Intern Insights

3 May

Hello again!

I can hardly believe it, but the first week of internship is over and I’ve managed to get quite a lot done. It’s been a productive week and I’m excited to move into the next phase of teacher resource development for the MIA.

After getting through some comprehensive literature about museum policy, programming, accessibility and governance, I jumped right into the best part about this internship—lesson planning! To be honest, it was a bit overwhelming at first, in terms of figuring out what grade level to start with, what direction to take with the lesson (Arts-based? Language-focused? History-oriented?), and making sure to include as many pertinent details and guidelines for teachers as possible. I decided to start with the grades I knew best—Junior-Intermediate. For those that may not be too familiar with teacher speak, that means grades 4-10. Luckily, I had the wonderful opportunity to experience teaching grades 4-8, so I was quite familiar with the general concepts and basic expectations covered in the curriculum.

Kamiks (Arctic snow boots made of animal skin) worn by Labrador Inuit

After consulting with my supervisor, Alysa, we decided a little “museum field trip” was required. On Wednesday, I shadowed a docent at the Bata Shoe Museum giving a tour to a group of middle school students. It was truly fascinating to see how an everyday item that we sometimes take for granted, like footwear, can have an extraordinary history and offers rich insights into the culture that produced it. My visit here also reinforced the importance of artifact-based teaching and learning as an excellent way for students to develop multidisciplinary skills. It’s certainly a learning model that the Bata Shoe Museum and the MIA have nurtured successfully via their docent program.

With some research of my own, and a few great online sources recommended to me by Alysa, I was able to pull together several arts-based lesson plans for grades 4-12 with cross-curricular connections to Social Studies, Language and even Science. The next step will be to edit, polish and tack on assessment guides to these materials before getting a stamp of approval from the Museum.

More updates to come during week 2!

- Posted by: Aviva German, MIA’s Educational Intern

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