CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: A Missionary's Journal

History, Social Studies, Religious Studies
2 to 3 lessons
To investigate the experiences of Canadian missionaries
Students write a journal in the voice of a Canadian missionary working abroad.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Review with students how to write "in-role" by writing some short passages on the board or chart paper and having the students expand on the passages from a number of different perspectives in a number of different voices.


Outline the Opportunity


Direct students to the topic Their Christian Duty: Canadian Missionaries Abroad on the CBC Digital Archives website. Allow them time to browse the site, including the Did You Know? sections of the clips.

Have students create a journal in the voice of a person profiled on the site or of a fictional person. Students should write between five and ten journal entries exploring and explaining missionary work. Students' work should be historically accurate, based on events and information they encountered on the site.

Revisit and Reflect

Invite students to share their journal entries with the class by reading aloud in role. Discuss with students the impact of hearing about missionary work first-hand. Ask: Do you agree with what missionaries do? Would you want to do similar work? Why or why not?


Students can research the political and religious climate of one of the countries visited by Canadian missionaries and outline the role, if any, of foreign volunteerism in that country.

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