In response to the tragedy of Typhoon Haiyan, the teachers at Dickens Annex collaborated to prepare a powerful language lesson using the wordless picture book The Flood written by Alvaro F. Villa.
Students used their critical thinking skills to ask questions, empathize with the characters in the book and make connections to current events.
Teachers say that their students made the connection to Typhoon Haiyan and deepened their understanding of the tragedy there by viewing and responding to photographs of typhoon victims.
As a result of this powerful lesson, students chose to take action by earning a toonie by doing chores at home to donate to the Red Cross. Students earned $257.
Three brothers in our school, Dylan, Jack and Charlie Devine were so inspired by the lesson that they continued fundraising over the weekend by holding a hot chocolate sale in their neighbourhood. The boys were overwhelmed by the response, which included many neighbours with family in the Philippines stopping to thank them for their efforts. The boys raised over $400.
With the government doubling these donations, Dickens Annex students will have contributed over $1300 to the Red Cross.
Teacher Marnie Conklin says her colleagues at the annex were excited to see a critical literacy lesson inspire social action and felt very proud of their students.