Community Classroom Online

Welcome to Community Classroom Online! In 2022, we are thrilled to offer new videos, virtual programming and livestream opportunities for students in Oakville and Halton to learn from and enjoy.

Community Classroom provides local arts, culture, heritage and environmental programming to publicly-funded elementary school students in Oakville and Halton at no charge to students or teachers.

Read our press release here.


Indigenous History Month

Gimaa’s Allyship Poetry Contest
(Now closed for submissions)


Click here to read the poem.

Read all submitted poems here.

Gimaa (Chief) R. Stacey Laforme of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN) shared his poem “Nii jii”, which meansfriend” in Anishinaabemowin, and invited students to share, in their own words through written or audio format:

What does allyship or friendship feel and look like to you?

On May 24 during the Debwewin: Truth of the Land performance, four students were recognized for their artistic achievement. Read more about them here.

About Gimaa (Chief) R. Stacey Laforme

Gimaa (Chief) R. Stacey Laforme is the elected Chief of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN). Born and raised on MCFN, Gimaa Laforme has served his community for over twenty years being first elected to council in 1999. Gimaa Laforme is very active throughout MCFN’s Treaty Lands and Territory, which encompasses 3.9 million acres of Southern Ontario, not only as a Chief, but as a notable storyteller, poet and published author. Gimaa Laforme has recently been appointed as honorary senior fellow for Massey College, joining the Duke of Edinburgh and the Chancellor of Oxford as only the third person awarded the highest honor the college can bestow. In 2018, De dwa da dehs nye (Aboriginal Health Centre) awarded Gimaa Laforme the Walter Cooke Wisdom Keeper Award in recognition of one’s capacity to exemplify significant and continuous service to our community by demonstrating integrity, generosity of spirit, humility, courage, collaboration, “The Good Mind”, and traditional ways of knowing and being.

Sharing Wisdom and Perspective on Indigenous Culture, Art, and Allyship

Elder Peter Schuler is a grandfather and Elder of the Mississaugas of the Credit and a member of the Minweyweygaan Midewin Lodge in Manitoba. An amateur writer and artist, Peter tries to pass on traditional Ojibwe teachings through storytelling, art and craft making. Since retirement he has taken these stories to elementary and high schools and works to educate the public in an effort to fight racism and to promote understanding of First Nations history and culture. Available for all grades.

Nomad: Correcting the Narrative

  • Registration for this program has now concluded. Thank you to all who attended!

NOMAD is a 60 minute multimedia/speaking and singing presentation on the last several thousand years of Canadian Inuit history developed and presented by Inuk singer/songwriter, Susan Aglukark, O.C. Through songs, stories, film, photos and music videos, NOMAD will take you on the journey of the Canadian Inuit over the last several thousand years shedding light on some of the psychological and cultural impacts of rapid change in the North. NOMAD also gives a glimpse of the resilience and determination of a people who have maintained a quiet dignity despite near annihilation by disease and rapid change, a glimpse of the strengths of the traditional culture.

While NOMAD helps us better understand the effects of colonization and generational trauma caused by the Canadian Governments Residential School/assimilation policy on Inuit, viewers also gain an understanding that we as Indigenous (artists) work with and from for our own respective healing and learning. Incorporating images, film and video, you will get a glimpse of the resilience and determination of a people who have maintained a quiet dignity despite near annihilation by disease and rapid change. NOMAD in its format(s) is a utilization of indigenous stories weaved from our respective collection of resources, “research”, bodies of work and methods of sharing, music videos, film clips, maps and facts, a process of discovery that has been a healing process in itself.

  • Registration for this program has now concluded. Thank you to all who attended!

Visions of Turtle Island includes live singing and highlights First Nation dancing in Powwow & Haudenosaunee styles, ending with the ever popular Hoop Dance.

 

Asian Heritage Month

Though Chinese New Year has now passed, we invite you to enjoy the video below with the Yuan Yin Group as they celebrate Chinese New Year featuring traditional Chinese instruments GuZheng (Chinese Zither) and the Gu Qin (selected by UNESCO as an Intangible World Cultural Heritage). Available for all grades.

  • 00:51 to 7:35 Chinese New Year Stories
  • 07:35 to 16:23 Five Examples of Chinese Musical Instruments (GuZheng, Chinese Lute/Pipa, ErHu, GuQin, BianZhong)
  • 16:23 to 27:56 Performance featuring instruments of GuZheng and Guqin, with the songs represent spring, summer, fall and winter
  • 27:56 to 29:38 Playing western songs on a traditional Chinese musical instrument (i.e.Twinkle twinkle little star, Mary had a little lamb, etc.)
  • 29:38 – End: Traditional Chinese music that represents the elements from the nature (wind, cloud, river)

Black History Month

Steel Pan Demonstration and Mini Concert – Registration required via OCF website

Available for all grade levels

Celebrate Black History Month in Oakville with the Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton. Talented panists, Denise, Jasmine and Richard, will teach you about the origins of the Steelpan and different musical techniques. Of course, that’s not all. In this 15 minute demonstration, you’ll get a chance to dance, play a game and sing along! After the demonstration, be sure to enjoy the short concert where the trio entertain with a selection of pan classics and pop favourites.

The Underground Railroad: Next Stop, Freedom & Legacy Voices

Available for Grade 6 Oakville HDSB and HCDSB students only

Click here to sign up for this program.

Through virtual tours, digitized artifacts, hands-on activities, stories, and a live video interactive presentation, this inquiry-based education program helps students immerse themselves into historical experiences that offer unique opportunities to experience our shared living heritage. Students will explore Oakville’s relationship with the United States in the context of the Underground Railroad. They will learn about how Oakville Harbour played a significant role in the journey to Canada for many freedom seekers. Key figures in the Oakville Underground Railroad story are introduced through the exhibition Freedom, Opportunity and Family: Oakville’s Black History, and excerpts from the multimedia presentation The Underground Railroad: Next Stop Freedom as well as more contemporary stories from the documentary Legacy Voices. 

Once registered, the Oakville Museum will be in touch regarding program details.

In Conversation with Donovan Bailey

“From Graduate to Gold”: Interview with Olympic Gold Medalist Donovan Bailey

Check out this chat between Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean and Olympic Gold Medalist Donovan Bailey as they chat about high school, sports and Oakville!

Arts Programming

ArtHouse

ARTHOUSE – Oakville Improv
ArtHouse and Oakville Improv bring laughs and spontaneity to the classroom with an exciting educational experience as participants get “dramatic”, tell a story, and work together with their classmates in the moment. Live Streamed for multiple students. Live Streamed for multiple students. Limited availability – only for Oakville students in JK to grade 1. To book go here.

ARTHOUSE – Danza Corpus
ArtHouse and Danza Corpus present a contemporary dance workshop which will warm you up with a little bit of exercise and then have you moving to some very cool music – and a finale as our professionals entertain you with a brief performance.  All recorded in advance to accommodate your class time. Lessons include:

  1. Warm up exercises 
  2. Basic dance steps like marching, skipping and gallops 
  3. Some contemporary and hip-hop dance combos 
  4. Guided improvisation for creativity 
  5. Brief performance

Art from the Heart

Aiden Lee is an abstract painter and a sixteen year old student. Aiden was born with multiple diagnosis; Autism, ADHD, Anxiety. He is an art advocate – an awareness magnet that believes in inspiring students all over Ontario with colour, design, shape and texture. So far he has taught art in 15 schools – over 3000 students with a program called, ‘Art From The Heart.’  To participate in one of Aiden’s art classes, visit the Virtual Classroom on his website for Art Basics.

New video content coming soon.

Crash Rhythm

An alternative, dynamic and engaging approach to music education and exploration. CRASH uses bucket drumming to tie together teamwork, creativity and fun while also learning the basics of music, composition, rhythm and drumming.

Crash also has a weekly newsletter to help connect people with all their content. Explore videos in three playlists: Fun Fact Friday, Quick Clips and the #PlayItForward Challenge.

Oakville Chamber Orchestra

For over 30 years the Oakville Chamber Orchestra has been exciting audiences with its passionate discovery of chamber ensemble music played in intimate settings with a particular focus on Youth Inspiring Youth. Explore performances of Beethoven’s Fur Elise and Into the Unknown from Frozen 2.

Home Studio

Abstract Views 

The many movements of abstract art have always allowed for a fresh point of view and turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Students will learn and review the elements and principles of design while putting them into practise as they create abstract scenes, real or imaginary, through transforming fragmented images and drawing. Abstract art uses the visual language of colour, line, shape and form to portray an idea or a scene. A simple vase of flowers could be the inspiration for an abstract painting, but could look nothing like it at first glance of the artwork. Abstract art inspires to push boundaries of representing the literal (realistic scenes or objects) and dive into the imagination and bring dreams to life. You’ll notice that the sample images show objects or a portrait, but does not look realistic like a photograph. Some abstract art, called Non-Representational art, actually depicts things that aren’t real at all but instead capture a feeling, try to represent sound, or are just shapes, lines and colours that create a compelling composition. How can we stretch our thinking and find identifiable objects or ideas in a painting? How do we look at the world around us and make artworks that show it in a completely unique way? Abstract art and thinking!

This activity allows students to create depictions of their chosen ideas through shape, line, colour and form, break down the image to its very basics by cutting and gluing simple shapes, then build it back up using layering of shapes, colours and paper textures to add detail and bring it to life.

Exploring Symbolism 

This workshop will introduce and explore the importance of the concept of connection and symbolism within art. Students will explore their own personal meaning of “connection” in their own lives while using imagery and symbolism to represent themselves throughout a colourful painting or drawing representation. Symbolism is a way of using images or icons to represent truths or ideas without saying it or drawing it directly. Iconography (using icons) can be thought of as a visual language rather than verbal. In art history as well as contemporary art, symbolism and iconography can be found everywhere.

Did you know there is actually an art history dictionary listing different objects and what their meanings are in paintings? For example, if you see a dog in a painting, it symbolizes loyalty. A stormy sky means there is danger, a dove means peace and calm, and a spider signifies betrayal. Even certain colours have specific meanings such as purple, symbolizing royalty or wealth. Examining symbolism in artwork is fun because you are searching for the meaning like a treasure hunt!

This activity allows students to create works with their very own and personalized symbolism. By creating self-portraits using iconography, this art lesson allows for students to self-reflect and use the common art practice of symbolism to represent themselves and what makes them who they are through images.

Oakville Symphony

Join Vernon Rabbit, his family and friends on a musical adventure.

Bonus for teachers: our musicians are able to join your class via a virtual meeting once you have viewed the video. If you would like to arrange this, please contact Gillian at outreach@oakvillesymphony.ca to schedule a mutually convenient time. Ten virtual meetings available.

Meet the Harpist

Join the Oakville Symphony’s Principal Harpist, Sharlene Wallace, for an entertaining session all about the Harp.

Bonus for Teachers: Sharlene is available for a virtual visit with your class once you have watched the video. Contact Gillian at outreach@oakvillesymphony.ca to arrange a mutually convenient time. 10 virtual visits are available.

 

Environmental Programming

Halton Environmental Network (HEN)

In 2021 HEN launched its synchronous learning tools to provide a virtual learning environment for Grade 2 students and allow for live classroom collaboration for distance learners. These free sessions help students understand climate change and how they can take action in their own lives. Click here to learn more and register!

Oakvillegreen

Join Oakvillegreen at the Oak Park/Wellspring Pollinator Garden where they will lead you through a Pollinator Quest video lesson. Following your lesson, you can test your students’ knowledge with this Pollinator Quest Quiz.

Community Classroom is made possible by the Oakville Community Foundation with support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Sagen.

     


2021 Programming

ArtHouse

Painting, Crafting, Improv, Theatre, Dancing, Singing, and more. ArtHouse provides extracurricular arts education to students all over Halton. And, so that no one misses out on their dynamic brand of arts learning, the playlist below is full of exciting lessons for the kids, with new videos added regularly. Click on the drop-down menu at the top right of the video to see all the available lessons.

Art from the Heart

Aiden Lee is an abstract painter and a sixteen year old student. Aiden was born with multiple diagnosis; Autism, ADHD, Anxiety. He is an art advocate – an awareness magnet that believes in inspiring students all over Ontario with colour, design, shape and texture. So far he has taught art in 15 schools – over 3000 students with a program called, ‘Art From The Heart.’  To participate in one of Aiden’s art classes, visit the Virtual Classroom on his website for Art Basics.

Crash Rhythm

An alternative, dynamic and engaging approach to music education and exploration. CRASH uses bucket drumming to tie together teamwork, creativity and fun while also learning the basics of music, composition, rhythm and drumming.

Crash also has a weekly newsletter to help connect people with all their content,  in these videos are Quick Clips. These are small videos that can hopefully help teachers, especially music teachers, come up with rhythm based activities for their classes. All the quick clips will be posted on YouTube every week.

Halton Environmental Network (HEN)

In 2021 HEN launched its synchronous learning tools to provide a virtual learning environment for Grade 2 Students and allow for live classroom collaboration for distance learners. These free sessions help students understand climate change and how they can take action in their own lives. Click here to learn more and register!

HEN in partnership with Oakville Ready has put together fun family resources and activities for Community Classroom students and the entire family. Be sure to check out HENs entertaining and idea-stimulating custom home bingo card for a chance to win native seeds. Check here for Movie Parties and more.

Oakville Chamber Orchestra

For over 30 years the Oakville Chamber Orchestra has been exciting audiences with its passionate discovery of chamber ensemble music played in intimate settings with a particular focus on Youth Inspiring Youth. Click on an image below to watch the video.

Oakville Galleries

Oakville Galleries has launched new Community Classroom content to help students understand Abstract Views and Exploring Symbolism. They have put together downloadable lesson plans, a video lesson, and the workshop description.

Abstract Views Lesson

    1. Abstract Views Workshop Description
    2. Abstract Views Downloadable Lesson Plan 

Exploring Symbolism

  1. Exploring Symbolism Workshop Description 
  2. Exploring Symbolism Downloadable Lesson Plan

Create, engage, share! Come join Oakville Galleries educator Erica every Friday at 3:00 pm in Home Studio. You can follow her step-by-step videos to create your own at-home masterpieces!

Start here with Paper Weaving, and follow through to even more lessons on the Home Studio program page.

Taking inspiration from artworks by Louise Noguchi in the Oakville Galleries permanent collection, this art workshop will teach the technique of weaving and encourage the use of recycled paper to make interesting patterns and abstracted images. Weaving is one of the most ancient forms of creativity and design, and this activity will allow young artists to transform that craft into their very own masterpieces!

Oakville Galleries on Vimeo.

Oakvillegreen

Oakvillegreen has launched new Community Classroom content to help students understand some of the different characteristics and needs of living organisms and how water quality affects their lives. Exploring different scenarios to showcase human impact on water quality and living organisms, the team share some ideas to help protect and conserve water and aquatic organisms.

After screening the video, encourage your children to explore streets with this activity guide and natural areas in their neighbourhood to identify suitable habitat for animals and possible human impact on the urban ecosystem.


Oakvillegreen wants you and your family to stay connected with nature, we just have to be more creative. They believe in the power of environmental education for building greener and stronger communities. Check their website for more resources to help you enjoy nature from home.

Oakville Museum

Oakville Symphony

For over 50-years the Oakville Symphony has been delighting audiences. As part of the Community Classroom program, they have have been opening up the world of music to young minds in new and innovative ways. Watch here as musicians from OS take you inside their craft.