Bruce Springsteen once said he learned more from the grooves of a 45 record than anything else in a high school classroom. This school has the right idea.
Gord Downie’s music is inspiring a new generation of Canadians in Georgina.
A group of teachers at Sutton District High School have been using Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip’s journey to help teach grade 9 students.
“Kids never realized how much history and geography and environment and Canadian connection is in their songs,” said Amanda Ellis, acting library head, who added the unit also includes truth and reconciliation.
Ellis and her colleague, English teacher Lindsay DiPaulo got the idea after students wanted to know about the musician.
“They wanted to know why everybody, the adults in their lives and the teachers, were so impacted by Gord Downie’s passing,” she said.
The unit was called ‘passport to Gord Downie’s Canada’ and featured a number of activities, including poetry studies, an escape room and personal reflections.
One activity had students find places mentioned in the Tragically Hip songs on a Canadian map. Another included a discussion about David Milgaard, who inspired the song Wheat Kings.