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Students at Westwood PS celebrate differences through images

June 26, 2020

GUELPH, Ontario – Grade 7 and 8 students at Westwood Public School recently had a virtual lesson that celebrated differences. Teacher Kangan Kapoor engaged students with a series of images with the goal of exploring empathy, anti-oppression and anti-racism.

Kapoor was inspired to create this activity for students in light of recent news and world events. The student activity was introduced with the intention of starting a conversation with students about what is happening and giving them a safe space where they could speak up.

Instead of Kapoor sharing with students what she thought they should know, she created a gallery of pictures that would allow students to feel their own feelings and start a conversation around those feelings.

Each image in Kapoor’s slideshow was different and showcased art or imagery from a wide range of sources. Imagery included art from Indigenous artists, images of world inequalities, images that represent immigration, mural imagery created in light of recent events in the United States, imagery from Sesame Street, imagery from many different cultures, Pride imagery, images of solidarity and so much more.

Kapoor said that the feedback received was positive and that it sparked a conversation with students about what they are seeing on social media and in the news about Black Lives Matter.

Kapoor said that when creating this activity for students, she wanted her students to know that she sees them and is there for them if they have questions.

Kapoor said that she tries to create positivity in situations and even has students write 1-minute positivity speeches when they are caught saying something negative about themselves. She said that sharing this slideshow of positive imagery allowed her students to have open conversations with her about the world and she hopes that many of them will continue to look for the positive throughout the summer.

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