When Islington History Came to Life

Learning like this is priceless.

Thanks to local artists, the Islington BIA and many generous others, Islington Village showcases local history in 26 murals throughout the community.  With exquisite detail, they give a realistic image of life long ago. But it takes more than that to make history come to life. For that, it takes an inquiring mind, some time and vivid imagination. Recently those all came together in our grade 3 classes at Kingsway College School.

These young students were given the task of choosing one of the murals, researching it and preparing a poster to tell the story captured in the mural in their own words. It seemed that this was an opportunity many were waiting for. No ordinary project, this one had heightened meaning for them thanks to the murals they’ve seen throughout their childhood. They learned about what happened on the ground on which they live, play and go to school. With personal fervour, some went beyond the murals to pursue further research on the War of 1812, World War II, Hurricane Hazel, multiculturalism and more – topics that are well outside of the grade 3 curriculum. Many also joined their families on a guided walk through the village. This was the first time our grade 3s studied the murals but its success has already sparked a desire to expand the effort next year.

Projects aren’t new to these young students. Fun learning isn’t new to them either. What made this project special were the murals that we so fortunately have right in our community, and the opportunity to delve into the local story behind them.

At Kingsway College School, there are numerous ‘Habits’ that we aim to establish in our students. One of those Habits is ‘Share What You Know’. The murals of Islington are a powerful example of the value of ‘sharing what one knows’. In the wake of this project our students have equally ‘shown what they know’ by sharing their posters in the school and through social media. Some other great Habits were wonderfully evident thanks to this mural project: ‘Embrace Learning’, ‘Respond with Awe and Appreciation’, ‘Think Creatively’ and ‘Persist’.

That’s learning that’s priceless.

Andrea Fanjoy,
Assistant Head, Academics
You can follow Andrea on Twitter @afanjoy

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