CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Depicting Terry Fox's Life

History, Social Studies, Visual Arts
2 lessons
To use visual media to investigate and understand personal challenges
Using a variety of web-based resources, students create a shield depicting the life and challenges of Terry Fox.

Lesson Plan


This opportunity is best suited for students in grades 6-8, or those with less academic skill or confidence. This task will be focus primarily on the CBC Digital Archives website itself; however, some other possible sources of information may be considered and undertaken.

The Task

Explain to students that they will be creating a large, illustrated shield or coat-of-arms that depicts the major events of the life of Terry Fox through drawings, paintings, sketches, quotations, landscapes, and so on. The shield will be posted in the classroom. It will be divided into four quadrants, and will include a motto written on a banner. If you wish, divide the class into exploration teams for ease of research and presentation. Assign, or have each team choose, an area of Terry Fox's life to research. The shield should be set up as follows:


Upper Left: In this quadrant, create an illustration based on one challenge facing Terry Fox.
Upper Right: In this quadrant, create an illustration that presents Terry' response to the challenge in the upper left.
Lower Left: In this quadrant, create a representation of what you find most remarkable or striking about this story.
Lower Right: In this quadrant, create an outline of a personal challenge which you have met or are in the process of meeting.
Banner: In the banner below the shield, offer a saying, motto or slogan that you think best represents Terry Fox.
Reverse: On the back of your "Challenge Shield" write a brief statement of one to two paragraphs noting what you believe can be learned from the story of Terry Fox.

Alternatively, each student can create a shield of his or her own.

The Process

While browsing the two topics Terry Fox 25: Reliving the Marathon of Hope and Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope on the CBC Digital Archives website, and using some other sources, students should make simple clear notes on Terry's life, experiences and the Marathon of Hope.




Provide students with time to complete their work, to have it reviewed by you or by a peer, and to make any necessary revisions. When all students are finished, organize a simple ceremony for posting the shield or shields along the wall in the classroom, corridor or Library Resource Centre. Discuss with students the nature of courage and any other examples (particularly involving young people) of which they may be aware. What events do they feel were most important in Terry Fox's life? Why? What is the message that Terry Fox's life holds for youth? For Canadians? For anyone?

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