Canadian History in the Twentieth Century

Time: 18 hours Unit Developer: Greg Wilkinson, Toronto Catholic District School Board

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Time: 18 hours

Unit Developer: Greg Wilkinson, Toronto Catholic District School Board

Unit Description

In this unit students develop an appreciation of the economic, technological, cultural, social, and political changes that occurred in Canada immediately after World War II and continued into the 1960s. They also discover the growth of Canada as a middle-power on the international stage. The activities help students to recognize the importance of certain themes in our history such as Canadian and American relations. To develop skills used in historical inquiries, students create a photo journal that documents the significant social and technological changes that occurred in Canada during the “baby boom” years. Students are also expected to recognize the need for fostering a society that is focussed on social justice and human responsibility.

Strand(s) and Expectations

Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations: CGE1d, 1e, 1h, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 3d, 3e, 3f, 4a, 4f, 5a, 5e, 6c, 7b, 7e, 7f, 7g, 7h.

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

Overall Expectations: CGV.02, CGV.04, CCV.01, CCV.02, CCV.03, SPV.01, SPV.02, MIV.01, MIV.02, MIV.03, MIV.04.

Specific Expectations: CG2.01, CG2.02, CG2.03, CG3.01, CG4.06, CG4.07, CC1.01, CC1.02, CC1.03, CC1.05, CC2.01, CC2.02, CC2.03, CC3.02, CC3.03, CC3.04, SP2.02, SP2.06, MI1.01, MI1.02, MI2.01, MI2.02, MI2.03, MI2.04, MI3.01, M13.04, MI4.01, MI4.02, MI4.03, MI4.04.

Activity Titles (Time + Sequence)

Activity 1

The Growth of Prosperity

180 minutes

Activity 2

A New Immigrant’s Experience

240 minutes

Activity 3

Aboriginal Life 1945-1963

120 minutes

Activity 4

Quebec in Transition

120 minutes

Activity 5

Canada on the World Stage

180 minutes

Activity 6

My Family Grows and Changes

240 minutes

Prior Knowledge Required

  • Familiarity with the Internet and its related protocol, the use of computers, and any applicable technology

  • Knowledge of techniques for conducting an oral history interview

  • Understanding of the criteria for effective research projects

  • Knowledge of mapping skills

  • Knowledge of co-operative group working skills

  • Understanding of the use of table of contents and the indexes in different printed sources such as an encyclopedia

  • Familiarity with history of Canadian Aboriginal peoples

Unit Planning Notes

  • Activity 1 involves the creation and organization of a growth chart or timeline.

  • Activity 2 can be accomplished by interviewing someone who settled in Canada during the 1950s.

  • Access to computers is useful for finding information from the Internet and CD-ROMs.

  • Obtain a wall map of Canada that includes the provincial political boundaries. Students also need their own copies.

  • A wall map of the world is also needed. Students need their own copies.

  • Students need school supplies such as loose-leaf paper, duo-tangs, and glue for the culminating activity.

  • To complete Activity 3, students require information about the Aboriginal living conditions in the post-war period.

  • Students need access to audio-visual equipment for Activity 2.

Teaching/Learning Strategies

Whole Group

  • comparison organizer

  • Socratic lesson

Small Group

  • script and role play

  • researching, organizing, and presentation of photo journal


  • growth chart

  • oral history interview and presentation

  • report and map

Assessment and Evaluation

Diagnostic/Formative Assessment/Evaluation

  • formal and informal teacher observation; anecdotal notes; rubrics, checklists

Summative Evaluation

  • presentations and reports, rubrics



Approved Classroom Textbooks

Henderson, Ian, Peter Lawley, Norm Probert, and Don Quinlan. World Affairs: Defining Canada’s Role. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 1998.

The Holy Bible. Revised Standard Version. Catholic Edition. London: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1966.

Kolpin, Robert. Global Links: Connecting Canada. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Reed, Kevin. Aboriginal Peoples: Building for the Future. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Computer/Web Sites

Aboriginal Links: Canada and The US

Department of National Defence

Diefenbaker Web

Encyclical Letter of His Holiness Pope Leo XIII issued on May 15, 1891

On the Condition of the Working Classes (Rerum Novarum)

Encyclical Letter of His Holiness Pope John XXIII issued on April 11, 1963

Peace on Earth (Pacem in Terris)

Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System

Hockey Hall of Fame

Office for Social Justice, Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Major Themes from Catholic Social Teaching

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants

Veterans Affairs Canada

The 1998 Canadian & World Encyclopedia. CD-ROM. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1998.

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