Norgate Gr 7

Arts Education, Health and Career Education, Language Arts, Physical Education, Social Studies


Norgate Community School, North Vancouver, BC



Jeff Teed



Valerie Mason-John



Grade 7


Sources of Inspiration

Vancouver Biennale Legacy: Arcs (Bernar Venet), Echoes (Michel Goulet), Engagement (Dennis Oppenheim), Jasper (John Clement), Walking Figures (Magdalena Abakanowicz), Freezing Water #7 (Ren Jun), King and Queen (Sorel Etrog)



Students expressed their responses to the BIG IDEAS Bullying Through Our Eyes with an open exploration and discovery process. The students wrote poems on the issue of bullying. Through their poems, we were able to hear the voices of the people who are impacted by bullying. Working alongside their teacher and performance poet Queenie (A.K.A Dr Valerie Mason-John), students created a performance entitled Stop Bullying Now to express their emotions and thoughts through spoken words to raise public awareness. Their performance sent a strong message on the serious impact and consequences of bullying. The students performed in front of their whole school and in public as their way to help stop bullying through heightened awareness.



Bullying Through Our Eyes


Guiding Question

What can we do to stop bullying?


Curriculum Access

Arts Education – Drama, Dance, Language Arts, Physical Education, Social Studies, Health and Career Education


Learning Process

The students explored the theme of anti-bullying through discussion of the different perspectives on, and range of bullying and the impact it has on everyone. The students read and researched the Vancouver Biennale sculptures and lessons plans online. Once that was completed, they visited seven Vancouver Biennale installations at various public spaces as inspiration for their thoughts on bullying. In teams, students exchanged their bullying responses to the sculptures of their choice, composed a group poem and prepared a visual Animoto presentation. The Walking Figure was selected by the class as their presentation site to voice their collective message to the public on bullying.


Student Creations

Group and Individual Poems, Animoto Presentation, Public Class Poetry Performance




  • Teacher and Artist developed program plan and strategy
  • Teacher and Artist reviewed learning objectives and approaches and decided to focus on the theme of ‘Anti-Bullying’ as it is a serious problem at the school
  • Teacher and Artist attended Biennale Sharing BIG IDEAS Workshop
  • Introduction to the digital world of the Biennale and students read and researched the Vancouver Biennale sculptures and lesson plans
  • Took field trip to the Vancouver’s Biennale 7 legacy pieces of sculptures


  • Began group research exercises
  • Prepared group Animoto presentations
  • Introduced to spoken word, slam and page poetry
  • Began writing exercises


  • Artist introduced performing poetry and slam poetry in class
  • Explored the art of performance and slam poetry
  • Began performance plan and practice


  • Continued to edit their poems
  • Continued to practice their performance
  • Visited the Walking Figures for final on-site rehearsal
  • Participated in a slam poetry competition during school assembly
  • Performed a class poem in public at the Walking Figures site




“They were really quite proud of themselves that they managed to first of all pull it off and perform and create the pieces that they did. Then when they saw all the other classes that were there that day, I think they realized that it wasn’t just a little thing, this was a large production inside the city.”



“They chose Walking Figures because of what is represented, because the figures are beheaded, because it represents war, being a target or a victim.”

“It really gave me hope that the new generation is a compassionate generation. Whenever I work with young people, I have to remember that these young people are new leaders. They are not only going to be the new bus drivers or new shopkeepers. They are going to be the new politicians. They are going to be the new world leaders.”



“Hopefully we are going to put ourselves out there more and learn more things.”

“At the beginning it was kind of nerve-wracking but in the end I’m like kind of glad we did it.”