Teaching through the Tragically Hip | Mitch Champagne


My name is Mitch Champagne. I’m a grade
7 and 8 teacher from Immaculate Conception Elementary School in Peterborough. I am also
a Part-Time Faculty member at The School of Education and Professional Learning, Trent
University. In my elementary school, our project involves
my students and I learning about literary elements through the lyrics of The Tragically
Hip. As a class, we’ll also map out the places that Gord sings about, and learn a
bit about those places and communities. With my University class at Trent, working
with Gord’s powerful lyrics and music in The Secret Path, the students are developing a
real understanding of the atrocities of the Residential School System that so deeply affected,
and continue to affect, students just like Chanie Wenjack, their families, and their
communities. I co-created our project and success criteria
with my grade 7 & 8 students. You can find our task at the link below As a class we’ve explored a few websites
including the CBC’s interactive site about the Tragically Hip and Genius.com In class we are exploring literary elements
in texts to give students a better understanding of allusion, metaphor, symbolism, voice, among
others. We are also learning more about the principles of design that they will use to
create their artwork. In class we are exploring literary elements
in texts to give students a better understanding of allusion, metaphor, symbolism, voice, among
others. We are also learning more about the principles of design that they will use to
create their artwork. I have also co-created our project and success
criteria with my Teacher Candidates. We have already chosen who will be responsible for
each of the 10 songs on the album. You can find our task there below . Our class will be attending the screening
of The Secret Path in Wenjack Theatre at Trent University, on October 23rd at 9PM. It is
also being broadcast on CBC at that time. We’ll spend some time with the music in
the class following the October 18th release of the album. We’ve pre-purchased the Vinyl,
which comes with large sized posters of each song with the lyrics, as well as a copy of
the accompanying graphic novel, and a digital download of all the tracks. As a class, we’ll listen to the album and
talk about the lyrics and music, then set out to create some meaningful lessons for
each. Hopefully others will see that music and the
arts are a great way to engage our learners, and a meaningful way to learn about writing
and about Canada. Well the takeaways are still yet to be determined
as we’re just getting into the thick of it now, but I am seeing that the students
are really taking this work seriously and are genuinely trying to understand what message
is being conveyed in the music. In terms of the work with The Secret Path,
I’m hoping we are able to create a great set of lessons that teachers can use to teach
this piece of Canadian history – something that everybody needs to know about.

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