CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Calgary Stampede Symbols

Social Studies, Visual Arts
1 lesson
To explore symbols and symbolism.
In this introductory activity, students study and use the symbols relating to the Calgary Stampede.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Brainstorm with students the symbols they see in daily life, such as those used for sports teams, on the road, in advertising, and by nations, schools, and so on. Ask: Why do people use symbols? Why are they important in our daily communication?

Outline the Opportunity

Have students review the topic Calgary Stampede: Celebrating Canada's Western Heritage on the CBC Digital Archives website, paying particular attention to the clips titled "The birth of the Calgary Stampede" and "A grand western whoop-up". Students will note the symbols used by the Stampede and what they represent.

Distribute the download sheet Calgary Stampede Symbols and have students design their own Calgary Stampede belt buckle. After finishing their design, students will write a paragraph explaining their symbolic choices.

Revisit and Reflect

Have students present their belt buckle designs and explain the symbolism to the class. Display the designs around the classroom.


Using modeling clay, students can create a three-dimensional model of their belt buckle design.


Drawing materials, modeling clay

Download PDF

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