Finding Connection Between the Past and the Present

Posted On Thursday May 09, 2019
Brian tries out a Trench Periscope
McCaskill’s Mills PS student Brian tries out a Trench Periscope during the Heritage Fair at the Education Centre in Whitby.

DDSB students dive into Canadian history at the Durham Region Heritage Fair

“The ability to share their learning and engage their voice about a topic or person of interest is so important,” says Lauri Geuzebroek, Social Studies Facilitator at the Durham District School Board (DDSB) and one of the organizers of the Durham Region Heritage Fair.

The Adjudication Process

The Durham Region Heritage Fair is an annual event that allows DDSB and Durham Catholic District School Board (DCDSB) students to research and uncover information about a person, place, or event in Canadian history. Students first present their findings at their own school’s Heritage Fair, then the top six projects are chosen to represent their school at the Education Centre in Whitby.

On the evening of April 25th, students set up their project displays in the Education Centre atrium, as volunteers judged each project. From there, the top projects were chosen and will bring their displays to York University on June 8th and 9th to present at the Ontario Heritage Fair. Congratulations to our DDSB students moving forward; R.J. from Gordon B. Attersley PS, Leah from Forest View PS, Ilsa from R.H. Cornish PS, and Usman from West Lynde PS.

Celebration of History Day

On April 26th, all students were welcomed back to the Education Centre to enjoy a full day of interactive workshops, learning, and fun. The workshops were run by local partners including the Pickering Museum, The Durham Region branch of the Métis Nation of Ontario, and the Ontario Regiment Museum.

Students analyzed weapons from Canada’s involvement in past wars, learned how to conduct spatial analysis (historical theorizing based on information from a map), and enjoyed a French-Canadian song and dance performance from Andrea Haddad.

Haddad is a French folk music enthusiast who teaches the French language through her music. Students danced and sang to songs that the Métis people used to sing while canoeing during the fur trade. She also played the vielle à roue (also known as a hurdy-gurdy) for students.

Geuzebroek adds, “More and more, students are choosing social justice topics and violations of human rights in Canadian history and using this experience as a platform to educate others about a past that needs to be corrected, or a narration that must be interrupted.”

Student projects ranged from the Bomb Girls in World War II, to residential schools, homophobia, and everything in between.