Canadian History in the Twentieth Century


Activity 2: Canadian Society in the Early Years of the Twentieth Century



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Activity 2: Canadian Society in the Early Years of the Twentieth Century

Time: 150 minutes

Description


Students are introduced to primary and secondary historical sources from the period 1900-1914. Students learn to distinguish between fact and inference in primary and secondary sources. They learn to draw conclusions based on adequate and relevant supporting evidence. Students learn about Canada’s identity at the beginning of the twentieth century. They identify major groups who immigrated to Canada and describe significant factors that led to their decisions to emigrate. They discuss attitudes toward immigrants to Canada based on the teaching of the Catholic Church. Students describe Canada’s economic growth at the start of the twentieth century. They are introduced to the unit’s culminating activity: a scrapbook depicting life in Canada during the first 28 years of the twentieth century.

Strand(s) and Expectations


Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations: CGE2c, 7f.

Strand(s): Methods of Historical Inquiry; Change and Continuity; Social, Economic, and Political Structures

Overall Expectations: CCV.01, SPV.01, MIV.03, MIV.04.

Specific Expectations

CC1.01 - identify the major groups that have immigrated to Canada from 1900 to the present and describe significant factors that led to their decisions to immigrate;

SP1.01 - describe Canada’s economic growth at the start of the twentieth century;

MI1.01 - use terms related to historical organization and inquiry correctly;

MI1.02 - use who, what, where, when, why and how questions effectively when researching historical topics and issues;

MI3.02 - distinguish between primary and secondary sources of information, and use both appropriately in historical research;

MI3.03 - distinguish between fact and inference in primary and secondary sources;

MI3.04 - demonstrate an ability to draw conclusions based on adequate and relevant supporting evidence.


Planning Notes


  • Obtain samples of primary sources from the 1900-1914 time period. Attempt to find photographs of pioneer immigrants in this time period. Find examples of advertising posters for immigrants to Western Canada and photographs or written statements describing economic growth in the early twentieth century. Provide examples of factual material and opinion material. Some sources may be found in textbooks and in the scrapbook A Nation Beckons: Canada 1896-1914. Others may be found in books such as Barry Broadfoot’s The Pioneer Years, Jean Bruce’s The Last Best West, and Heather Robertson’s Salt of the Earth.

Prior Knowledge Required


From the Grades 7 and 8 curriculum, it is expected that the students have an understanding of primary sources and the difference between historical fact and opinion. Students also have general understanding of the Laurier period based on the Grade 8 curriculum.

Teaching/Learning Strategies


1. Students, in small groups of two or three, examine selected primary sources from 1900-1914. The primary sources are prepared by the teacher and may include newspaper stories, journal entries, letters, photographs, and advertisements from the period. Students analyse the sources. They list factual material and opinion material they have found in the sources.

2. After examining the primary sources, students are asked to distinguish between a primary source and a secondary source.

3. A representative from each group informs the class about what information his or her group has learned by examining the selected primary sources from the 1900-1914 time period. The teacher summarizes the conclusions in writing on the board. All students copy the board notes.

4. Students complete a chart (Appendix 1.2.1) in which they describe various immigrant groups and the reasons (e.g., push and pull factors) why the groups came to Canada in the early twentieth century. Students complete the chart by performing research in textbooks and other sources. Among the groups to be researched are Ukrainians, the Japanese, the Polish, Germans, the Doukhobors, and the Hutterites. Working with criteria such as neatness, accuracy, and completeness, each students does a self-assessment of his/her chart on Immigration to Canada in the Early Twentieth Century.

5. Students examine the following statement from the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “ The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin” [Section 2241]. The teacher also refers to Do Justice!, Document 39 which contains the Canadian Catholic Bishops’ statement on immigration. The class discusses the following statement: God “intends the earth and all it contains for the use of every human being and people” [Do Justice!, page 272]. The class reflects upon the Gospel value to help our fellow human beings who are in need. Students discuss to what extent Canada’s immigration policies in the early 20th century and today are in keeping with the teaching of the Catholic Church.

6. Students create their own charts to depict Canadian economic growth at the start of the twentieth century. Material is found in textbook and/or teacher-created documents. Students may use the following headings in their charts: agriculture (various types), mining, forestry, railways, electricity, and manufacturing. The charts should illustrate Canadian growth under each of the headings in the period 1900-1914.



7. Students are introduced to the unit’s culminating activity. In this activity, students produce a scrapbook depicting Canada in the first 28 years of the twentieth century. Students are asked to perform the following tasks: write a two-paragraph report on a Canadian prime minister; write a one-paragraph profile of one other important person and his/her contributions to Canada; create a timeline which lists twenty important Canadian events; find three photographs, and produce a written paragraph to explain the importance of each picture; explain in pictures, charts, and/or words an important change in technology; explain in a minimum of one paragraph one cause-and-effect relationship; make a comparison between an event, person, or group in the 1900-1928 time period and an event, person, or group in the present time period; correctly document the sources of their research; use at least one computer database and one library book in their research; identify a primary source and a secondary source. Students are given a checklist for the culminating activity to ensure that they are aware of all tasks required in the completion of the project (see Appendix 1.2.2). The students are also given a copy of Rubric for the 1900-1928 Scrapbook (Appendix 1.2.3) so that they are cognizant of the four achievement levels and the criteria by which they are evaluated.


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