Passionate Learning

On Wednesday, our school participated in the Bulldogs Literacy DayStudents not only got to go and see a Bulldogs Game, but got to develop their literacy skills prior to the game (with reading comprehension, listening comprehension, writing, and media literacy activities), during the game (with live tweeting, blogging, and trivia questions), and after the game (with our 105 the Hive broadcast recapping the events of the game, and sharing our own story with the same theme as The Greatest Goal: the hockey story shared with us).

It was actually today’s The Hive broadcast that made me realize the difference in learning that happens with “passion.” The truth is, we’re not all passionate about hockey. Until Wednesday, I’d never been to a hockey game, and considering the amount of time I spent in line with students for concessions and bathroom breaks, I’m still not sure I’ve been to one. 🙂 Many students love hockey though, and it’s activities like this one that allow them to pursue their passions.

I had a couple of students that didn’t go to the game though, and I wondered how they would feel about today’s radio show that focused on recapping the main events in the game, and sharing a student-created hockey story based on the deeper meaning of The Greatest Goal: never give up. Sometimes though, passions can overlap when given the right topic!

Today, we really pushed the wifi limits of our building when we had students listening to the live streaming of the show down in the library and in two different classrooms. Students in my Grade 6 class, Gina Bucciacchio’s Grade 6 class (@_missginab), David Resijan’s Grade 4/5 class, and Bill Forrester’s Grade 8 class did not only listen to the show, but shared their thoughts and questions in a Today’sMeet backchannel and a Twitter backchannel. All of this commentary is captured in the Scribd Document embedded below.

Bulldogs Literacy

What really got people talking today was the topic of fighting in hockey. Yes, there were over 10,000 people at this hockey game, and the majority of these people were school children in Grades 4-6. The big debate: were the players right to fight given the age of this audience? How does fighting in hockey connect to the concept of bullying? Was the fight real, or was it staged, and does this matter? Some students felt so passionately about this topic, that they extended the conversation beyond what happened in this 30 minute radio broadcast, and published blog posts of their own, such as this one here.

Even the 11 radio broadcasters weighed in numerous times on this topic. There’s lots of insightful comments shared in the recording of the radio broadcast below.

Passion changes the dynamic of the conversation, and you can hear that here. The energy in the room was palpable. So at the end of the 30 minutes, we didn’t have a shared view on fighting in hockey, but we did have a topic that got ALL students excited to write, eager to read, and happy to converse. Thank you to everyone that made today’s learning meaningful and passionate!

How do you create these “passionate” learning opportunities? I’d love to hear about your experiences too!


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