Lesson Plan: For Teachers - Canada and the United States: A Collage
Bring to class a variety of Canadian and American media products (books, magazines, comic books, ads for consumer goods, ads for television shows, and so on.) Display the collection and ask students to identify those that are Canadian and those that are American. Ask: How did you know?
Then ask: How do you think the United States influences Canada? Be sure the discussion touches on economy, society, politics, and culture.
As a class, brainstorm a list of American products (clothing, music, television programs, films, and so on). Ask: Why do you think these American products are so popular in Canada? Elsewhere in the world?
Outline the Opportunity
Direct students to the topic Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement on the CBC Digital Archives website. As they view, they should find reasons why they think that the issue of free trade with the United States was a concern for Canadians, and why the issue had an impact on the 1988 federal election.
When they have finished browsing, students will work in small groups to create a collage that expresses their views of Canadian culture, American culture, the impact of American culture on Canadian culture, and the positive or negative impact of free trade between Canada and the United States.
Revisit and Reflect
Have students display and explain their collage to the rest of the class. Ask: If you had been voting in the 1988 election, would the issue of free trade have influenced your vote? Explain how. What do you think of free trade between Canada and the United States today?
Students can create a cartoon, comic book, ad, or video that they think is typically Canadian. Students should explain what makes their media work Canadian.