Going Around the World with Grade 6 Humanities Students

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Grade 6 students took classmates and parents on a trip Around the World in 80 Minutes this week. The annual Humanities project sees students working together in groups to create a project based around a particular country. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, the in-depth research project touches on many aspects of the curriculum, including reading, writing, researching, creating artwork, presenting and – perhaps most importantly – working as a team.

Student Reflections from Around the World

Around the World in 80 Minutes was a great experience, from learning about another culture to getting to know the other members of my group.

In this project, I studied Afghanistan, a war-torn country with potential to become a beautiful destination. Afghanistan has a very complex and interesting history that goes back nearly 2,200 years ago, when prehistoric hunters came from south-west China.

Of all the other countries, Afghanistan seemed like a country that I would have liked to study because of the fascinating history. To learn about that country’s culture, Ms. Lee gave us a book that was set in our assigned country, and would read it with our group, picking out cultural clues as we went along.

My favourite part at the Around the World event this week was presenting what we had learned over the past few weeks to the parents, and educating them about our countries.

Of all of the things that I learned during this project, the most interesting was that 99% of the Afghan population practices Islam, while others may practice Buddhism or Hinduism.

Overall, the Around the World in 80 Minutes project was the highlight of my Grade 6 year!

For my Around The World in 80 Minutes project I studied India. There were many interesting and valuable things I learned from this project, but I’ve chosen a few highlights. I studied India because I have always been fascinated by its beautiful clothing, unusual history and delicious food. Take saris, the traditional colourful women’s clothing, as a good example of India’s unique culture. Your average sari varies from five to nine yards in length and two to four feet in width. I don’t know of any other culture where every day you wrap yourself in nine yards of fabric!

Surprisingly enough, the most interesting thing I learned about India was about the history of its government. I learned that India has been under many different dynasties, followed by the rule of the British settlers, and finally freedom due to the influence of Mohandas Gandhi and his followers. So much came together to create India as we know it today.

My two favourite parts from the Around the World event were either being the expert on my country, and seeing the expressions of people when I told them something and I knew I had them hooked, or seeing other people’s work. I was so caught up in my own project and group that I forgot that everyone else did an incredible amount of work, too. I really liked being able to go around to my classmates’ tables and learn something new every time. I think that when you are taught something by someone who you might not have considered a teacher before, you learn something new about yourself as well.

My Around the World project taught me something really valuable about myself and trusting your teammates. Before this, I found that putting my trust in other people was really hard. If I’m not there to supervise, I feel really uncomfortable. One of my teammates wanted to bring our poster home to work on it over the weekend. Even though I knew that it would really help our project along and I knew he would do a great job, it was hard for me to let him take it. But I was so happy with the outcome. It looked fantastic. He had even gone out and bought other extras to make it really stand out. It was a valuable and eye-opening experience, and it really taught me about the way I work and the value of working in a group.

I learned many interesting and valuable things during my Around the World project, and I had lots of fun doing it.

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Kyle Slavin
Kyle Slavin is the school's storyteller. Through words and photos, he shares with the community all the amazing things that happen on campus.

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