Skip To Content
Grade 5/6 Class at Wellington Elementary School Celebrates Black History with Book Tasting
Grade 5/6 Class at Wellington Elementary School Celebrates Black History with Book Tasting
Posted on 02/28/2023

February 28, 2023 (Prescott, ON) The Grade 5/6 French Immersion class at Wellington Elementary School put a unique twist on learning about notable Black Canadians and Americans – a book tasting.

Students dressed up and transformed their classroom into a restaurant, complete with snacks and table service. Students selected from an assortment of 20 biographical books and listened to a digital read-aloud for five minutes before switching to another book. During the sampling, students wrote about the book on their ‘menu’ - whom the book was about, what the person was famous for and why the student is interested in researching this person.  

“I thought it was super fun and the idea was amazing,” says Isaiah Simzer, Grade 5. “I learned about some of the inspirational Black people and how they broke down barriers and fought for Black rights.”  

Simzer shared that one of his favourite reads was called Meet Willie O'Ree—the NHL player who broke down barriers on and off the ice.” In 1958, O’Ree became the first black player in the National Hockey League and to get there, he faced racism and an injury that would have ended most hockey careers.

Classmate and Grade 6 student Ella Davidson says the book tasting was fun and that she learned a lot about the hurdles, segregation and racism that Black people experienced and the ways that they had to overcome those challenges.

“It was really fun because you got to read a bunch of books, read about influential Black people and do something that we haven't done before,” Davidson explains, adding that the book tasting was very engaging and it was fun to see classmates dressed up.

For part two of this initiative, students will do a research project on the person featured in one of the books they read. This will include creating a pendant that will have a picture of the person, a quote and life milestones to be placed around the classroom. Students will also make a 2D or 3D model of something that represents the person that they chose.  

Teacher Lorianne De Spiegelaere says she got the idea to do a book tasting from Pinterest and adapted it to fit the needs of the lesson.

I'm always on Pinterest looking for new ideas and this book tasting is all the rage right now. So, I tweaked it to make it work for what I wanted, which was an activity to do for Black History Month. This project will carry over into other months too as it’s important to highlight Black history not just during February, but year-round.”

Based on the engagement, excitement and feedback from students, De Spiegelaere says she plans to do something similar in the future.  

Discovering new and creative ways to enhance student learning and engagement is always something we strive for. Lianne’s adaptation of the book tasting for Black History Month is a true testament to that,” says Principal Peter Onstein.This multi-layered opportunity has allowed students to explore a wide range of inspirational Black people, their achievements and their unrelenting fight against racism and inequality. We look forward to seeing the continuation of this project as the school year progresses.

For media inquiries, please contact:   

Peter Onstein  Principal  Wellington Elementary School  [email protected] 

    Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2024 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.