CRRP | Irma Coulson
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CRRP Sample Projects

CRRP Initiative Projects


The following projects were created by educators who participated in the initiative.  They are samples of the types of inquiry questions and related activities that these educators engaged in over the course of the year.  These projects reflect  questions and actions educators took to address those questions related to teaching and learning in their respective contexts and some of the components connected to their understandings of CRRP.  Some of the educators provide resources that they found helpful along the way.

Irma Coulson Projects #1
Adam Finkbeiner & Erin Walsh

Focus / Big Idea

Student Voice, Student assessment of how equitable and inclusive the school is.

Component of Equity Continuum

All components (minus the Culture of Professional Development section).

Initial Inquiry Question

Q1: “Is our school culture equitable and inclusive?” – too open ended

Final Inquiry Question

“How far along the Equity Continuum is Irma Coulson Public School in the following areas: 1)Classroom Climate and Instruction 2) School Climate 3) Student Voice and Space 4) Family/Caregiver-School Relations 5) School Leadership 6) Community Connections;†and what steps do we need to take to move further along the Continuum?”†

(Students will be conducting this inquiry)

Grade Level / Subjects

Grade 7

Curriculum Links

This inquiry project was integrated across several subject areas including Language, Visual Arts, Drama and Math

Activities / Actions Taken to Move the Inquiry Forward

Our Inquiry started with looking at ‘self’ and our unique identities, then moved to looking at and appreciating our diverse classroom community, then to issues of power and privilege, then to inquiring about if our school culture celebrates and supports our diversity, and finally to students making recommendations to move ICPS further along the Equity Continuum. Some activities that were used along the way include;

-Name story research and sharing

-Creation of a large visual map of “Where we’re from” around the world

-“I Am From” & “We Are From” Poetry writing

-equity word study and vocab quiz

-Social Justice plays (read aloud): from ETFO’s “More Than A Play”

-Movie viewings and discussions: “Remember the Titans”, “Prom Night in Mississippi”, “Frozen”

-Power Flower activity

-Line of Privilege activity

-Lit Circles with all Social Justice themed books

-gender stereotypes lesson

-student inquiry projects using the Equity Continuum as a framework

-data collection (gathering student voice) and analysis

-sharing of findings to partents and staff

Resources / Research That Supported Your Professional Learning (Titles & Authors)

-ETFO “Social Justice Begins with Me”

-“Beyond Heros and Holidays” – Enid Lee

-“Teaching Fairly in an Unfair World” -Kathy Gould Lundy

-“Pedagogy of the Oppressed” – Freire

-“Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope” – Hooks

-“Open Minds to Equality” (Rethinking Schools)

-“Math that Matters” – David Stocker

Classroom Resources That Supported The Inquiry Journey With Students

-ETFO’s “More Than a Play”

-Picture books:  lots!

-Lit Circle book choices;

The Book Thief by Lora Leigh

War Brothers by Sharon E McKay

Too Much Trouble by Tom Avery

The Skin I’m In by Sharon G. Flake

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger

Bifocal by Deborah Ellis & Eric Walters

Totally Joe by James Howe

Playground by 50 cent

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Irma Coulson Projects #2
Christine Elliott & Andromeda Sulja

Focus / Big Idea

-Ensuring that the resources we use in our classrooms reflect the make-up & diversity within our class, as well as our community

-Building empathy for others by reflecting on the components of our own identities as well as the identities of others (flower of power)

Component of Equity Continuum

“Classroom Climate & Instruction” – Students see their lives and others represented in books and classroom materials.

Initial Inquiry Question

Can we increase students’ sense of connection to and empathy for others (peers in the class, children in other countries)?

Final Inquiry Question

Can we increase students’ self awareness (their own identity, what is important to them) and their awareness of others?

Grade Level / Subjects

Grade 2 & 2/3 French Immersion

– English & French Literacy

– Math

– Social Studies

Curriculum Links

– Eng. Literacy: Inferring, Making Connections (Reading)

– Fr. Literacy: Making connections, learning new vocabulary, responding to text in discussions

– Math: Venn diagrams (Data Management & Probability)

– Social Studies: Family Unit

Activities / Actions Taken to Move the Inquiry Forward

“All About Me”: This was used as our diagnostic assessment. Students were asked to draw a picture and write a brief description about the most important things about them that people should know. They were then asked to do the same for an imaginary character that was “similar” to them and an imaginary character that was “different” from them. We did this activity to gauge students’ understanding of the different parts of their own identity, in order to help us select our resources.

Read Aloud Discussions: During read alouds we would often engage in small group (think-pair-share” and large group discussions for students to share connections between themselves and the characters in the stories.


Compare/Contrast (Venn Diagrams): Students selected two characters from the read alouds and identified how the characters were similar and how the characters were different.


Worm Activity: With a partner, students reflected on the benefits of being friends with others who are similar to you (like worm and his worm friends) and the benefits of being friends with others who are different to you (like worm and his friend spider).

Resources / Research That Supported Your Professional Learning (Titles & Authors)

Teaching Fairly in an Unfair World – Kathleen Gould Lundy

Social Justice Begins With Me Kit – ETFO

Classroom Resources That Supported The Inquiry Journey With Students


“20 Things We Should Say More Often” – Kid President

“Kid President’s Pep Talk to Teachers & Students” – Kid President

“A Pep Talk from Kid President to You” – Kid President


English Read Alouds

The Best Part of Me – Wendy Ewald (Self-Esteem)

From Far Away – Robert Munsch (Immigration, English Language Learners)

Amazing Grace – Mary Hoffman (Gender / Race)

Grace & Family – Mary Hoffman (Family Structure)

The Golden Rule – Ilene Cooper (Faith / Religion / Spirituality)

The Little Red Stocking – Tina Dine (Family Structure)

Grandfather Tang’s Story – Ann Tompert (Culture, Cross-Generational Rel)

The Great Kapok Tree – Lynne Cherry (Different Perspectives)

The Sneetches – Dr. Seuss (Physical Appearance, Taking Advantage of Others)

Owen & M’zee – Isabella & Craig Hatkoff (Friendship)


French Read Alouds

Martine & Maurice – Eric Peladeau & Thomas Gibault (Friendship)

Ma Vie de Ver de Terre – Doreen Cronin & Henry Bliss (Friendship)


Field Trips

Gr. 2 Faith Walk (Gurdwara, Mosque, French-Catholic Church)

Irma Coulson Projects #3
Jaz Sahdra & Heather Sekine

Focus / Big Idea

Respect all linguistic and cultural backgrounds of students and parents whose first language is not English. This we believe will increase the student’s cognitive functioning, promoting greater creativity, problem-solving ability, so that all students experience a feeling of self-worth and are able to reach their full-potential in their learning environment, embracing their first language and seeing it as an asset and skill to share in their school environment.

-student’s first language is seen as an asset to the classroom and school

-students are encouraged to use their language  and teach it to their peers

*We want to avoid students feeling isolated, alienated and inferior, and have a place where students’ first language and culture is not devalued or not validated in our school

Component of Equity Continuum

School Climate:

Welcome signs in different languages

Student ambassadors to welcome new students to the classroom/school

Student Voice:

Student leadership positions are filled by a diverse group, representative of the demographics in the school population

Family/Caregiver School Relations:

-Students are involved in leading, participating, and developing the communications regarding classroom events and activities

-Multi-lingual signage is present (e.g., welcome signs)

Initial Inquiry Question

How does having Student and Parent Ambassadors’ impact feelings of inclusion in the school community?

Final Inquiry Question

How does having Student Ambassadors’ impact feelings of inclusion in the school community?

Grade Level / Subjects

Grade 5 & Grade 6 students

Curriculum Links

Physical Education (Right To Play); Language curriculum; Learning Skills

Activities / Actions Taken to Move the Inquiry Forward
  • Students’ applied to be an Irma Coulson Public School Student Ambassador
  • Team of 40 plus students from Grade 5 – 6, came together collectively to determine the role of the Student Ambassador (Student Voice)
  • Served as Peer Buddies to new students that have

limited English Proficiency, and are able to converse

in their first language (within/out of their grade level)

  • School events: Greet guests in English and their first language that is identified on a badge that says: ‘Can I help You?’ in English and in their first language
  • Assist with set-up and running of events (e.g., Library bookfair; low-organizational games; Play Day; Henna Art Station; Supervision in Kindergarten Play Area
  • School Tours to New Families and Guests that visit the building
  • During whole school assemblies assist with Kindergarten students; Ushers etc.
Resources / Research That Supported Your Professional Learning (Titles & Authors)

Open Minds To Equality –Nancy Schniedewind &

Ellen Davidson   Third Edition


Teaching Fairly in an Unfairly World –Kathleen Gould



Inclusive Language Guidelines –Halton District School

Board   2008

Irma Coulson Projects #4
Susan Cvitkovitch & Fiona Marcy

Focus / Big Idea

The school respects all families and family structures and invites them to participate in the life of the school and the students’ educational process.


The school creates welcoming spaces for family/caregivers.

Component of Equity Continuum

Families and caregivers are provided with opportunities to share their knowledge and life experiences that are connected to the curriculum.


Students engage in activities and create displays that highlight the contributions of their families/caregivers to create a welcome space.

Initial Inquiry Question

How can we engage our parent community to support one another with the diverse range of first languages used in their homes?

Final Inquiry Question

How can we invite our parent heroes into our classrooms valuing their diverse languages and contributions to their families, the school and the overall community?

Grade Level / Subjects


Curriculum Links

FDK Big Idea-

Children are connected to others and contribute to their world.

Personal and Social Development-

  1. demonstrate a beginning understanding of the diversity in individuals, families, schools, and the wider community;


Language –

  1. communicate by talking and by listening and speaking to others for a variety of purposes and in a variety of contexts;
  2. use reading strategies that are appropriate for beginning readers in order to make sense of a variety of written materials;
  3. communicate in writing, using strategies that are appropriate for beginners;
Activities / Actions Taken to Move the Inquiry Forward

-Initial handout sent out electronically and on paper

-Second paper copy sent home

-Revised handout sent home to those that did not respond

-Personal contact to ask for return of handout

-Invitation made to parents to present the project together

Resources / Research That Supported Your Professional Learning (Titles & Authors)

ELL teachers


Youth Settlement Worker


Equity Continuum-Action for Critical Transformation in Schools and Classrooms


Supporting English Language Learners in Kindergarten- A practical guide for Ontario Educators


Many Roots, Many Voices-Supporting English language learners in every classroom

Classroom Resources That Supported The Inquiry Journey With Students

Hero Inquiry


Martin’s Big Words (Martin Luther King)

Irma Coulson Biography

Terry Fox Biography

Nelson Mandela Biography

Chris Hadfield Biography

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind- William Kamknamba

Malala Biography

War Veteran Visit

Travis Gerrit Olympian

Hailey Wickenheiser Biography

Trees of Peace-Wangari

David Suzuki Biography

Winter The Dolphin Biography

Duhacek Visit (Help Cure Cancer)

Police Visits

Vishal Vijay Visit