Andrew Stickings

Recipient of the 2011 Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Teaching

December 12, 2011
Canada's History speaks to Andrew Stickings about his award-winning video classroom project.

École Grosvenor Wentworth Park School, Halifax (Nova Scotia)

Mr. Stickings and his grade five students have been in the movie-making business for over eight years. Exploring themes of immigration, travel, racism, and multiculturalism, the goal of REEL History is to use filmmaking to unleash student creativity, enthusiasm, and eagerness for learning.

Partnering with community institutions like the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and Pier 21 increases the meaning and importance of the project for the students and gives them a deeper sense of engagement in ensuring the story is told well. With Mr. Stickings’ guidance, the students drive the project every step of the way, first researching topics that could be developed into a documentary, then writing biographies and historical summaries, and studying how documentaries are made on television.

Armed with this research they work together to develop a script, assign roles as cast and crew, and oversee the challenging task of editing. Through this process they face the difficult choices of deciding which stories to tell and from whose perspective. They strive to make it as accurate and balanced as they can. Their final products have been screened at many children’s film festivals, bringing international recognition to the students, their work, and to the Canadian stories they have told.