CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Healing and Reconciliation

History, Social Studies, Visual Arts
2 to 3 lessons
To gain an understanding of the residential school experience, to express themselves through various media.
Students will investigate the repercussions of the residential school experience and express healing and reconciliation through a medium of their choice.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Write the following definitions from the Canadian Oxford Paperback Dictionary on the board or chart paper:

·  To heal: to become healthy again

·  To reconcile: make friendly again after an estrangement.

Discuss these terms with the students and write a list of their reactions to and thoughts on healing and reconciliation.


Outline the Opportunity

Direct students to the topic A Lost Heritage: Canada's Residential Schools on the CBC Digital Archives website. Students will browse the topic to prepare a scenario for healing and reconciliation for the residential school survivors. These might include role-plays, speeches, interviews, healing ceremonies, short plays, and so on. Students should take notes to help with planning and writing their scenarios.

In groups of three or four, students will plan and write a script for a three- to five-minute presentation of a healing and reconciliation scenario. Students can use the download sheet Healing and Reconciliation to help shape their work. Have each group submit a draft of its presentation and then complete any necessary revisions.

Revisit and Reflect

Set aside time for the presentations, and invite each group to participate. Encourage students to write in their journals describing their reactions to each presentation.


Students can present their scenarios to other classes or the entire school at appropriate times, such as Heritage Week.

Download PDF


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