Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Responding to the Seaway Project
If students have done the activity St. Lawrence Seaway Timeline, review their work as a class. If they have not done the activity, they can do it now. Alternatively, have students browse the topic The St. Lawrence Seaway: Gateway to the World on the CBC Digital Archives website for 30 minutes and list any issues they think are important in the history of the Seaway project. Discuss their findings as a class, making sure the following ideas are addressed:
The political problems in starting the project
The reasons for building the seaway and the benefits it was to bring
The number of towns that would vanish and lives that would change
The number of cities that would gain from the project
The problems that have developed over time
Outline the Opportunity
Students will write in role as one of the following, or another person of their choice:
A politician negotiating a deal with the United States
An engineer hoping to build a lock system or power plant
An urban planner considering the altered geography the Seaway will bring
A person who might be displaced by the project
A business person whose livelihood is affected
A ship's captain considering the
changes the Seaway might bring
Have students choose a role, then have them explore the clips on the topic The St. Lawrence Seaway: Gateway to the World on the CBC Digital Archives website. They should find and review all relevant clips. From their research, students will write a response (a journal entry, a letter, a business plan) in role, explaining the impact of the Seaway on their life.
Revisit and Reflect
Have the students organize themselves chronologically according to the stage of development of the project to which they have responded. Then ask students to present their writing to the class. Ask: What did you learn from hearing someone else's perspective? Whose words are most persuasive to you? Why?
Two students, or two groups of students, who chose opposing views can hold a formal or informal debate supporting their position and refuting that of their opponent.