On November 2, more than 180 students of history, the performing and visual arts worked together to deliver two unique Remembrance Day performances for an audience of students, staff, former LCS alumni ‘Old Boys’ and the Lakefield community. The theme of this year’s service is Home—students have been interviewing a number of present students and staff who have been impacted by war in some way.
Part of an experiential learning process, students were involved in every aspect of the service, which brought to life the personal stories of LCS alumni veterans who served in WWI that students have researched. They wrote scripts and performed theatrical plateaus and poetry based on original letters, photos and other information found in the school’s archives. They also developed original videos and interpretive dance pieces choreographed with live musical performances.
For some students, finding relevance and meaning in historical events over 100 years old can be challenging. Igniting the imagination of students through activities that bring to life the stories of others using a more expressive medium, like the performing arts, allows them to explore historical themes and events in a way that not only engenders a passion for learning, but also imparts the responsibility of authentic storytelling.
“The most important thing that we can do with projects like the Remembrance Day service, or anything we do that involves our students, the community and our alumni, is to have people come together in a project or to witness something that they can feel a sense of connection to. The student participants, members of the audience, the alumni who are coming back, they’re coming to be part of something and to experience or learn something that hopefully is connecting with them on multiple levels. We all want to know that something that we did, something we were part of or something or someone that we were very close to, lives on,” says LCS Canadian History teacher Bruce McMahon.