Lesson Plan: For Teachers: "I Am a Chinook."
Ask: What is symbolism? Ask for and
record some examples, then ask students the value of using symbolic language
for effect, expression, and impact. Ask: When is this kind of language most
In Joe Clark's victory speech in 1976, he compared himself to the Chinook, a warm wind that blows eastwards from the Rockies. Record the following quotation on the board: "It's a warm wind that pushes back the cold wind. I am a Chinook." Read the quotation aloud or have a volunteer read it and ask students for their immediate reaction. What does it say about Clark's view of himself, his abilities, his potential, and his leadership?
Outline the Opportunity
Students will work in groups of three or four to review the clips "Running for the leadership", "Prime Minister Clark", and "Clark's diplomatic crisis", including the Did You Know sections, of the topic The Man from High River: Joe Clark on the CBC Digital Archives website.
As they review the clips, students
will search for evidence to support Clark's use of the imagery of a Chinook to
describe himself. Have them record their supporting evidence to share it with
Assess how students provide supporting evidence that demonstrates the connections between the Chinook and Joe Clark. Each group should find a minimum of three examples.
Revisit and Reflect
Have groups present and discuss
their completed records. Students should describe whether or not they think the
imagery that Clark chose was effective in describing his leadership style and
approaches. Give students time to fully discuss the others' opinions and
As a class, discuss the impact of imagery in a speech and how it can influence listeners.
Students can write an alternate ending for the stem "I am a ____________" to depict a different view of Clark and his leadership style. Students can use any of clips as the basis of their choice.