Last year one of the school-wide Personalized electronically Blended Learning (PeBL) learning goals at Beechy School was writing. PeBL Mentor Brianne Denning suggested that one way to work towards that goal would be to write a History Book for the community. This be a way to incorporate writing outside of regular classes that students would find engaging. Writing the History Book would also involve interviewing community members and then writing about them, which would address the PeBL goal of building relationships.
The whole school was involved creating the History Book. Every family provided a family history and each grade was responsible for a different section of the book.
Grades 3 and 4 students interviewed members of Beechy’s Senior Hockey and Baseball teams. While the Grades 7 and 8s researched the former schools around Beechy that are no longer open and interviewed community members who had attended these schools. Grades 5 and 6s interviewed people who owned and worked at businesses in Beechy and Grades 7 to 12s were paired with community members and wrote a piece about the people they interviewed.
In the 1980s, students from that period had conducted interviews with various Beechy citizens and saved these interviews on compact discs. The students summarized each of these interviews and they were also included in the book. A Senior’s Tea was held to get more information and entertainment was also provided!
Work on the book started in September 2021 and the book was completed in June 2022. To date 45 copies of the Beechy History Book have been sold and copies are still available for purchase. Proceeds to date have covered the printing costs with enough left over to donate $500 to help rebuild the roof of Jonesville School, a local historic site that students often visit on school field trips. If sales continue to do well, future donations may be made to other great causes in Beechy.
“By creating the Beechy School History Book,” explained Ms. Denning, “students were actively engaged in developing their writing skills, learned more about the history of their hometown and were able to build multiple relationships in the community. Beechy students created something that the entire community can enjoy now and for generations to come.”
Pictured above: (Left) Seniors with students at a Tea to learn more about Beechy history. (Right) PeBL Mentor Brianne Denning with a copy of the Beechy School History Book 2022.