March’s On the Map features New Brunswick French Immersion teacher Gabrielle Rogers. Let’s find out how she is using ArcGIS to support interdisciplinary teaching and learning at her school.
In the past semester, Gabrielle co-taught grade 9 subjects with Joanne St-Coeur LeBlanc using the interdisciplinary approach that combines Social Studies, Science, French, Broad-Based Technology and Gym. In addition, Gabrielle teaches grade 11 French.
Tell us about the interdisciplinary teaching approach that you use at your school
Interdisciplinary teaching is beneficial as it combines subject areas into integrated units, enriching student learning. In our school we have a two-hour block where students do Science, Social Studies, Broad-Based Technology, Gym and either French (if they are in an immersion group) or Personal development (if they are in an English group). The other class (French and Personal development) is done outside the block.
Every pair of co-teachers operates slightly differently, Joanne and I build most of our year around key projects like the Tidal Bore biography and a project where students create their own country. Then we apply outcomes from a variety of different classes to meet the goals of the project. For example, with the Tidal Bore biography they will learn about the non-human species in the river, how the ecology changes over time, how First Nation stories can inform us on that change, how humans influence the river, economic development in the region, etc.
"I like using Esri’s suite of tools because I like focusing on space and place. It builds tech skills and allows them to think differently about how their learning comes together, for instance considering how everything in the Tidal Bore project comes back to the Petitcodiac river." - Gabrielle
I believe the interdisciplinary style allows students more in-depth learning and it reduces the time spent teaching the same info to various classes. We are able to show how their learning works together rather than have aspects of their learning siloed into different classes. For example, when students work on the scientific method we also work on procedural writing in French. Combining the skills makes each one more significant and gives us more time overall.
The location of the “Le mascaret” (The Tidal Bore) is shown on the map in this student’s story map.
Tell us about how you and your students are using ArcGIS
So far, in this school year, we used Esri’s suite of ArcGIS tools in several of our start-up assignments. We used ArcGIS Survey123 to build a survey. I wanted the students to get to know their classmates better.
The task was to create a map question to share information about themselves, like where they want to travel, where their family comes from, or their favourite summer destination. The curricular objective was to develop procedural skills with new technology and then to analyze data that is collected. Then the students presented what they learned using their oral French skills.
We did a project on the First Nations Communities in New Brunswick where students had to map their community and then present it using ArcGIS StoryMaps. Students communicated their work using place as a central theme while incorporating various media types, maps and text.
Story maps were also used to present their Tidal Bore study. This assignment was our first major project of the year and the favourite one in our program. The students tell the story of the Petitcodiac river shed through the eyes of the Tidal Bore as it passes through the area twice a day for years and years. They discuss ecology, demographic change, industrial development, and technological progression. In addition to the content evaluated, we also evaluate their ability to communicate using technology and historical thinking concepts.
Student story map showing the area where the tidal bore occurs (green feature) and the direction of the water (red line), and a description of the phenomenon in French.
Why do you think ArcGIS is a valuable tool for teaching and learning?
Esri's suite of tools provides diverse functionality and a chance for students to work with a technology they may use again in university or in the workforce. I love incorporating place and mapping into what we do in class because there is no mandatory geography program in New Brunswick’s Anglophone sector. The software and apps through Esri are easy to use within the objectives for technology courses and as presentation tools that it makes sneaking extra geography into courses a little easier. I also like that students get to use a program that they may not have used before, procedural thinking is tough to teach, and this gives me an opportunity to work on those skills.
What’s next? Any new projects/activities in the horizon in 2023
I am one of the pilot teachers for the new Civics 10 program in New Brunswick and am very excited to see how I can incorporate the place-based learning I love into a new course. I am also very happy to be working on curriculum renewal for Canadian Geography 120 and bringing the course into the 21st century.
I will be working with the K-12 group at Esri Canada to create an ArcGIS resource that will support the new social studies grades 3-9 curriculum that will be rolled out in September 2023.
Thank you, Gabrielle for sharing your inspiring work with us. We look forward to working with in the near future on new resources. If you want to connect with Gabrielle, find her @RogersMme.
New to ArcGIS Online?
If you are new to ArcGIS Online, educators can request an account for themselves and their students at k12.esri.ca/#access.
Explore the Esri Canada K-12 Resource Finder to find other resources for your class.
Check out the following beginner resources to get started with ArcGIS Online:
For Students – Enroute with ArcGIS Online