2019-2020 Awards winners
Provincial Recognition Awards
Les murs, est-ce bien utile?
(Are Walls Really Useful?)
Centre de services scolaire des Affluents
École Aux 4 Vents
Sarah Blouin et Caroline Gariépy
Two teachers who team-teach in Elementary 6 wanted to commemorate the 30th anniversary of an event that marked history: the fall of the Berlin Wall. Passionate about children’s literature, curious and committed, they opted to read books from a book web and asked their students the following question: “Are walls really useful?” Reading a dozen meaningful books on the theme of the Berlin Wall was the catalyst for activities in writing, oral communication, social sciences, ethics and religious culture, and the arts. This adventure not only helped students develop their reading skills, but also led the children and their families to question the world they live in, and thus learn to become better citizens. Some books in the book web addressed sensitive topics like exclusion and acceptance, compromises and human rights. The rich content of the books led the children to solve problems regarding important issues on their own terms. At the end of the project, the teachers noted an increased awareness among their students. The themed book web also increased the range of possible encounters between young readers and books. By using a variety of reading strategies that fostered engagement and motivation, Sarah and Caroline helped students develop lasting reading habits. Well done!
Notre école comme un livre ouvert
(Our School as an Open Book)
Cree School Board
Annie Whiskeychan Memorial Elementary School
This Indigenous community literacy project is simple: people from all walks of life in the Cree community of Waskaganish are invited to visit an elementary school classroom to read or tell a story. The goal is to promote literacy among the young people of the community and give them diverse reading role models to whom they can relate. In this project, where orality is placed on the same level as reading, students learn that literacy also includes the oral tradition of Cree culture. Stories told orally are almost always told in Cree, since having skills in the mother tongue is essential for building literacy in a second or third language. This project also offers a way for the people of Waskaganish to heal some of the wounds left by the residential schools. Members of the community are invited to become stakeholders in the project, to play a role in it and to work directly with teachers. In addition, sharing the activities on social media contributes to changing the often-negative image that the population has of school. Thanks to this project, we have been able to show and share success stories, happy interactions between the children and the guests, and everyone having fun. The scope of this project, which builds on the importance of a sense of self-efficacy, touched our jury greatly.
Rêver pour changer le monde
(Dreaming of Changing the World)
Centre de services scolaire des Découvreurs
École des Pionniers
This project first started as an initiative of two Elementary 5 students who are avid readers and who wanted to share their passion, but more importantly to help and positively influence their classmates with regard to reading. They found a video and a book that explained how to motivate young people to read, before convincing Mélanie Boutin and mobilizing the whole group. Working together, the students in the class created posters and video clips promoting five keys for reading motivation: 1. Choose a book on something you are passionate about; 2. Ask for book recommendations from your friends; 3. Remember the names of your favourite authors; 4. Borrow an audiobook or an eBook; 5. Always carry a book with you. The students also suggested using a notebook to write down recommendations and write short critiques, asking librarians and booksellers for advice and visiting different websites. They designed the five keys to convey a clear and effective message and to be adaptable to all types of reading. The students then created activities for the school’s classes and proposed presenting the tips as skits. Introduced to the world of comics, they eventually developed a comic book bundle and created digital tools to promote it (trailer, online questionnaire, etc.) in order to share it with the other Elementary 5 classes. Engaged, motivated students who are growing and discovering the joy of reading, that’s something worth celebrating!
Celebrating Different Holidays with Harry Potter
Centre de services scolaire de la Pointe-de-l’Île
This English-as-a-Second-Language project introduced students to J. K. Rowling’s rich world and her famous character, Harry Potter, through the first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. To keep her students motivated throughout the school year, the teacher drew parallels between their first year in secondary school and the characters’ first year at Hogwarts by using customs and holidays from English culture. For example, at Halloween, students performed a magic trick as part of their oral communication and, in December, discussed the novel by participating in a reading circle while having Christmas tea. Grouped into houses like in the books, students competed throughout the year to win the House Cup. They could earn points by submitting their homework on time and participating in class, but most importantly, by reading other books in English and filling out a critique card for each book they read. It was a heated battle! Like in the novel, the house with the most points won a Valentine’s Day lunch decorated with their house colours. To conclude the adventure, the students wrote a letter to the author. This immersive experience in the world of J. K. Rowling is bound to shape their reading journey.
Association québécoise des utilisateurs d’outils technologiques à des fins pédagogiques et sociales (AQUOPS) Prize
Littérature et identité numérique
(Literature and Digital Identity)
Centre de services scolaire des Découvreurs
École Les Sources
Annie Marois, Mélanie Therrien et Geneviève Santerre
This project, carried out in collaboration with the Services nationaux du RÉCIT des domaines des langues et du développement de la personne, made it possible to create a bank of interactive reading activities using books from children’s literature related to reflections on ethical implications. These activities (available on the RÉCIT website in French only) are part of a strategy for the development of citizenship in the digital age and integrate several key elements of the ethical empowerment process. Based on the first dimension of the Digital Competency Framework (“Exercising Ethical Citizenship in the Digital Age”), the proposed interactive readings and activities for reapplying knowledge help learners to develop and mobilize their technological skills, as well as to create content using digital tools. In addition, they enable the teacher to model expert reading with students, to employ scaffolding in dealing with the use of reading strategies, to support comprehension strategies (prediction, inference and summary) and to develop vocabulary. These are effective practices, rooted in today’s world and the issues that young people face.
Association pour la promotion de services documentaires scolaires (APSDS) Prize
Une bibliothèque pour tous!
(A Library for All!)
Centre de services scolaire des Premières-Seigneuries
École de l’Envol
Céline Crépin et Émilie Léger
École de l’Envol’s project aims to improve access to literature and increase the literacy skills of students with high levels of disabilities. This school specializes in teaching students who have moderate, severe and profound intellectual impairments. For its students, aged 4 to 21, reading and writing provide opportunities conducive to the development of social interaction, social participation and literacy (e.g. a text describing how to get to the music room or a text that deals with the interests of each student in the class). Over the past four years, the research community and the school have joined together in an interdisciplinary partnership (education and inclusive architecture). The project uses various methods, like training stakeholders and establishing communities of practice. On the agenda: experimenting with evidence-based approaches to literacy with a clientele with intellectual impairments; creating an accessible space that sparks the interest of all students and favours varied pedagogical approaches; expanding and making use of the collections available in the library. Thanks to this initiative, the school’s staff modified their pedagogical practices in a significant and sustainable way. They realized how a collaborative approach could contribute to their professional development. The project made it possible for them to break free from isolation and draw inspiration from the class next door. They see their students differently, as the students surprise them with their unexpected ability to engage in reading and learning. As a result, through training and experimentation, the discourse has changed in the school. This project is a powerful level that allows the École de l’Envol to stand out and, above all, to hopefully inspire other schools to change.
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) Prize
Kamouraska entre fiction et réalité
(Kamouraska Between Fiction and Reality)
Centre de services scolaire des Affluents
École du Coteau
When he introduced his Secondary IV students to Anne Hébert’s novel Kamouraska, Christophe Surget suggested that they question the sociocultural context of a literary work to better understand it. Using an excerpt in which the heroine faces a marriage she does not agree to, the students explored four themes: marriage and the Church, the town and the townspeople, the status of women (and Anne Hébert) and the environment. During the project, the use of cultural objects from the BAnQ collection (available in French only) demonstrated their cross-curricular potential. Discovering that this novel is based on a true story by using a primary document just like in an investigation, associating a picture with a theme of their choice, justifying this combination through discussions in small groups— these are activities that motivate students! Making use of the library’s resources helped students to better understand and visualize the setting, the lifestyle and the sociohistorical context depicted in the work being studied, which in turn allowed them to better understand and appreciate it. The history course shed light on the sociopolitical context and status of women in the 19th century, the inequalities between men and women, examples of movements led by women and the consequences of their lack of education, imposed by men. Through this project, the students became aware of the importance of questioning a work, not only understand its value, but also to better understand the connections between history and literature.
Association québécoise des enseignantes et des enseignants du primaire (AQEP) Prize
Centre de services scolaire des Chics-Chocs
Caroline Boudreau et Stéphanie Noël
Elementary 2 teacher Caroline Boudreau had the idea of hosting interactive readings on the Via platform of École en reseau for teachers of the Centre de services scolaire des Chics-Chocs and their students. The goal was to help her colleagues jump in and share this experience with their students. She then turned to Stéphanie Noël, the school service centre’s librarian, to organize this activity with her. This is how the concept of literary dates was born. During these dates, students get to see what an expert reader looks like and listen to metacognitive reflections that promote reading comprehension. They are also encouraged to react to the text. Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary activities associated with each book are also offered, something that is very motivating. Even writing tasks are no longer seen as a painful task, but rather as an extension of a meaningful activity. Students love these dates where many classes across Québec meet up thanks to technology. Within the school service centre, this project reaches the most disadvantaged schools and breaks the isolation of small schools, while allowing Stéphanie to meet the needs of all. In addition to benefiting students and positively influencing their emotional connection to reading, these literary dates spread best practices to other teachers and maximize resources. Congratulations!
Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois (UNEQ) Prize
Réseau littéraire sur Andrée Poulin
(Andrée Poulin Book Web)
Centre de services scolaire de la Pointe-de-l’Île
By creating a book web on Andrée Poulin, teacher Julie Bédard-Dion wanted first and foremost to work on all four reading dimensions by focusing on literary criticism. But through her various activities, her project also highlighted the connections between competencies in French. Themes related to ethics and religious culture, such as the acceptance of differences, exclusion, community life, stereotypes and mutual assistance, were addressed during discussions, the books presenting different interesting societal issues. For a month, every week, the teacher and her students read works written by Andrée Poulin. Different reading strategies were used: reading aloud, reading in teams of two, interactive reading, reading conference, reading by yourself, etc. After each reading, the whole group would come back to discuss and compile the particularities of the author’s writing style. Explicit instruction on how to write a quality literary critique was also provided. This allowed students to share a literary critique of their favourite book once all the readings in the book web were completed. At the end of the project, the students wrote a letter to the author. In addition to introducing themselves and sharing their literary critiques with the author, they presented her with an idea to inspire her, having learned that her writing process relied on real life events that she has seen, heard or read about. Each student received a personalized response from the author, and they were very happy! Here’s a motivating project that allowed students to be actively engaged in developing their reading habits within a meaningful and authentic context.
Communication-Jeunesse (CJ) Prize
À la découverte de la multimodalité
Centre de services scolaire de la Capitale
Sonia Blouin et Nancy Gamache
Literacy is no longer only textual but is enhanced by various means such as images and sounds. In this project, the researchers for the Chaire en littératie médiatique multimodale, the professionals of RÉCIT and of the Centre de services scolaire de la Capitale made it possible for a French teacher and her Secondary II students to develop their competencies thanks to digital tools. The first part of the project was related to the competency Lire et apprécier des textes varier (to read and appreciate various texts). Its purpose was to spark the students’ curiosity about Québec literature and the language resources favoured by certain authors by stimulating their desire to read in a meaningful and innovative context. In a highly motivating multimodal rally , the students adopted the characteristics of the detective genre by conducting a literature search using selected resources. By discovering detective novels written by different authors, they were able to consolidate their understanding of the genre and note the particularities of each novel. They were then inspired by the various ways of telling a story to write their own. In short, this project allowed the students to reflect on their reading practices, to develop strategies for reading multimodal texts and to better target those that are adapted to the genres they read. All this while discovering Québec literature!
Reading Recognition Prize
Programme bilingue d’éducation à la sexualité au préscolaire à l’aide de la littérature jeunesse
(Bilingual Program for Sexuality Education in Preschool Using Children’s Literature)
New Frontiers School Board
Mary Gardner School
Catherine Garand-Butcher et Lolita Fuhlrott
An important aspect of this project is the collaboration between the French and English teachers of a preschool class at Mary Gardner School. They based themselves on the Action-Research process proposed by the FACET (Français, langue seconde et anglais, langue d’enseignement: collaboration et transfert) program, according to which better collaboration between people who teach the same group has a positive and significant impact on learning. These teachers have integrated the sexuality education program into their lesson planning in both French and English, using what they know best and what the children enjoy most in their classes: children’s literature! Children’s books were chosen to allow the children to make connections, which is a sustainable and effective strategy for becoming a good reader. The topics (emotions, body parts, differences between boys and girls, the stages of birth, etc.) were addressed during a class in one language, then in the other, and so on. Different activities were used to explore the topic in greater depth, including additional reading that the children could do in class, in the bilingual reading corner, or at home, thanks to a bag of books sent to parents. The children were engaged, talking about themselves, their families and life experiences. Not only does this project introduce very young children to children’s literature, but it also makes it possible for them to develop personal competencies that stand them in good stead all their lives. Congratulations!