Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Canada's Founding Cultures
Ask the students: What are Canada's two official languages?
How many of you speak both official languages?
Why are English and French our official languages and not others?
What does it mean to you in your
day-to-day life that Canada has two official languages?
Lead an open discussion about the influence of the two founding cultures on everyday life in Canada today.
Outline the Opportunity
In small groups, have students explore the topic The Road to Bilingualism on the CBC Digital Archives website. As they view the site, students should list how both French and English cultures influence their lives, such as food, clothing, language, fine arts, and so on. Groups will discuss their lists and produce a three-dimensional presentation, such as posters, tri-folds, artifacts, and skits, to illustrate at least five influences from each culture.
Revisit and Reflect
Have the groups present their projects to the class. Compile a class list of influences. Ask: Why is it necessary to promote bilingualism in Canada?
Students can write a one-page paper on how Canada would be different if it had been founded by only one of the two founding cultures. What would be missing from the cultural life of Canada today if English or French cultural influence was not present?