Teachers may wish to give students a list of names and categories and have the class put the names in the proper category. Students would still have to do research, however, there would be a more direct entry point for identified students.
For the written aspects of this activity, students may require extra teacher or peer tutor assistance.
Some students may need the use of a word processor to complete their paragraphs.
Some students may need more time to complete the activity.
Canadians All 4: Portraits of Our People.
Maclean’s, “The Storied Land.”
The Book of Canadians.
The Toronto Star Centennial Magazine: The Hundred Great Canadians in Modern History.
Canada: Our Century.
The Prime Ministers of Canada.
Canadiana Scrapbook Series. (out of print - check book exchanges if your department doesn’t already have copies)
The most common way of giving someone or something an identity is to assign it a symbol. In this activity, students examine the symbols used over the 20th century to identify Canada. The symbols are examined for meaning, use, and relevance. Given what students discover, they then develop a symbol for Canada in the 20th Century to take into the 21st.
CG1.01 - determine to what extent certain national symbols (e.g., national anthem, Mounties, Canadian flag, provincial flags and their symbols, Order of Canada, Governor General’s Awards) represent Canada and Canadians;
CG3.04 - identify the major groups of French Canadians outside Quebec (e.g., Franco-Ontarians, Franco-Manitobans, Acadians) and describe their efforts to achieve recognition;
CC3.01 - identify why certain documents are important in the evolution of Canada’s political economy (e.g., Treaty of Versailles, Balfour Report, Statute of Westminster);
MI3.04 - demonstrate an ability to draw conclusions based on adequate and relevant supporting evidence;
MI4.03 - express ideas and arguments in a coherent manner during discussions and debates or in graphic displays.
Depending on the teacher’s familiarity with the relevance of Canada’s various symbols and awards, it may be necessary to review the components of the Coat of Arms and the reasons for many of our national symbols and awards.
Have a video (This is Our Home or Great Canadian Moments) available to show for ideas
Prepare a brief handout on the documents responsible for the evolution of Canada’s political economy if not in the textbook you are using.
Have copies of several Canadian symbols on hand or posted throughout the classroom to spark discussion.
Have blank paper and coloured pencils available.
Prepare an overhead of our national Coat of Arms and board notes describing it parts.
Review the list of qualities of a good symbol in Appendix 6.2.1 and prepare that list as an overhead or board note.
Prior Knowledge Required
Students should know the definition of a symbol and be aware of significant Canadian symbols.
1. Brainstorm with the class a list of current Canadian symbols and, if possible, discuss why and how they became our symbols. Students identify at least ten places they can find a maple leaf. If time permits, you may wish to assign this as an Internet search or homework assignment.
2. Show the national Coat of Arms. Give a brief history (i.e., revision dates, components) and have students write down from the board its various parts and their significance. The mottos of each province could be investigated (with Quebec’s in French as the only non-Latin motto).
3. As part of the discussion, include the role of French-Canadians both inside Quebec and around Canada. Discuss our traditional dichotomy of French and English using examples such as the fleurs-de-lis and the rose as symbols integrated into many provincial coats of arms. The influence of the French Roman Catholics and the Protestant English throughout the provinces can be discussed. (Give particular attention to the Metis in Manitoba and the Acadians in the Maritimes.)
4. As a class, using Appendix 6.2.1 as a guideline, discuss what components should be included in a symbol for Canadians to take into the 21st Century. You may include size, colour, number of components or a standard outline. Students then design their own symbol.