Jennifer Johnson–George

Recipient of the 2006 Governor General's Award for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History

June 1, 2010

Jennifer Johnson-George accepting her award at Rideau Hall, 2006.

Prince of Wales Elementary School, Calgary (Alberta)

Jennifer Johnson–George’s grade one/two class immersed themselves in the work of uncovering the stories of Alberta’s history. Eleven field studies to museums and historical Stampede Park showed the students how the arrival of the train changed Canada’s west forever. From the rich oral histories of the Treaty 7 Nations to the building and eventual demise of the wooden grain elevator, “The Elevator Kids” recognize how stories are integral to Canada’s character and how they have contributed to the origin and evolution of their community.

They created two websites with Galileo Educational Network, one of which won the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) SigTel first place On–line Learning Award. Whether roasting bannock on an open fire, drumming and dancing with native elders, setting up a tipi, writing to the National Gallery and Norval Morrisseau about his history–making exhibit, song–writing with country singer Tim Hus or sharing their work in a live video conference with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, this inquiry took Jennifer’s young students from a space of NOTIONS into a new space of KNOWING about history.

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