CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: The Oral Tradition

History, English Language Arts
1 to 2 lessons
To listen to and share a story through the oral tradition.
Students record a story that is part of the oral tradition of a community of which they are part.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring


Ask students to think of one story that has had an impact on their life and briefly describe it in their notebooks. Ask students to describe to the class why the story they chose had an impact (e.g., because of the content, because of who told it).

Outline the Opportunity

Direct students to Antonine Maillet, Acadian Avenger on the CBC Digital Archives website. Students will view the clip titled "Antonine Maillet: 'Do you have any stories?'" and outline in their notebooks how Maillet first began writing stories. After students share their findings, they can interview an older relative or friend to obtain a story from the student's own cultural history. These interviews can be tape-recorded or transcribed.

Revisit and Reflect

Have students read or play their stories aloud to the class. Discuss as a class what they gained from this activity and why it's important to keep these stories alive.


Maillet explains in the clip titled "Antonine Maillet: 'Do you have any stories?'" that she realized as a child that characters from different stories could be combined to create new stories. Students can take the stories they recorded and add to them by developing characters, expanding the plot, or enriching the stories in other creative ways.

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