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Our Published Biographies!

Recent posts

Celebration Planning

June 1, 2018 In two weeks we'll be visiting Village Manor for our final time, and we'll be presenting our biographies to the residents. We hope that it will be a time of celebration, where we can honour the lives and stories of each of the people that we've taken the time to get to know over the past three months. Students are busy planning and preparing! 

The Books are Coming! The Books are Coming!

Friday, June 1 This is the news we've been waiting for... the books are coming! After all our hard work transcribing interviews, writing careful notes, rough drafts, peer editing, more drafts, revisions, sidebars, pictures, covers, layouts, etc., etc, we got our transcripts to the publishers last weekend. We're so excited for the arrival of this box of treasured biographies!!

Inviting Experts to Help Create Beautiful Work

May 11, 2018 How do we make sure that our biographies are beautiful?   This is the question that we asked in our class today, as we prepared to create a cover for the biographies that we are writing.  After all, we want the residents that we are writing about to feel honoured by the stories we've written. Our guest speaker today came in to walk us through the in's and out's of a program called CANVA to create a cover for our published books. The program is exactly what its name's like having a blank canvas in front of us on which we can create a piece of art. Miriam has a great deal of experience with the process of taking thoughts, feelings, experiences, etc. and expressing them on a blank canvas. She had the students reflect on the person they have been writing about, and to be mindful of the things that might honour their stories in a visual way.  As the students quickly discovered, it's more difficult to create a beautiful cover that

More Than Words...

Thursday, May 3  Today was an exciting day for our class, and for the residents of Village Manor. Not only was it the final day for interviewing before we begin putting our biographies together, but we also had a professional photographer come to take photos of the residents. This is an important part of sharing their stories, because it captures who they are and honours their lives as they are living them right now. So often our culture decides that the elderly are no longer valuable, and simple things like taking a lovely photograph are overlooked. We are so excited about how the photographs turned out, and the students can't wait to highlight them in their biographies, along with the amazing stories that have been shared about the lives of their new friends at Village Manor!

The Stories Begin to Pour Out

April 19, 2018 The residents were ready and eager to continue sharing their life stories with my students when we showed up for our second visit today. It was simply amazing to see the life in their eyes when they were asked questions about their school years and young adulthood. At one point, as I wandered from group to group to hear bits of the interviews, one resident looked up at me and said, "This is like exercising my brain! It's amazing what memories start to come back to me when the girls are asking me all these questions!"

Beginning to Write

  April 9, 2018 Transcribing a recorded interview is much harder than it appears! It means finding a quiet spot to put in some headphones, listen to the questions and answers that were shared during the hour-long visit with our resident friend, filter through background noise from the recording, and type notes to use for writing our stories. Although tedious at first, the process was one that students realized is necessary in order to recall the important and valuable details of the stories that residents shared about their childhood this past week.  If there's anything that stands out to me about student learning at this point of the project, it's how important an authentic audience is. I can't count how many times I heard questions from my students about how they can make their writing as accurate and exciting and honouring as they can, so that the residents will love to read their stories when they are finished. Their resourcefulness and creativity amazes me a