Sign Project – Stoney Creek Place-Based Learning

Sign Project

The Story of the Signs for Salal and Oregon Grape

The idea –Creating a job to do in the local environment – Service Learning for grade 6 & 7 students

An opportunity for Students of Stoney Creek Community School to make signage for Stoney Creek Environment Committee arose in October 2019. Ms. Taylor-Gibbs joined the Committee and helped plant salal and oregon grape plants along an eroded area in the trail system. At a follow-up meeting the committee members decided that the grade 6/7 students would make the signs for the area. And the project began.

A Big Idea in Career Education curriculum is to have

  • appreciation for new experiences
  • expansion of career options (learning new skills)

The first lesson was observing and sensing the environment grade 6 and 7 students of Stoney Creek walked to the replanted area, noticed temporary ribbons marking the plants and discussed the idea of signs. Students generated ideas of images and words to put on the signs. One student decided that a simple message like “ let me grow” would be beneficial. Many students understood the project idea.

Thinking:  How can your understanding of place influence project design?

Next, Ms. Taylor-Gibbs connected with the district ADST instructor Alex McKillop, and the Stream of Dreams Mural Society to explore ideas for materials and design techniques. Then the materials arrived, and students decided to cut circles as a design shape and used the band saws to complete the first stage. They further prepared the round shapes by sanding and adding primer. Next they used miter saws to create the stakes. The designing and final painting of messages took place under the direction of Louise Towell, founding artist of Stream of Dreams on February 27, 2020. Please see blog posts for photos.


  • cut plywood with band and miter saws
  • sand the plywood with sandpaper
  • paint the wood with primer and learn about rollers & brushes
  • design and paint messages

Service Learning

In addition to learning new skills and technology, the youth are learning about stewardship of the land. They have connected with the community and provided a service for the local environment. The sign project is thought of as a volunteer job for the Stoney Creek Environment Committee. It integrates Career Education, ADST and Biology curriculum. There is more to be learned in term 3.

Curricular Competencies covered for ADST:

  • Applied Technology – learn about appropriate tools & safety to complete a task
  • Applied Design – making products in stages and understanding materials needed

    Communicating: Students have written about new experiences in outdoor education

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