Canadian History in the Twentieth Century

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Planning Notes

  • Access to the Internet (for the web sites listed) is useful for this activity.

Prior Knowledge

  • Students have an understanding of the causes (i.e., economic growth and consumer demand) of the social and technological change that occurred after World War II in North America. Students had exposure to the economic change in Activity 1.

  • Experience or knowledge of co-operative group learning skills is useful for this activity.

Teaching/Learning Strategies

1. The teacher brainstorms with students the contributions that people make to their families or close friends. Students read 1 Corinthians 12: 1-31, and discuss the gifts that members of a society bring to the human family. Determine with students what gifts help to fulfill human sacredness. Students consider if the gifts of material wealth and expressive individualism are more important than the gifts identified in the reading from the Bible.

2. The teacher organizes the students into groups of four or five. Students create a photo journal that reflects the social and technological changes of the "Baby Boom". Students collect pictures, maps, diagrams, and charts to illustrate the journal. Journals are written to provide explanations for the illustrations. The importance of the “gifts” that people bring to the family or group should be reflected in the students' journals.

3. Students in each group take on different roles in their family or group of friends. The roles and the details of the expectations for the journals are explained in Appendix 3.6.7. Teachers can modify the roles, if necessary, to suit the needs of a group of close friends.

4. The teacher meets students in a “reunion” so that roles and experiences of each group member can be shared. Discussion at the reunion should focus not only on the experiences of the individual member but on their importance to their family unit or group of friends.

Assessment/Evaluation Techniques

  • A teacher-designed rubric is used to assess knowledge/understanding, communication, and the application of the ideas from 1 Corinthians demonstrated in the journal. See Appendix 3.6.8.

  • The teacher conferences with students at various stages of the development of student work in order to conduct an informal assessment of the students' progress on their journals.


  • Extra time is allotted to students with writing difficulties to complete the report.

  • Students with writing difficulties should be using a word processor to complete their journal.

  • Students with language difficulties may benefit from teacher assistance or a scribe to elicit and record information.



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


Web Sites

Diefenbaker Web

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

Major Themes from Catholic Social Teaching


Appendix 3.6.7 – Instructions for Family Photo Journal

Appendix 3.6.8 – Rubric: Family Photo Journal Evaluation

Appendix 3.6.7

Instructions for Family Photo Journal


You are part of an extended family from Anytown, Ontario. Your family members have witnessed the growth of suburbs, the introduction of the television, and the expansion of American culture into Canada. It is now September 1960 and you are preparing to go to a family reunion. Your task is to create a photo journal that accurately reflects the social and technological changes that occurred in Canada in the previous decade.


1. You are to work as part of a group of four to five students.

2. Your group selects a surname for the purpose of identifying your photo journal.

3. Family members must assign themselves a first name and a role from the list of roles provided. Use only one family member per role.

4. In your individual roles, you write two journal entries that incorporate the aspects specified for your role. In your journals be sure to answer the five Ws. Express your opinions about the developments you have witnessed.

5. As a group you must organize your photo journal to make it presentable. Remember this is the early 1960s, so no fancy futuristic features! Your group must provide eight to ten pictures for the photo journal. Ensure that they are labelled and dated. Also, include a map to show the location in which your family members witnessed these developments.

6. Your photo journal should also demonstrate the ideas discussed in class of the “gifts” we bring to relationships that we develop with other people.

7. Your photo journal should be on letter-sized paper. Include a title page and a bibliography.


1. You are one of the mothers in an extended family. Your task is to describe how the suburbs have developed on the outskirts of your city, how people live their lives in the suburbs, and how these changes to urbanization have impacted on your own life and on your immediate family. You need to consider the changes in cost of living, the consumer products, and the level of education.

2. You are one of the teenagers in the extended family. You are to describe how teens contributed significantly to the lifestyle of the period by examining your role in the education system, as well as the entertainment and fashion industries.

3. You are a male “breadwinner” in the extended family. Your role is to describe how changes in technology have impacted on the life that you live with your immediate family. You must include the importance of the automobile in your journal. Changes in lifestyle, initiated by the television and additional leisure time, must be considered in your journal entries.

4. You are a senior in the extended family You could be the oldest member of this entire family. Your job is to describe how your family has been affected by the influence of American culture. You are also to explain why the Canadian government initiated social programs like family allowance.

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