Where I'm From ESL - G7-12 - Booking form
Where I’m From ESL
Designed Specifically for ESL students in Grades 7-12
Being new to the country is hard, but harder still is the strangeness and struggle of picking up a whole new language. Created originally as a library program for recent youth immigrants to share their journey from their previous home in their original country to their new home in Canada, this program not only allows sharing, and the use of language, but also that home can be a feeling of normalization. This program is broken into three parts with the addition of other writing lessons and explorations added along the way to help with their knowledge and use of English as a written language.
Part One - Leaving home - Students examine when they were told they were leaving for Canada, their reaction, and the journey from where they were when they were living, to arriving on Canadian soil.
Part Two - Arriving - Students will then explore memories of what it was like being in Canada in those early days. Those first few weeks or months. What the struggles were. If there were any funny things or misunderstandings that happened, and how they felt about being so far away from the place they considered home (and maybe even their family).
Part Three - Finding home - Now the students examine that one point, incident, or action that made them aware that they were getting used to their new environment and that Canada could potentially be a new home either permanently or temporarily. When did they feel like they belonged. Was it a friendship, learning hockey, not being bothered by the cold, getting a joke, or just waking up and feeling happy. It could be a small thing or a big thing. For example, an American comedian once said that it wasn't until he one day took money out of an ATM and walked away while still counting it that he realized he was now a Canadian).
None of this is meant to cause harm or trauma. It is to allow students to understand their journey, be proud of their survival in all they went through, and acknowledge that they are not alone in this experience. Because we don't go further back than when they were told they were leaving for Canada, the students are free to leave the memories before getting on the plane alone if they so desire. They won't be asked about them however they also won't be stopped from sharing if they wish to.
Because of the success of this program in the past, I feel it would be a great addition to the ESL program in schools.
- Full day class
- Three half-day classes
- One week residency
Due to the way this program is presented, it is best done as three single classes over three consecutive days, or once a week over three weeks. If done as a one-week residency of single classes or half days, editing can take place over the final two days and the kids can turn their stories into a class book which can then be self-published. Alternatively, teachers can take this as a PD day and use the information to run it themselves.
Students will discover their voice and share their story of immigration using their own words. They will get practice in writing, editing, and formatting. They can later use their own stories to help them practice reading. They will also use their senses to create a senses dictionary which can help them with description.
Curriculum Touch Points:
- Learn to create written texts using a variety of forms and structures, for a variety of different audiences and purposes by effectively communicating ideas through writing, including planning, organization, editing, and building creative thinking skills to develop a distinctive personal writing style.
- Utilize language effectively including literary devices.
- Select and utilize strategies such as rereading and group discussion to build vocabulary and interpret words in context to discern meaning.
- Draw from personal experiences & knowledge to generate ideas and create original texts and develop a respect for diverse ideas, cultures, and traditions, through other’s texts.
- Experiment with language, image, and structure to create a variety of effects and improve personal craft considering audience, purpose, and effective communication.
- Explore medium, form, and structure using writing conventions appropriately.
- Appreciate the diversity of thought and expression, and learn to recognize the influence of underlying assumptions held by oneself and others
Cost for schools
This program is best taught as a single session (K-1) or half-day program (G2-3). Multiple classes can experience this workshop over a day.
- $350.00 a session (60-90 minutes)
- $650.00 half-day session (morning or afternoon)
- $1200.00 for a full day
Save money by booking multiple classes!
For example: For the single full-day fee, you can book two single sessions for Kindergarten - Grade 1 in the morning and a half-day session in the afternoon for Grades 2-3.
Not in the Calgary area? Contact us about getting a remote instructor.
School on a tight budget. Let's chat. We may be able to work something out.