist

Taunya Kinnie-Sheffield, Mary McInnes, Tom Thomson, Teachers, Adam  Bunin, Principal

Project Partners:

The School approached the Nova Scotia Educational Facilities Society as well as the Wolfville Home and School Association for funding.

Project Description:

This project consisted of visiting Acadian history through creative writing. Students created fictive biographies of Acadian dwellers who would have lived in Grand Pré just prior to 1755. Each student chose the name of a person who really lived in Grand Pré and tried to find out as much as they could about this person.  Various games and exercises lead each student to write a historical biography and to present it to their peers and the wider public. Two grade 7 classes from the Wolfville Junior High School also participated in this historical creative journey. The stories were shared with the public at the Grand Pré National Park.

Curriculum Links:

Visual Arts, French Language Arts, Social Studies.

 

*Check back for more project information.