Lesson Plan: For Teachers - Nunavut: The Meaning of Place Names
Have students brainstorm the names of several places with which they are familiar. As a group, attempt to identify the origins of those place names and have students give opinions on why the names were chosen. Discuss the importance of appropriate names for places and reasons why names sometimes change. Students may wish to do further research on the origin of a given place name.
Students will search the topic Creation of Nunavut on the CBC Digital Archives
website, and other online resources, to find as many Nunavut place names as
possible. For each name, where applicable, students should list its predecessor
and the meaning of that name, and the meaning of the new name. Students can
then create a chart that shows all of the information gathered.
With all of their information gathered, have students work as a class to create a map of Nunavut that includes both old and new place names. Students can decide together what materials they will use to create the map, and how they want to present it.
Students can complete their initial research individually or in pairs. They should use more than one source to confirm spellings and meanings of various place names, and should be sure to credit all sources used. They can create their chart by hand or using the computer.
As a class, discuss why they think
the names were changed. How does the opportunity to name increase a region's
pride? What challenges might there be in
keeping former place names?
Some students may wish to investigate the changing of place names in China, Zaire, Sri Lanka, and other locations where a colonial government has been removed.
Map of Nunavut, map-making materials