CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Canada - Melting Pot or Cultural Mosaic?

History, Political Science, Social Studies
1 to 2 lessons
To explore different media to gain understanding on an issue
Students will examine the need for the Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism and identify the fears of Francophones regarding cultural assimilation.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Write the word "assimilation" on the board. Have students brainstorm what the word means to them. Ask: How many of you are from cultures other than English or French? Have you retained your cultural heritage as well as your parents and grandparents have? What have you kept? What have you lost? Why?

Outline the Opportunity


Direct students to the topic The Road to Bilingualism on the CBC Digital Archives website. Have them review the clips "A thousand and one opinions", "Manitoba's French minority", "Anglophone Quebecers keep their culture", and "Sturgeon Falls, Ontario is bilingual in 1967." Students will prepare a one- to three-minute statement to present to the Bilingualism and Biculturalism Commission. They should discuss the potential loss of French culture unless positive steps are taken to preserve it and they should include recommendations on how Canada can preserve French culture. Allow students time to practice presenting their statement.


Revisit and Reflect


Set up the class as if it were a session of the Bilingualism and Biculturalism Commission. Have students present their statement to this mock commission while you compile a list of their recommendations. When the presentations are complete, ask: "Which of these recommendations do you think will work? Why?


Have students respond, either in writing or through discussion, to the following proposition: Almost 50 years after the Bilingualism and Biculturalism Commission, Canada is doing an excellent job of preserving the cultural heritage of its citizens.

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