Q: It sounds like a great opportunity but where am I going to get the time to take on this project when I have a very detailed curriculum that I must follow?
A: Because the skills you develop are related to language arts, while the topics satisfy every year of social studies requirements, you can use class time to work on this project without taking any educational time away from the students. In fact the students may thank you, as they get to independently explore something they enjoy.
Q: My students are choosing topics unrelated to Canadian history or unrelated to my grade’s curriculum. Is there a way to fix this?
A: Students MUST choose a topic related to Canadian History so unrelated topics could be redirected to a Canadian connection. If you are worried about students doing a topic that doesn’t relate directly to your units of study, you can limit the number of topics a student can do in order to better fit your curriculum
Q: When do Heritage Fairs take place?
A: School Heritage Fairs can be held at any point in the school year, however Regional Fairs must be done by a specific date, usually in early May. This ensures that students can be chosen in time to proceed to Provincial Heritage Fair in May. Preparations for the fair should occur prior to these months, in class and at home.
-It’s a unique way to implement the education curriculum. It teaches students speaking and listening skills through presentations and a question and answer period where they are encouraged to “think on their feet”. With a reading and writing component as well as historical and cultural exploration to satisfy Social Studies curriculum requirements of each grade level, Heritage Fairs are a perfect opportunity to integrate subject areas.
-Helps the student be successful in future job opportunities. This is because through heritage fairs the child improves many necessary skills such as research ability, writing and public speaking, etc.
-Decreases biases. Because of the variety of individuals, histories and cultures that our students encounter, they become more culturally accepting. This improves intercultural relations in present-day and future classrooms, workplaces and communities.
-The Heritage Fair program is designed to allow students to grow independently. Therefore, teachers can use class time in order to give students an opportunity to work on their projects. As a result, teachers act as facilitators providing guidance for individuals when they need it. The project promotes creativity and critical thinking in a manner that supports universal design for learning.
Q: What is the Young Citizen program and how do I get involved?
A: Being a part of Heritage Fairs give students a chance to be chosen as a Young Citizen. These students have the opportunity to dress up in historical costumes and record a short film relating to their project. This allows them to gain experience in marketing, planning storyboards and organizing information. They gain marketing experience as they try to win a trip to Ottawa by “selling” their project to a particular audience. In Ottawa, the winners have had the chance to meet the Governor General allowing students to feel personally involved in the Nation’s government. This is crucial for demonstrating the benefits of democracy and encouraging future participation.