Monday, November 20, 2017

Famous Canadians Include Evan Munday

My junior and intermediate students are currently involved with an inquiry around the topic of fame. What does it mean to be famous? How do people become famous? Who should be more famous than they might currently be? The students and I have done several activities together to collaboratively investigate these questions. We've brainstormed famous people and examined our lists for commonalities and occupations. We've read a non-fiction article about how to become famous on YouTube, enjoyed a picture book that hinted that fame can be "in the eye of the beholder", and will participate in a lesson I'm developing partly for my Media Additional Qualification (AQ) course on what it means when something "goes viral". One of the other tasks we've jointly undertaken was to explore Twitter. We used our school's Twitter account, @agnesmacphailps, and we took a look at the account of Evan Munday, known on Twitter as @idontlikemunday. We discussed the codes and conventions of Twitter, including the use of hashtags, and then took a look at the hashtag Evan created, #365Canadians. Here is an example, posted recently on Twitter.

Internationally renowned dancer, former principal dancer and now artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada, Karen Kain.

Other Canadians that he has profiled in the last few days have included Herb Dhaliwal, Konwatsi’tsiaienni (also known as Molly Brant), Sir Isaac Brock, Barbara Ann Scott, David Suzuki, Mary Marguerite Rose, Leo Major, Albert Mah and Rose Fortune.

In our pre-viewing class discussion, students predicted how many names they'd recognize and what "kinds" of people they'd see. After we scrolled through a dozen or so, we regrouped and analyzed our results. Many of the individuals were unfamiliar to the students.

"I thought I'd know more people because I thought he'd show a lot more politicians", commented one student. (One of our other lessons involved learning a song about the Canadian prime ministers. More on that later.)

I thought it was pretty neat that after I showed the Grade 5-6 class, the students raced to the shelves and borrowed all of Evan Munday's Dead Kid Detective Agency books. When I conducted this exploration with the Grade 4-5 classes, they had even more questions. We did what came naturally - we used Twitter to actually ask Evan Munday himself. The great part is that he replied!

AgnesMacphailPS @AgnesMacphailPS Nov 15
Hey - One of 's Grade 4-5 students wants to know: how did you know or find out about some of the people you draw for ? We hadn't heard of many of them!

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