CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers - Karen Kain: Her Accomplishments and Awards

Media Studies, English Language Arts
3 to 4 lessons
To conduct research and present findings using multi-media technology
Using a variety of web-based resources, students conduct research about the career accomplishments and awards of Karen Kain and then present their findings using multi-media technology.

Lesson Plan


Karen Kain joined the National Ballet of Canada at the young age of 11 and trained with the school for seven years. Within her dancing career, Kain has gained national and international recognition, and has danced in memorable ballets, such as Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet. At the end of the 1997 dance season, Kain retired from dance, but she has continued her career in the arts by assuming the roles of Artistic Associate of the National Ballet of Canada and the Lifetime President of Toronto's Dance Transition Resource Center, and by teaching dance. Kain's hard work and artistry have been acknowledged by her receipt of many prestigious awards including the Companion of the Order of Canada and the Order of Canada.

The Task

Working in pairs, students will research Karen Kain's major career accomplishments and awards from the time she joined the National Ballet of Canada at the age of 11 to beyond her retirement from dance in 1997 to the present day. They will present this research to the rest of the class using multi-media technology.

The Process

Using the topic Karen Kain, Prima Ballerina on the CBC Digital Archives website, and the other online resources, partners conduct research that focuses on Kain's major dance career highlights, lifetime accomplishments, and awards. They divide the workload appropriately. They create a presentation of their research findings using multi-media technology and include a minimum of 10 slides and a combination of print and pictorial content.


Students deliver their presentation to the rest of the class. Ask: What have you learned about this famous Canadian and how she might be portrayed in Canadian history books?


Download PDF

Resources for this topic

Print: Kain, Karen. Movement Never Lies: An Autobiography. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1994.

Related Content

1978: Hot night of disco

Disco movers and shakers strut their stuff at the Canadian National Disco Dance Championships.

Karen Kain, Prima Ballerina

When a journalist addressed Karen Kain as "prima ballerina" in 1974 the dancer quickly correct...

1974: Celia Franca retires from the National ...

The first lady of Canadian ballet hangs up her ballet slippers.

Guy Maddin: Dancing with Dracula

Maddin films the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's version of the famous vampire story.

Carol Shields on living with cancer

Extraordinary writer of the ordinary, Carol Shields, talks about the challenges of living with...


Winter's gift to the wine drinker