Canadian History in the Twentieth Century


Activity 5: Demographics and Its Impact



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Activity 5: Demographics and Its Impact

Time: 150 minutes

Description


In this activity, students examine the impact the baby boom generation has had on aspects of Canadian society. Students study how this generation has influenced the market economy through advertising. They interview members of this generation to get a first hand glimpse of the benefits and drawbacks of belonging to this generation. Finally, students research the impact of technology on this and the present generation.

Strand(s) and Expectations


Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations: CGE2e, 2d, 4f, 5a, 5b, 5e, 5g.

Strand(s): Change and Continuity; Methods of Historical Inquiry

Overall Expectations: CCV.01, CCV.02, MIV.01.

Specific Expectations

CC1.04 - evaluate the impact of the baby boom generation on Canadian society since the 1960s;

CC2.01 - use visual displays effectively to show how technological developments have changed lifestyles through 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;

MI2.03 - record and organize information effectively using notes, lists, concept webs, timelines, organizers, charts, maps, graphs, and mind maps.


Planning Notes


  • If computers are used to graph data, reserve the computer lab.

  • Locate a series of magazines of various types that can be cut up for collages.

  • Locate statistics on the birth rate of Canada from 1945-1960.

  • The teacher may compose a letter to parents/guardians explaining the television assignment in this activity.

Prior Knowledge Required


  • Students are able to graph information as presented in their Grade 9 Mathematics program.

  • Students should have had previous experiences in interviewing people.

  • Students are aware of the term baby boom generation from the previous unit.

Teaching/Learning Strategies


1. The teacher may introduce this activity by having students complete a bar graph illustrating the birth rates in Canada from 1945-1960. This could either be done by hand or using a computer database. Students note the pattern they see. Why was there such an increase in the birth rate after the war?

2. Students speculate the impact this large birth rate would have throughout its growth span. Students test their hypotheses by interviewing their parents/guardians using a questionnaire developed in class that includes the 5 Ws and other relevant questions (birth date, how being a member of such a large group effected you as an adolescent, young adult, middle age person. What have been the benefits and disadvantages? What major problem will baby boomers face in the next century?). Students pair up to compare the results of their questionnaires and write their information on chart paper. Each pair visits the other groups’ charts and note what similarity is found in the information. As a whole group the teacher debriefs the exercise by having students explain the impact this generation has had throughout the last four decades. The class can conclude this part of the activity by reflecting on the challenges they have faced in comparison with the baby boom generation. What new challenges exist and may appear in the twenty-first century?

3. Advertisers still see this baby boom generation as major consumers. The teacher asks students what time slot do they feel a large number of baby boomers watch televisions. Students refer to the TV habits of their parents/guardians for an educated guess. Students are divided according to those time slots and they watch a minimum of half an hour of TV up to a maximum of one hour. With each group have some students watch American TV and some watch Canadian TV. The groups compare their results by classifying the ads as to the age group the companies were attempting to sell their products to. The teacher ensures that most of the half hour slots are covered between 5:00-10:00 pm. What products are advertised? Were these ads directed to the baby boomers or other groups?

4. The teacher asks students to suggest what major innovations have developed during the baby boom generation time period (technology). Students present their research in either a collage of pictures of these innovations or do a computer presentation that illustrates one of the innovations. The students mention how the innovations have either helped or made lifestyles more complicated. Students evaluate the ads by answering the questions: How do the ads portray these innovations? What arguments do they use to convince you that these innovations are good? Are these ads effective in getting their message across to the consumer? Would you buy the product advertised? Why or why not? The class evaluates one advertisement as a model.

5. What is the purpose of these ads? Students discuss how these materialistic messages relate to Catholic teachings regarding consumption, use of resources, decent standard of living for all, sweat shop factories. The students can examine the gospel teachings of this issue by examining Luke 18:22-26 and the Catholic Catechism 2426.

6. As a concluding assignment, students could design a new innovation for the next century that would appeal to their generation. They can either draw it or describe the innovation. Students present their ideas and indicate the positive value of their product. The students could compare their ideas and note how the products of their generations differ from that of their parents/guardians.


Assessment/Evaluation Techniques


  • The teacher confers with each pair of students completing the summary chart.

  • Formative assessment is done by examining the quantity and quality of answers completed in the questionnaire of parents/guardians.


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