Neil Stephenson believes in the power of technology to bring the past
into the future. Empowered with 21st century tools, Stephenson’s Grade 7
students reinterpret events from five periods that have shaped Canada’s
current historical landscape. Called the Cigar Box Project,
Stephenson’s students collect and analyze historical images and
artifacts, and then use graphic design principles to digitally assemble
new cigar panels, each one revealing a unique, visual perspective of an
historical event or time from Canada’s past. At the end of the year,
students physically build their wooden Cigar Boxes, creating their own
historical artifact that pulls together the story of our country. Along
the way, students encounter a variety of assessment practices, create
mini-documentaries about their artifacts and meet a number of experts
who support their historical learning.
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