Today, many students had the pleasure of hearing Canada’s own Rick Hansen speak at the University of Regina. Although I did not see his presentation, a friend of mine told me that he was speaking about the 25th anniversary of his Man in Motion World Tour. In the hopes of raising money for spinal cord injury research and raising awareness for people with disabilities, Hansen wheeled through 34 countries in 26 months http://www.rickhansen.com/en-ca/home.aspx. It was an incredible journey that has and will continue to inspire and motivate people around the world.
In celebration of the success and inspiration of Rick Hansen’s journey, there is a 25th anniversary relay taking place from August 24th 2011 until May 22nd 2012 http://www.rickhansenrelay.com/en/about-the-relay.aspx. This relay started in Cape Spear Newfoundland and Labrador and will move across Canada concluding in Vancouver! It is such an exciting endeavor happening in our own backyards. Whats even more exciting is the participation among Canadians; over 7,000 participants are involved!
So, how does this all fit into the curriculum you ask? According the the grade 5 outcome 5.11 Culture and History, students are expected to ” examine, evaluate and communicate the influence of Canadians, both historically and currently, on the development of the numerous options for participation in movement activities in this country” https://www.edonline.sk.ca/webapps/moe-curriculum-BBLEARN/index.jsp?lang=en&XML=physical_education_5.xml. I believe that using Rick Hansen’s story in the classroom would be an awesome way of achieving this outcome. Students could watch some videos or research him online to discover the history and underlying purpose of his tour. If possible, students could participate in a relay of some sort, or even donate money to the Rick Hansen foundation. Whatever type of connection you choose, it would be a great topic to discuss with your students. Before today, I had never known much about Rick Hansen, but I was so proud and excited for the accomplishments he has made in Canada and the world.