Wednesday, November 3, 2010


“Soldier, so young and brave with pure valour, we remember in silence the sacrifices you made to protect our freedom.”

I have always wanted to write a tribute song for Remembrance Day to my Grandfather who served in World War II as a Flying Officer. When I was planning out my project, I decided to expand on the idea and use the song as a vehicle for teaching and learning with my students.

I applied for and received an Equity and Social Justice Initiative Grant through Manitoba Teacher’s Society to create Soldier, a powerful collaborative song mosaic and video tribute which deals with the conflict and sacrifice of war from a child’s perspective.

“Soldier, so young and brave with pure valour, we remember in silence… We remember the fallen, heroes are forever…”

Blurred Images

The theme of Media Literacy Week for 2010 is “Gender and Media”. As part of the week’s events, the idea for a special event where students from all levels (elementary/middle/senior) would come together to discuss the impact of multi-media from a student perspective was developed.

As part of the event, my colleague and friend, Andy McKiel, asked me to develop a project, which would raise awareness about images and messages in media relating to body image and gender roles. He mentioned the term “blurred images” and the vision for our contribution began to develop.

An elementary student focus group was arranged at Brooklands School and we came together to discuss media images and messages and we questioned the purpose behind commercials, ads, magazine covers and music. We developed our ideas into questions and then used them to form lyrical content for an original song.

The students then recorded their own ideas in their own voices. We developed the ideas into song melodies and then composed the song and added instruments, vocal parts and final production in a professional studio.

A video was also produced by Andy McKiel to accompany the song and to provide a visual to the music and lyrics. This project was a collaborative effort and it showcases a strong understanding of media literacy from a student perspective.