Prince George, BC
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After talking about a recent 'Most Influential People of all Time' list, students thought they should research people who were most influential in their own home city of Prince George. As a group they established eligibility criteria and thought our selected people should have lived in Prince George at one time, but more importantly, that their contributions to society must have been made to the city of Prince George. They brainstormed places where we could find information, and thought of local libraries, a local museum website, online resources, parents, teachers, politicians, and elders. Students pooled their resources together. Thomas talked about online safety and did a mini lesson on the difference between research in the 1980's (when he went to school) and research today (not enough information vs. too much information). Students brought in the names of at least five people (past and present), and they compared the names for overlap. Each name was written on a strip of paper, and the whole class rearranged them on a big desk, putting their top citizens at the very top, as they debated who would make the cut at the bottom. They talked about bias, historical context (women's achievements in a time when women didn't have much opportunity), and historical significance (how much these people changed the city for the better). The students were asked what they felt would make their project successful. They thought they needed to share their research, and brainstormed ways to do it. They got excited about the idea of publishing it in a local newspaper, so Thomas helped two students pitch it to the Prince George Citizen newspaper and organize logistics. The project coincided with the start of the 100th year anniversary celebrations since the incorporation of the city of Prince George in 1915. The articles were published in a special edition of the Prince George Citizen that commemorated the 100th anniversary celebrations. The articles that were published are below, including the students' work, which was edited by their classmates. At the time of this writing, he is working to invite the living citizens who made our list to come visit his class. So far one is confirmed.