Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Western Alienation
Have students describe their feelings when someone they know and respect slights them or ignores them. Then ask them what they have done as a result of the slight (tried to get even, stopped dealing with the person, accept it as an experience in life, and so on). Have students analzye their actions and consider whether the actions were helpful or harmful to themselves.
Outline the Opportunity
Direct students to the topic Striking Oil in Alberta on the CBC
Digital Archives website. Have them view the clips on the site, to gather
information about western Canadians feeling alienated from eastern Canada. They
may wish to view the clips a second time to take notes.
Using the information they have gathered, students will participate in a discussion on whether people in western Canada are justified in feeling alienated from central Canada. If you wish, you can formalize this activity by turning it into a debate. In either case, students should state their arguments clearly, support their arguments with information from the clips, and ask and answer questions of one another based on their stated opinions.
Revisit and Reflect
Hold a vote following the discussion
or debate to determine which side has argued its position most effectively.
Ask students to brainstorm other instances of dispute between central and western Canadians. Discuss whether these differences are sufficient cause for serious consideration of separating from Canada and forming an independent nation.
Students can compare the discussion of western separation from Canada with that of Quebec's separation from Canada. How are the issues similar? How are they different? What would be the impact of the separation of each group on Canada? On the group that separates?Download PDF