Five lucky grade seven students from Elm Creek School had the opportunity to perform a puppet show, Kinikinik, at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) on Dec 7.
Their teacher, Jackie de Vries says, "they were actually very excited and not very nervous, surprisingly."
The students originally performed the show at a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) meeting which took place at the school. This led them to performing for the Prairie Rose School Division board and ultimately, the provincial UNESCO meeting at the CMHR.
De Vries says, "every year I like to do some reader's theatre or drama activities in class, and so this year we happened to use the play 'Kinikinik.'"
She says a number of teachers from the school went through a training program with the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba, and received an Education Kit with classroom resources. This is where she discovered the show which was written by Governor General Award winning playwright, Ian Ross.
"Including the Treaty relations play this year, Kinikinik, it was a good way for them to learn about oral history and story-telling, and also about the treaties that were some of the building blocks of Canada," she says. This is also a unique way of helping students meet their social studies requirement.
As well, it gives students the chance to "express themselves in a different" and more emotional way while in the classroom, which can leave a more memorable impact on students as they explore the world and cultures outside the classroom.
The students got a taste of this during their visit to the CMHR where they could spend an hour exploring the exhibits. De Vries says, "they were very excited to see everything that's there. It's perfect for what we're learning with in social studies with human rights issues, and projects that we've been doing as well about upstanders and people who take action in the world."
She adds, the museum visit and puppet show were a way to help students develop empathy, and learn about how they can work together with people from all places and cultures.