Experiential Learning Projects

Experiential Learning Projects

Experiential Learning is an inquiry-based pedagogical approach to learning that provides students with opportunities to co-construct their learning through hands-on learning experiences.

Superior North Catholic District School Board has 26 experiential learning projects happening in our schools that support students’ pathways to success - knowing themselves, exploring opportunities, making decisions and setting goals for the future. Promoting student success and pathways planning through modernized and experiential learning experiences supports student participation, reflection and application that influence their future career goals and ambitions.

graphic explaining experiential learning

Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School

Photography of Plants and Animals

Students will use the school's photography equipment to create a photo database of plants and animals used by local people such as Indigenous people, trappers, hunters, and fishermen. Students will create a photo journal of each item and describe where organisms (plants, animals, etc) live and grow (habitat). For example, students will create a page on Blueberries. They will take pictures taken by students and information on where blueberries grow, the history of their usage and importance to indigenous culture, etc. The photo journal would be a living document that would be updated as time passes. The photo journal would also reference the cultural significance of the organism as well as any uses for food and medicine. In addition to the photo journal, we would print photos taken by the students and display them throughout the school. To engage parents and community members a virtual gallery walk will be shared via the school's social media accounts. Many community partners will support student learning about the various plants and animals captured in the community. Students will reflect on their own learning as they discover through the project who they want to become in their digital portfolio.

Learning Coding with Beebots

The Grade ½ class will learn coding, mathematical and literacy concepts through Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Students will share their learning through social media channels and upload a reflection as they discover “All about Me” through the hands-on learning experience. The classroom teacher will conference with students to support students' reflections.

Butterfly Life Cycle

Grade ½ students will learn about the butterfly life cycle by creating a journal with observations to share their learning with their families. Families will be engaged in student learning through communication on the school's social media channels. Students will upload their learning and reflections in their digital portfolios to support student's pathways to success.

Picnic Table Project

Grade ⅞ students will build picnic tables to beautify the schoolyard. The classroom teacher, who is the project lead, will share students' learning and the project progress through Facebook Live and regular Facebook posts. Students will have the opportunity to learn from a local red seal journeyman, who will share their expert knowledge. Students will reflect on their learning and upload photos of their experience on Xello.

Holy Angels Catholic School

STEM Hydraulic

Grade ⅞ students will build a hydraulic machine and learn how to use them to complete tasks and describe how the hydraulic machine works. To engage parents in the project students will create a video of themselves building and learning about hydraulics. A guest speaker will be invited to share their experience and knowledge of careers that use hydraulics. Students will add to their digital portfolio using Xello to reflect on their learning.

Building Bird Houses Collaboration between Kindergarten and Grade ⅞

Grade ⅞ students will build birdhouses that Kindergarten students will install at their outdoor learning space to support the bird population. Students will work with the Kindergarten class to learn about the birds that live in this area, the habitat, population etc. Gr. ⅞ s will be using math and construction skills to design, follow plans, and build birdhouses. Kindergartens will be the decorative designers and will be putting the birdhouse out to live to observe and observe the birds with their trail cameras. Kindergarten students will record and learn about the different kinds of birds that visit and make homes. A local carpenter will be asked to support student learning while building the birdhouses about potential careers in the carpentry trade. Students will reflect on their learning through the experiential learning project by adding an artifact to their digital portfolio.

Healthy Meals

Students in Kindergarten and Grade ⅞ will work together to prepare a healthy meal and dessert in a box, Hello Fresh Style, that they can take home and cook with their family. The project will have the health unit involved to ensure the prepared meals will be healthy and follow all the Covid-19 protocols. Students will also include a craft for the family to do together. Students will prep food at school to take home to cook with their families. They will also prepare a craft at school to take home and do with their family. Students will reflect on their learning in their digital portfolios.

Art Techniques with Local Artist

Tracy Barry will teach students art techniques and complete a finished art piece. The artist will talk to students about art as a business and career. Tracy will teach the students about running an art business. She will also share her experience and the pathway that she took to become an artist. Students and educators will create a gallery exhibit to present virtually or digitally. Students will record their reflections and add their artifacts to their digital portfolios.

Outdoor Learning with Snowfeet

Grade ⅞ students will explore the outdoors with a new type of skiing with a product called snow feet. Students will explore trails around the school as well as going out to Rainbow Falls Provincial Park. Since the snow feet skis are small, students can carry their own skis. Students will explore design thinking and prototyping inventions through the use of this new innovative equipment. Students will learn about patents, ideas and the product design process. Students will learn about entrepreneurship through a program called Market your Thoughts by Head Start in Business. Students will document their learning in their digital portfolio in Xello.

Prototyping with 3D Printer

Students from Kindergarten to Grade 8 will be designers and engineers by creating scale drawings and printing their creations on a 3D printer. Parents will be invited to share in their students learning during a parent engagement evening. Students will learn through the design thinking process as they invent, iterate and create prototypes using a 3D printer. Students will reflect on their learning, explaining how their learning experience has supported their understanding of what students want to become in their digital portfolios. 

Holy Saviour Catholic School

Outdoor Learning Space

The whole school including students from Kindergarten to Grade 8 will have the opportunity to experience the learning going on within the outdoor classroom and trails. The outdoor learning space has been developing and this year the outdoor learning space improvements include a space for a sacred fire and sacred garden. The outdoor classroom and trails are a unique way for the students to explore their natural surroundings. Students will have an opportunity to learn new things in science, math, art, music, and literacy. Trail building is a skill that integrates trades.

The project will engage parent volunteers by asking for their assistance in developing the trails. The school has many sections of the trail and outdoor classroom that need further development and improvement. Community partners to help clear trails to expand the current trails. The Marathon Recreations and Health Lead is one key community partner supporting the project. Students will document their learning and reflections in their digital portfolios using Xello.

Kindergarten Outdoor Learning

The project goal is to enrich an authentic transition to school for young learners by creating a 21st-century play-based learning environment. Learning will flow between outdoor and indoor learning spaces and will be enriched with self-regulated activities that spark an inquiry for our young learners to explore and grow. Students will foster their unique individual development and strengths of future generations within their learning environment.

Rag Moccasins Making with Native Language Students

A local artisan will teach students via a live zoom session the process of making the rag moccasins. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions, experience and complete an art project based upon a tradition of making moccasins. Students will learn valued living skills in regards to sewing and being able to mend their clothes, and prepare clothing to wear. The artist will order the materials and supplies, and make kits based on each student’s foot size. Students will record and reflect on their learning using their Xello digital portfolio.

St. Edward Catholic School

Makeup Special Effects process and Application

Grade 4/5 students will learn the process of how to apply special effects makeup. Students will create images based on given lesson plans, then create a poster board, a We-Video slideshow and a short monologue/skit based on their creations. These creations will be posted on various media platforms for public/private viewing. Students will explore student pathways and learn all about me through skilled trades/apprenticeships, social well being/social work; cosmetology; special effects makeup-arts/theatre/ graphic design/ film production. Students will reflect on their learning by adding an artifact to their digital portfolio.

Kindergarten Outdoor Learning

The experiential learning project will provide hands-on learning experiences, particularly outdoor learning opportunities, for Kindergarten students. Through the project, students will promote personal growth and skills connected to student interests. Parent engagement will be facilitated through learning updates sent via paper or electronically, communication informing parents of skills/interests developed through outdoor play. Many community partners will support students’ outdoor learning via social distancing outdoors or the use of digital technologies. Community partners will be involved by sharing and teaching students about specific topics, skills, and provide students with real-life/hands-on learning opportunities. Students will then be able to utilize these new skills and knowledge through exploration and play-based learning in the indoor and outdoor classroom. Students will reflect on their outdoor learning, their discovery of who they are and who they want to become by adding an artifact to their digital portfolio. 

St. Hilary Catholic School

Cross Country Skies

Students in Grade 3 - 8 will explore the community of Red Rock and engage in physical education through learning a new skill - cross country skiing. The skis will be used for many years for students to enjoy this year and into the future. The school will collaborate with the Municipality of Red Rock to develop a ski course that others in the community can utilize for personal recreational experiences. Local community partners will support students in learning about how to maintain and use the equipment safely. Students will share their learning online by collecting images using the school Go-Pro. Students will create video reflections to share how the project has impacted their learning, how it impacted their fitness and mental health. Students will reflect on their learning by adding an artifact to their digital portfolio. 

St. Joseph Catholic School

Grade 8 Trip to Thunder Bay

The Grade ⅞ students will take an end of year field trip to Thunder Bay to explore many different pathway experiences. The trip itinerary will include a visit to Fort William Historical Park, the Thunder Bay Museum, Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Confederation College and Lakehead University. Students will learn about trades and technology opportunities through programs at the university and college. Students will maintain a journal to record their learning and reflections of their experience. Students will record an artifact into their digital portfolio in Xello.

Minecraft EDU

Grade 3 - 8 students will engage in learning using MinecraftEDU. The project will empower learners to solve problems they care about and to connect in new ways far beyond the classroom walls. Two workshops will be facilitated by Cobblestone Collaborative, previously EdTech Team Canada, to support educators and students learn to effectively use MinecraftEDU. Students will share their Minecraft assignments and engage their parents or guardians in a virtual tour of their Minecraft worlds. Students will upload photos of their learning and reflect on their experience in their digital portfolios.

Indigenous Beading Project

Grade ⅞ students will learn how to bead from a Knowledge Keeper. The Knowledge Keeper will share the knowledge and culture surrounding the artwork. Knowledge Keeper has sold various pieces of art in the community Students will present their final beading product, photos from various stages of the project with parents via social media updates and through recording their learning in their digital portfolio in Xello.

St. Martin Catholic School

Creating Toys with a 3D Printer

Students in Grade 3 - 8 will be designing and creating toys from their using Tinkercad and a 3D printer. Students will be able to individually work on their toy design using their Chromebook. Students will learn through state of the art technology and meet mathematics, science and visual arts curriculum expectations. Students will be sharing their learning with parents through the facilitation of a virtual and digital parent event. Students will share their learning and reflections using technology to demonstrate their learning and the experience using modern technology. Students will explore design thinking, prototypes and learn from special guests who work in the field of engineering, skilled trades and entrepreneurship. Students will add an artifact to their digital portfolio as they explore their pathway to success.

Community Projects

Terrace Bay highlighting favourite features of Terrace Bay in order to create an informational pamphlet promoting our community through the eyes of each student. The Gr. 1 will send out letters to request virtual interviews from various service providers in our community. Students will compile interview questions and conduct an interview. (e.g. fire, paramedic, nurse, police officer, priest) to create a news article about each individual and their role.

Faith and Family Box

St. Martin Catholic School will be creating their own version of "seasonal" boxes to share student learning and faith with school families and students at home. St. Martin school will create and share the following themed boxes for home learning:

  1. Advent & Christmas Faith box (Christmas Eve Box: Staff-created and delivered boxes to families on December 23)
  2. Family Literacy & Family Day box
  3. Lent and Easter Faith box
  4. Year-End Celebration box - St. Martin School theme

P.E. in a Pandemic!

Leading a healthy, active lifestyle through a 21st-century pandemic is tough. Students and staff at St. Martin School will engage in activities that provide an outlet for physical education but also social emotional, self-regulation learning. Students will have opportunities in the gym or outside to engage in sports/games/activities in a safe manner during a pandemic. Students will be reminded of the importance of being physically well but also mentally well when in the hallways, washroom or gym with posters and sensory pathways. A pandemic won't stop us from being active in both body and mind.

Remote Learning

Bridge Design and Building Collaboration

Students in Kindergarten to Grade 8 will design, construct and test bridges for a variety of purposes and from a variety of materials. Capitalizing on the momentum gained by the Gr ⅞ experience with Skills Ontario, the Grade ⅞ students will lead and teach their fellow remote learning students how to effectively build a strong and stable bridge structure. Parents will be engaged by sharing their knowledge of what makes something strong and stable and they will be asked to record their students results and share the video with the students teacher. Students will learn design and construction theory through architecture firms in Northern Ontario. Students will explore the connections between their project and those the current “Build ON North” projects. Students will investigate different occupations associated with bridget building and record their learning in their digital portfolio.

Music in Residence

Students will design and construct their own instruments with found objects from around the home. Students will also learn how to play and perform with their instruments from a professional musician. Parents will be encouraged to provide input and feedback to students regarding the design and construction of their created instruments. Students will document their learning journey and add an artifact to their digital portfolio. The final product will be that each student will create their own instrument with which they will create/compose and present original music. Selected media clips may be compiled to create a virtual recital.

System Support Team Math Leads

Mathematics, Woodworking and STEM

The math team will be working with 10 classrooms from across the school board to investigate math concepts through wood working. Similar to a science fair format, students will share the learning process that they used to design, budget and build their creation. They will showcase their work and reflect on the career connections. Parents will be invited to join virtually or in an outdoor setting to meet Covid19 guidelines. The math team will engage local community experts who live or work in those communities (i.e. Elders, parents, skilled tradesmen/women, artists). Students will explore pathway opportunities relating to the technology, skilled trades and apprenticeship programs to the specific projects. Parents and communities will engage in the project by sharing a video of student work, their learning journey and reflections. Students will add an artifact from the project to their digital portfolio.

"Together We Educate Heart, Mind and Soul."