Grade 1 Prairie Waters Elementary School students showcased who they are in a fashion to their peers and families on Feb. 28.
“The social studies aspect of what we were covering talks about identity, our central idea, and the groups that we belong to that help form our identity,” Grade 1 teacher Angele Schiltz said.
To showcase their learning, students hosted a fashion show expressing how they see themselves, and what makes them unique.
“The past six weeks, we’ve been learning about the children’s different identities, what makes them unique, what makes them similar, and different, their family makeup, their culture, their community, point of view, and their perspective,” Schiltz said.
Students spent time discussing the different groups they belong to, including sports, school groups, and family interests.
Parents also got involved in the project, by helping their students understand their family history, which they later presented to the class.
After interviewing their families, and presenting to their class, students worked on a family planner, coming up with ideas for their fashion show, and how they wanted to express their identity.
“We had some students bring in three or four things along with an outfit they wore that represented who they were and what makes them unique,” Schiltz said.
Before the fashion show, two former Prairie Waters Elementary School students taught the students how to model, while sharing what modelling can help them with, confidence, and the opportunities modelling can bring.
The students then practiced their runway walk during a dress rehearsal in front of their school, before in front of their families.
“It went off without a glitch, it was just amazing,” Schiltz said.
Some students chose to wear clothing that represented their culture, while others walked the runway showcasing their special interests, such as a sketchbook and pen, or a soccer ball.
After the fashion show, parents stopped Schiltz and were in awe of the entire event.
“They couldn’t believe their kids were walking the runway. It was a great confidence booster for kids, and their risk-taking skills really shown,” Schiltz said. “They had the practice run, then they were more confident to perform for their parents, you could tell their walk had a little bit more of a runway walk, and their pose was more pronounced. I’m really glad we had the opportunity for them to have that practice round.”
The fashion show was a multifaceted project that got the majority of the school involved, with students picking music, helping with the sound system, creating tickets, greeting parents, and taking photos and videos.
Last year, Schiltz was inspired to create a project that got a majority of the school involved, that also invited the students’ families back to the school.
“We did it as a way to get parents back into the school after limitations were lifted. We were working on the unit, planning, and our ideas were getting bigger and bigger. It was so awesome, we decided to keep doing this, and it’s become a tradition,” Schiltz said.
Adding, “I really hope this is a tradition that continues, I hope part of this unit incorporates a fashion show because it makes them understand about their identity and the different components to their identity.”
Not only was the fashion show a way for students to showcase their culture, interests, and identity, but it was also a way for parents to get involved in their children’s school and see what’s happening in their class.
“Parents haven’t been in the school much since COVID, but it was a great opportunity for them to come into the school, and see what we did,” Schiltz said. “It’s time for us to really let the parents see what’s going on in the school, and that we encourage and want them to be part of it.”