Canadian History in the Twentieth Century

Time: 20 hours Unit Developer: John Ruypers, London District Catholic School Board

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Time: 20 hours

Unit Developer: John Ruypers, London District Catholic School Board

Unit Description

In this unit students are introduced to the methods of historical inquiry and to some of the major challenges Canada faced in the period 1900–1928. Students examine the development of a Canadian identity through the contributions of various individuals and groups, within Canada and without. Issues such as immigration, technological change, French-English relations, conscription, the role of women in society, and the impact of changes in the economy are studied and discussed. Students respond to moral issues in the light of Gospel values. A student-created scrapbook for the period 1900-1928 is the unit's culminating activity.

Strand(s) and Expectations

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

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

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

Specific Expectations: CG2.01, CG2.03, CG3.02, CG4.01, CG4.03, CG4.04, CC1.01, CC1.03, CC2.02, CC2.03, CC2.04, CC3.01, CH1.01, CH1.02, CH2.01, CH2.03, SP1.01, SP1.03, SP2.01, SP2.03, MI1.01, MI1.02, MI2.01, MI2.02, MI2.03, MI2.04, MI3.01, MI3.02, MI3.03, MI3.04.

Activity Titles (Time + Sequence)

Activity 1

What is History?

60 minutes

Activity 2

Canadian Society in the Early years of the twentieth Century

150 minutes

Activity 3

Canada’s Involvement in World War I

240 minutes

Activity 4

Canada’s Identity in World War I and the 1920s

240 minutes

Activity 5

Changes in the Canadian Economy: 1919-1928

260 minutes

Activity 6

Changes in Canadian Life: 1919-1928

250 minutes

Prior Knowledge Required

  • The expectations contained in the Grades 7 and 8 History Curriculum, including inquiry, research, and communication skills.

  • Instructions in the use of the Internet, including the school policy regarding the use of the Internet.

Unit Planning Notes

  • Ensure that pictures of historical events and personalities are present in the classroom for Activity 1.

  • Contact teacher - librarian to co-plan the activities described in this unit.

  • Find samples of primary sources from the 1900-1914 time period for Activity 2.

  • Be prepared to introduce and explain the culminating activity as it is described in Activity 2.

  • Find a blank map of Europe 1914 and prepare one overhead map of the same.

  • Check on availability of World War I web sites before assigning them to students

  • Check Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for identified pupils

  • Review specific Catholic faith sources for use in Activities 2, 3, and 5.

Teaching/Learning Strategies

  • Whole group: brainstorming, discussing, analysing, probe questioning, note-taking

  • Small group: brainstorming, researching, collaborative learning, presenting, computer-assisted learning

  • Individual: interpretive writing requiring critical analysis, response writing, computer-assisted learning, role-playing, map-making, oral reporting

Assessment and Evaluation

Diagnostic and Formative Assessment: anecdotal notes, checklists, probe questioning, informal observations, rubrics, student-teacher conferences, parent-teacher conferences, roving conferences

Summative Evaluation: rubrics, rating scales, pen and paper tests



Approved textbooks

Bondy, Robert J. and William C. Mattys. The Confident Years: Canada in the 1920s Canadiana Scrapbook. Scarborough, Ontario: Prentice Hall, 1978.

Broadfoot, Barry. Pioneer Years. Toronto: Doubleday, 1976.

Bruce, Jean. The Last Best West. Toronto: Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 1976.

Canadian Encyclopedia. Edmonton: Hurtig Publishing, 1988.

Canadian Oxford School Atlas 7th edition. Quentin Stanford, ed. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Catechism of the Catholic Church. Toronto: Doubleday, 1995.

Do Justice! The Social Teaching of the Canadian Catholic Bishops. Editor E.F. Sheridan. Toronto: Pauline Press, 1987.

Fairbairn, Douglas and Graham Brown. A Nation Beckons: Canada 1896-1914 Canadiana Scrapbook. Scarborough, Ontario: Prentice Hall, 1978.

Robertson, Heather. Salt of the Earth. Toronto: James Lorimer, 1974.

Santor, Donald M. Canadians at War 1914-1918 Canadiana Scrapbook. Scarborough, Ontario: Prentice Hall, 1978.


Battle of Vimy Ridge. National Film Board. 4 volume set. 25 minutes each video.

The Kid Who Couldn’t Miss (Billy Bishop). National Film Board. 58 minutes.

World War I: Canada’s Role. Burnaby, BC: Classroom Video. 28 minutes.

Web Sites

Cited in activities

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