Night of the Notables, a Grade 8 Tradition

Have you met Cleopatra? Or Mr. Spielberg? Or Ms. Khalo? Or Mr. Nobel? Then you haven’t been to Mugrave’s Night of the Notables. On Thursday, November 21st, the Mulgrave Grade 8 students had the pleasure of hosting a very special event: Night of the Notables. Please read more for a recap of the evening’s events, parent quotes, and a link to photo highlights.
In case you are not familiar with what the event actually entails, here is a quick overview: Grade 8 students all participate in a unit of inquiry that asks, “What makes someone notable?” Students then select and explore the life of a ‘notable’ person. Additionally, they analyze and produce a variety of written and speaking pieces – brochures, presentation boards, artefacts, etc. The culmination of the unit is the evening celebration where the students become their notable and share their knowledge with the Mulgrave community. It is a dynamic medium through which the students demonstrate their deep knowledge about a person who has impacted the world.
The evening started with an introduction by G11 students Liam M. and Jenna R: Two engaging and confident MC’s who stayed through the event to mingle with the notables. The audience was then presented with a student-produced movie that included some powerful prose about leadership and initiative. This set the stage, so to speak, for the introduction to the notables themselves. They were grouped into artists, innovators, leaders, and firsts on the stage. Whether it was Martin Luther King, Jr. moving us with an excerpt of his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech or Joan of Arc getting ‘burned’, each student brought his or her character to life, and it was a wonderful presentation.
The audience was then invited to join the notables on the main floor and interact with them to learn a bit more about what made them…well, notable! Parents, teachers and students of all ages mingled with figures such as Steve Jobs, Nikola Tesla, Elsie McGill, Winston Churchill, Malala Yousafzai, and Nelson Mandela. The Grade 8 notables were staunch in their desire to stay in character, and it was a fun challenge to try to ask them questions about their notable’s life that they could not answer.
Here are some parent reflections on the evening:
• Wow!  What a fantastic evening that was last night! Of all the years that we have had our four kids in school (a combined total of close to 50 school years now), and of all the school events we have attended, this was hands down the most fabulous school event we have attended. It was entertaining, educational and fun and the students were phenomenal taking on their notable’s character. Well done! 
• Thank you very much for a wonderful night. I really, really enjoyed talking to the Notables. I found them so much in character, and they really ‘owned’ their Notable. It was at times like talking to the real person.
• I definitely learned a few things; I especially liked being introduced to them all on stage…Thanks again for a great night…Mulgrave really does get better every year.
• What impresses me the most is about Night of the Notables is the depth of knowledge that the students possess. You really feel as though you are talking to Walt Disney, for example! It is also great to see how so many types of skills are put on display: from the costumes they wear to the speeches they memorise. The entire educational experience is put on display, and it is a joy to see!
• I will definitely bring my young son to this event next year. It is an inspirational experience that I don’t want him to miss. I know that he will look forward to the year when he can participate.
For a slideshow of highlights from the event, please click here.

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