CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Re-enacting the Past

History, Social Studies, Science
2 to 3 lessons
To recreate significant events in history.
Students prepare a dramatization or simulated news broadcast to illustrate various aspects in the history of the development of the telephone.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Create a handout (or overhead) composed of the summaries for the clips titled "A wondrous invention" and "Bell's daughter, a century after..." on the topic Canada Says Hello: The First Century of the Telephone on the CBC Digital Archives website. Have students read the summaries out loud. In an open forum, discuss aspects of the phone industry that would be interesting to present as brief dramatizations and those that would make good news reports. Explain to students that they will be selecting a major event in the history of the telephone to dramatize or about which to prepare a simulated newscast.

Outline the Opportunity

Direct students to the topic Canada Says Hello: The First Century of the Telephone on the CBC Digital Archives website. Have the students skim through the clips titled "A wondrous invention", "Bell's daughter, a century after...", "Telephones become a necessity", "Micro-wave of the future", "Telephones go transatlantic", "Winnipeggers call 999 for help", and "Telephone innovations of 1957."  Divide the class into groups of four to six students. In each group, students will choose an event from the clips. They will research the event in depth, gather as many facts as possible, and then write a dramatization or a simulated newscast detailing the event. Groups may wish to use costumes, props, sound effects, and so on. Give students time to rehearse their performance.

Revisit and Reflect

Before their performance, students in each group will provide some background information for the audience. Groups will then present their dramatization or newscast to the group.

After listening to the presentations and referring back to the clips, students create short profiles of a typical household and its dependence on the phone from the 1920s to the present.


Students can write a poem or song extolling the virtues of the telephone, or prepare an advertisement in the media of their choice to promote this new invention.

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