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École d'éducation internationale Filteau, Quebec, Quebec
Annie Masson, a sixth-grade teacher, engaged her students in an exploration of the Quiet Revolution in Quebec. Through the analysis of songs and the examination of extensive documentary material, they collectively uncovered significant features of this era, establishing facts, drawing connections, and making comparisons to the different realities of society today.
To guide their research, Masson and her students aimed to answer the following question: Did the songs that were popular in Quebec at that time — from 1960 to 1980 — represent Quebec society? Students explored a body of primary and secondary sources, watched documentary films, and listened to and analyzed the lyrics of Quebec songs from this period. They were then able to come up with articulate and meaningful answers to an ambitious research question for twelve-year-olds. Their quest, carried out in a fun and playful learning environment, enabled them to better understand the history of this period, discover pivotal events and, above all, immerse themselves in elements specific to Quebec culture.
In the final phase of the project, students put their learning into practice, this time by observing the era in which they live. They reflected on the songs and performers that surround their daily lives, to see if the subjects and themes addressed in today's song lyrics reflect our society.
Through this project, Masson empowered her students to develop their historical thinking skills and fostered a greater connection to a rich part of Quebec culture that was previously unknown to them.
Nominations for the Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Teaching are accepted all year round.