CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Canada's Founding Cultures

History, Social Studies, Visual Arts
2 lessons
To understand the contribution of French and English cultures to Canadian culture
In this introductory activity, students will explore Canada’s French and English cultures and create a multi-media work that celebrates those cultures.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

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?

Related Content

Fighting Words: Bill 101

On March 31, 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld Quebec's language law but ruled that the...

1982: Dictionary of Newfoundland English publ...

Newfoundland's first dictionary of its unique version of English is published.

Robichaud's 'not-so-quiet revolution'

A new biography determines Robichaud's significant place in Canadian history.

Chinese immigration: Going to church for 'Can...

In 2004, many new Chinese immigrants are going to Canadian churches to learn English and meet ...