Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Distinctly Canadian
Talk to students in general about situations in history where a people have tried to achieve independence. Ask them to discuss this idea in groups of four or five, and bring their ideas back to the class where you can continue the discussion.
Outline the Opportunity
Have the groups of students scan the topic Separation Anxiety: The 1995 Quebec Referendum on the CBC Digital Archives website. Students should closely review the clips "A tale of two strategies," "Rallying for unity" and "Canadians reach out." As they view, ask students to consider how Quebec tried to separate and how the rest of Canada responded to the effort, as well as whether there might have been violence or any aggressive action if a Yes result had been achieved. Students can record their notes on the download sheet Distinctly Canadian.
Using the information they have gathered, students will create a visual (collage, drawing, software slide, and so on) that shows how Quebec has attempted to achieve sovereignty and how Canada has dealt with these efforts.
Revisit and Reflect
Have students share their visuals with the class. Ask: What is "distinctly Canadian" about the way Quebec has attempted to separate from Canada and the responses of Canadians outside Quebec? Together, craft a class response.
Assessment Tip: Look for students to respond both to how Quebec has tried to separate and to how other Canadians have responded. Students may say that "distinctly Canadian" responses include being peaceful, supportive, non-confrontational, positive, and so on.
Students can research historical efforts by other groups in Canada to separate. They create a Venn diagram to compare these efforts to those of Quebec.