By Colleen Flanagan, The Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows News
In November a group of English Language Learners teachers in the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows school district were looking for resources to teach their students about the festival of Diwali.
In their search the foursome realized there were numerous lesson plans and books, but nothing in child-friendly language to engage students.
So Kawaldeep Ghuman, Sukhdeep Birdi, Harjit Chauhan, and Moona Tyers, took matters into their own hands, collaborated together, and came up with the idea of creating their own video, sharing what they knew about the festival and their experience as Sikh Canadians who grew up celebrating it. And not just solely for their students but the broader school community as well.
Students were so enthralled with the video that the teachers released a new video Monday, May 2 – this one student led – explaining the month of Ramadan, during which Muslims worldwide fast, pray, do good deeds and appreciate family and friends – and Eid, a festival celebrating the end of Ramadan, during which the video was released.
They asked not only their students to share firsthand information about how they mark the events, but also their families as well.
When they talked about the different holidays, the teachers and students realized there are so many similarities that they could focus on that would help their student community speak out and offer them a platform to do so.