WE, 2008

Arts Education, Language Arts, Social Studies

Sculpture Title:

We, 2008


Learning Lens:

Community and Service


Curriculum Access:

Social Studies, Language Arts, ESL, English, Art





Guiding Question:

How can we re-evaluate our perspectives?


Strategies and Approaches:

To achieve the “Big Idea”: imaginative story (themes: coming to a new place, on a journey, approaching the unknown); senses; Socratic Questioning; informal assessment; prompting; experiential learning.


Informal Assessment:

Via conversation do the students understand the hardships related to immigration and settlement; do they understand how this process affects the students in their school and people within their community? Do they understand that as active citizens they can practise being empathetic towards their peers? Please refer to James Plensa for more information.



Blindfolds, set up message in WE sculpture.


Curricular Challenge:

10 mins, Imaginary Guided Story

1. All students to be blindfolded approx. 200 feet away from the statue (so they’re unable to see it). 2. Read blindfolded students attached story while guiding them towards the art piece.

3. Ensure that by the end of the story, the students are inside of the art piece (head-surrounded by diverse alpha scripts).

4. The chaperon will direct students to take off their blindfolds and quietly take in the diverse alpha scripts.

5. For points, ask students how they can ‘re-evaluate their perspectives’ based on recent experience.


15-20 mins, Open/Reflect: Welcoming Multiple Interpretations

1. Students are encouraged to disengage from their recent experience and their busy surroundings to practice mindfulness.

2. Direct students to ‘mindfully’ (quietly/individually) explore the piece and develop their own interpretation. More information on mindfulness for the classroom can be found here.

3. Direct each student to share their interpretation of the piece without judgement.

4. Connect students’ individual interpretations to the background information provided above.


30 mins, Challenge

1. As a group, the students are to identify the letters/symbols they know and do not know

2. The group is to select one member to circumnavigate/traverse the sculpture by placing feet and hands on the letters they do not know. The objective is to reach a message located within the sculpture.

3. The remaining team is to help the individual with directions/guidance. The message contains a task written in various languages.

4. Using their community (team/people on the street) they will decipher the message.

 – It says: Find two sources that would help a newly immigrated peer settle into your school.
– Encuentra cetiri informacije que puede help un recemment immigrated peer integrer dentro tame escola. (sp) (v over c- serb) (mandarin-raymond) (prt) (gujarati-india)

5. Allow the students time to come up with thoughtful responses. Encourage them to think about what their school offers or what can be created to help peers transition into their school.

6. Allow them to share their interpretations and connect this back to the art piece.


Imaginary Guided Story

Canada has been a nation of immigrants for more than five hundred years.

Immigrants helped build this country economically and in terms of population.

In our school alone, one can meet students from England and China to India, Mexico and Serbia. Dozens of different languages can be heard in the halls. More than 45 languages are spoken at King George.

There are millions of stories about real-life immigrants. Every family has its own story. Every teenager has their own story. This is a story written by students from King George’s ESL class. They invite you to experience every word.


When I came to Canada, I took a plane. He walked across the border. She rode a bus. They came in a jam packed car.

We left behind all of our friends. He left behind his beloved pet. She left behind her favourite teachers. They left behind many of their relatives.

As scared as I am, I am also excited.

Today, I escape government corruption and I am safe.

Today, his family has a chance to become educated and live a better life.

Today, she gets to share with others about her home country and learn about a new culture.

Today this is our new beginning.


I went to my new school today, King George Secondary. My teacher let me introduce myself. I started to talk but no one was listening to me. No one even tried talking to me. I’m happy I don’t have to wear a uniform like in my country! Tomorrow I will wear jeans again and I’ll try talking to everyone on Monday.


I thought school would be easier. I knew that I would struggle with the language, but not like this. I feel like no one understands me.


Today a girl was nice to me. That was helpful. But others just stared at me. Do they hate me? Some people even said: it’s the new Asian. I’ve heard others call people: Serbian or Latino. Why?


I went to the washroom and they stared at me. I just ignored them because I didn’t want to fight. I wasn’t sure if they were gossiping about me. I don’t always understand everything.


The language is difficult. I am learning and I have made some friends. But I am overwhelmed. There is language in the text books we read, the notes we’re told to bring home, the videos we watch, and I don’t always understand my new friends or teachers. Language is everywhere.

–Unblindfold within WE–