Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Telling the Story of the Avro Arrow
Ask students what they consider to be the most important parts of a story, whether fact or fiction. Have them consider the importance of such elements as plot, characters, setting, and theme in a narrative about an important event in Canadian history. Have them think about how they would tell the story of the Avro Arrow in words and visuals.
Outline the Opportunity
In groups, have students browse the
topic The Avro Arrow: Canada's Broken Dream on the CBC Digital
Archives website to find out more about the story of
the Avro Arrow, from the inception of the project in the period after World War
II up to its termination in 1959. They should make notes based on the
information provided in the site, including details of the Arrow's
construction, its potential as a jet interceptor, the reasons for and against
the continuation of the project, and the main figures involved in it (for
example, Crawford Gordon, Louis St-Laurent, John Diefenbaker, George Pearkes).
Using the information they have gathered, students will prepare a written account to tell the story of the Avro Arrow in their own words, then present it to the class. Students should include a visual of the Arrow, and describe and explain its appearance.
Revisit and Reflect
After students have presented their stories, they can compare the accounts they have listened to in class. For each presentation, what were the important details of the story, how was the plot-line developed, what characters played an important role, and how were the setting and theme of the story portrayed? Ask them to think about why the Avro Arrow makes such an interesting historical story decades after its termination. What elements of the story remain interesting and even mysterious today?
Have students view some or all of the mini-series "There Never Was an Arrow" (CBC, 1979). Ask them to compare the depiction of the events, characters, theme and setting in the mini-series to the depiction of the same elements in the class stories. Students can write a brief review of the series.