CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Difficult Days

Type:
Introductory
Subjects:
History, Social Studies
Duration:
1 lesson
Purpose:
To identify and reflect on the treatment of Chinese immigrants to Canada from the 1880s to 1947
Summary:
In this introductory activity, students browse the site to find examples of racism, discrimination, and exploitation of Chinese immigrants from the 1880s to 1947.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Write the following statement on the board: In Canadian immigration history, there are examples of racism, discrimination, and exploitation. Ensure that students understand the meaning of each term.

Have students work in groups to share knowledge about racism, discrimination, and exploitation in Canada's past immigration policies. Conduct a class discussion around groups' ideas.

Inform students that they will learn how Canada's immigration policy applied to Chinese immigrants between the 1880s and 1947.

Outline the Opportunity

Have students watch the clip titled "Not welcome anymore" on the topic A Tale of Perseverance: Chinese Immigration to Canada on the CBC Digital Archives website. As students view the clip, they should look for examples about unfair treatment of Chinese immigrants to Canada between the 1880s and 1947.

Have students make a three-column chart titled Chinese Immigration to Canada: 1880s to 1947, with the column headings Examples of Racism, Examples of Discrimination, and Examples of Exploitation. On the chart, students record evidence about these types of treatment towards Chinese immigrants to Canada during those years.

Revisit and Reflect

Gather to create a class chart of students' findings. Invite students to share their opinions about the level of fairness or unfairness demonstrated by the Canadian government during this period. Ask students to name the main factors that perpetuated the practices of treating Chinese immigrants unfairly, and to consider what might happen in today's Canadian society if a group of people was treated similarly.

Extension

Students can watch the clip "The personal impact of racism" on the topic A Tale of Perseverance: Chinese Immigration to Canada on the CBC Radio Digital Archives website and write a journal entry reflecting on the impact that racism can have on people's lives.

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