First People's Stereotyping Co-op

We had an amazing Co-op on First People's Stereotyping. My goal was to challenge our students to be aware of the stereotyping of Indigenous people in Canada and North America. Our students are so much more aware of this than I remember being as a youth. It is amazing how one generation can make such a difference in thoughts and actions. This is a touchy area, as I am not Aboriginal and can't really put myself in an aboriginal person's shoes fully. I have tried my best to make this Co-op challenging to our students and any assumptions - hopefully I have honoured First People's in Canada!
Start with sayings - go into groups and look at the sayings - what do they mean and why are they offensive?  
Here is the form we used
Here was some background information I was able to tell the students after:

Perspectives by KC Adams -  this was an amazing display! - I asked the students (having only seen the first picture - and not the wording) to create a profile for their picture. Who is this person? Where do they live? What is their situation? Create a back story for your photo…
Share backstories with the group and then compare them to the real story

Your media image - why do you think it is offensive? What is it stereotyping about First People’s? Discuss as a group and present. This was a wonderful exercise. The students were truly offended by these images. 
Here are some of the images:

We then had great discussions as a large group about these 4 videos. 

Watch video #1 Wab Kine - Rant.  - What point stood out for you?

Watch video about How Hollywood has portrayed First Peoples - What did your think?

Peter Pan - why is this video offensive?

Pocahontas - why is this video offensive?

I think by the end of this day our students had been challenged to look at their language, assumptions, the things they found humor in and those things they found offensive - or not! It was a great day!

Blessings, Natalie - Advertising and Bias Unit

Elizabeth enjoyed this unit from on advertising and bias. It was all about Westjet and their emotional Blue Santa advertising campaign. The lesson plans with worksheets were very well done! They also included suggestions of many other advertising campaign videos and then a graphic organizer with information to help draw conclusions about emotional advertising.
I recommend this unit for any student completing a unit on advertising and bias. is a great resource for Canadian High School students. We are blessed in our Learning Commons as part of our subscriptions! I am just beginning to scratch the surface of all the great video resources it has to offer. Have you used any of them that worked for your student? 
Blessings, Natalie

A Developing World Map and Lessons

A Developing World is an amazing map by Canadian Geographic that allows students to compare Canada to other countries on many different levels. 

I had Elizabeth use this map to learn more about world development, poverty, education, GDP, child mortality etc. It is an excellent opportunity to explore these topics with your student.

I made up this sheet for Elizabeth to be able to search countries, compare them with Canada and record her conclusions.

There are some great lesson plans as well on this page.

There is also The Miniature Earth in infographic form above as well as a You-tube video below.

When Elizabeth was in Grade 6 we explored many countries and their challenging issues through resources like Peter Menzel’s books Hungry Planet and Material World. These are impactful books we pull out regularly to remind ourselves just how blessed we are!

I hope you will explore these resources with your students! Blessings, Natalie


WW#1 Poetry Analysis

Elizabeth analysed several poems from this First World War Poetry anthology. I purchased the anthology on my ipad and she chose the poems from there. She used this free sheet from Teacher Pay Teachers and though it was for younger students we just discussed the poetry in more depth in terms of theme and what meaning the authors were trying to convey. She did several different poems this way and it was a great way to add to our WW#1 studies! Most of the poems in this anthology were written by soldiers so the meaning and emotions were raw. This also make them interesting and engaging.

World War #1 Co-op

Our driving question for our WW#1 Co-op was: Is war fair? Is Conscription fair? Is any means of warfare fair? Is it fair for those left at home?

For the introduction of the lesson: Allied and Axis forces - Trench warfare… Trenches, Barbed Wire, Craters and chances… 

I had a long piece of paper down the middle of the table with barbed wire and trenches drawn down each side. We talked about no man's land, about crossing and about your chances of getting to the other side.

Activity #1: Timeline of WW#1 (Canada’s Participation) - each student put their piece on the timeline on the table…

We discussed the events effecting Canada in WW#1 here and the students added their pieces to the timeline down the centre of the above sheet of paper. We then discussed each event.

I had the students divide into groups and summarize each of the battles and add the main points to the timeline - one person spoke about their summaries and one wrote on the timeline. They summarized information that I had taken from several books on Canada in WW#1. 

Activity #2 - Statistics - divide stats into axis and allies. I had given the groups 2 different statistics sheets for them to complete. Canadian Statistics and World Statistics. We got back together and discussed them.

Activity #3 - Debate - Conscription Crisis

“As the war progressed, Prime Minister Robert Borden, realizing that the volunteer system of raising troops had reached its limit, passed the Military Service Bill in 1917. This enforced conscription into Britain's war enraged the French Canadians and almost wrenched the country's two families apart. There were riots in the streets of Quebec and blood was shed. It didn't help that recruitment in Quebec was headed by the English elite or that Ontario had passed Regulation 17 or that the bitter memory of Riel's hanging still burned in the minds of French Canadians.”
While Quebec was rising to the protection of provincial rights over conscription, Ottawa was passing what would be one of the greatest centralizing measures - the Income Tax Act. This was meant to be only temporary, mind you, just a means of raising money to pay for the war effort. But this new "spending power" gave Ottawa the ability to finance bigger, national policies which the country demanded after the war.”

I had our students present their groups point of view if it were today and then have a debate about why you feel that this applies. What if today you were a farmer on the lower mainland with one of those huge greenhouses and you were providing food for 1000’s of people. What if you had been promised that you would not have to fight and then a military official came to your home and said that you would have to fight? What if this was about the world and you felt compelled to fight for freedom and yet you were going to have to fight for Britain?

Activity #4 - Women’s Rights - I read the below to our students - back to our original question - was it fair that women could go overseas and be nurses, work in factories etc. but still not have the right to vote? This was also a great discussion! Most of our male students could not see a reason why women were not given the vote earlier!!

"It was during the First World War that some women in Canada were finally allowed to vote and in 1919 all women over 21 had the right to vote in a federal election.

Women's suffrage groups had existed since the 1870s, but during the war, it was hard to ignore their arguments. Women were serving in the war, taking over from the men in factories and offices, holding families together while the men were overseas, and working in voluntary organizations that supported the war effort. They couldn't be kept out of political life any longer.

Women got the federal vote in three stages: the Military Voters Act of 1917 allowed nurses and women in the armed services to vote; the Wartime Election Act extended the vote to women who had husbands, sons or fathers serving overseas; and all women over 21 were allowed to vote as of January 1, 1919.
Provincially, women were given the vote in 1916 in the four western provinces, in 1917 in Ontario, in 1918 in Nova Scotia, in 1919 in New Brunswick, in 1922 in Prince Edward Island, and in 1940 in Quebec.
Early feminists in Canada included women like Emily Stowe, who supported her children and a sick husband by working, illegally, as a doctor in Ontario. She'd had to go to New York to obtain her degree since Canadian women weren't allowed in medical school or any other higher educational institution at that time. She graduated in 1868. In 1876 she started the Toronto Women's Literacy Club, which was actually a women's suffrage group.

The first province to give women the vote was Manitoba. This was where Nellie McClung had rented the Walker Theatre in Winnipeg in 1914 and staged a mock parliament, casting herself as premier and putting men in the role of having to beg her for the vote. The event was a great success, both financially and politically. McClung was also one of the five women who campaigned to have women recognized as "persons" by the Supreme Court so that they could qualify to sit on the Senate. They were finally successful with their "Persons Case" in 1929.

The women's suffrage movement was often linked with temperance societies which were demanding the prohibition of alcohol. Women argued that excessive drinking by men ruined family life and led to much domestic violence. But alcohol wouldn't likely be abolished, they said, until women got the vote."

Final wrap up: I asked the students:  Have you changed your ideas at all in what is fair and what is not? Is war and all means of warfare fair? Is Conscription fair? Is the way that women were treated during WW#1 fair?

Another great Co-op day! If you need help with your High School Co-op drop me a line and I would love to help ;) Blessings!!

War Horse Literature Camp

War Horse Literature Camp

For one of our Literature Camps for this year we enjoyed 3 sessions of literary analysis of The War Horse and then the students put on a condensed version of the War Horse using reader’s theatre for their performance. What a great opportunity to learn about WW#1! Some of the students read the book and some watched the film - we were able to accomodate both; though the point of view was different the essence of the story remained.

For the three hours I had with our students, these are some of the activities they completed and the resources that I used.

We started out with sequencing the events of the story. I had the students choose what they felt were the most important events of the story and then discuss that with the group. Some kept their original answers and some changed their thoughts when the heard others.
I had the students use this graphic organizer to help.

They then filled out a storytelling arc and again discussed it in groups. Finding the climax and resolution of any story is challenging, and each time we do this we have a wide variety of possible conclusions. I asked the students when we got back together as a large group, to justify why they felt the climax was at a particular moment in the story. Many times we differ, but our differences are always open to interpretation and discussion! I had the students use the above resource as their guide.

Next I had them fill out this sheet on quotes from the War Horse and then add in quotes that they could find. After filling it out the students then got back together and we discussed each of the quotes and their thoughts on them.

We talked next about the motivation of characters. I read out some of the motivators from this list and we then threw out some more ideas from the large group. I had them after use this list - they wrote the motivators of each of the characters in the group on the side and the motivators they could see in that character. We discussed it after.

I had the students do some compare and contrast of the characters:

Albert to his mother
Albert to his father
The student to their own mother or grandmother
The student to their own father or grandfather
They used a Venn diagram and then discussed this in small groups. Some were then brave enough to share with the large group about themselves. They used this resource.

We then had a group discussion about how Joey is personified. We also talked about point of view at the same time. 

Next - we talked about conflicts within the story. They used this sheet which includes man against man, man against nature, man against society and man against himself. I then asked them on the back of this sheet to add man against a force great than himself. We then as a large group discussed these conflicts.

I had each of the students use as many words as they could to describe World War #1 using this description wheel. I asked them to use words worthy of Grade 11 English and they rose to the occasion. 

I had the students discuss irony in the story as small groups and then we explored it as a larger group. They filled out this sheet with their examples of irony.

Finally, I handed out this list of 12 common themes. I asked them to pick two themes and give examples of how each of the themes were exemplified in the book or movie. We then got together and discussed the themes that the students chose. 

For only three hours together, we certainly covered a lot of ground. There was lots of great discussion about this book and the film! The students went on to perform a great play that really spoke to it’s audience about the horror and the hope in WW#1 and The War Horse. 

If you need more help using War Horse for your Learning Camp just send me off a note and I would be happy to help!