CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: The International Stage

History, Political Science
3 lessons
To assess the long-term impact of Canada’s emerging role on the international stage during St-Laurent’s political career
Using a variety of web-based resources, students will examine how Louis St-Laurent extended Canada’s role on the international stage and the impact of these events on Canada and Canadians.

Lesson Plan


Louis St-Laurent played an important role in international affairs during his time in politics. He influenced many decisions that resulted in Canada playing a stronger role on the international stage. Only time and reflection can determine the lasting impact that these decisions have had on Canada and Canadians.

The Task

Working in groups, have students analyze the role St-Laurent played in several international events. They will examine the immediate impact each had and assess the extent to which each event has been detrimental or beneficial to Canada and Canadians in the long term. The events include:

  • The creation of the United Nations
  • The development of NATO
  • Canada's role in the Korean War
  • St-Laurent's international tour in 1954
  • The building of the St. Lawrence Seaway

Students can use an organizer to record their findings as they do their research. They should list and describe the event, explain Canada's role in it, and assess the immediate results and long-term applications (using the PMI chart on the download sheet The International Stage). Each group will then discuss its results and decide whether St-Laurent deserves a medal or a dead chicken award for each affair and record this in their organizer. Each group will then design a citation to commemorate St-Laurent's role in international affairs.

The Process

Students will work in small groups to research and analyze Canada's international position in each identified international event. They should begin their research on the topic Uncle Louis and Canada's Golden Age on the CBC Digital Archives website, specifically the clips "The reluctant politician," "Father of the Atlantic Pact," "Bridging the St. Lawrence" and "Around the world in 42 days."  On the CBC site, students will find links to assist them in their research. Students can do further research using archives of newspapers, magazines, and television broadcasts to gather the additional information and data necessary to complete their research. Groups should note all resources consulted and cited.


Gather students and discuss each of the international events. Have groups share whether they gave St-Laurent a medal or a dead chicken award each time. Finally ask each group to share the citation its members created for St-Laurent's role in international affairs. Discuss the results.


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