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Lesson Plan:

For Teachers: Calling All Adventurers

Type: Assignment
Subjects: Social Studies, English Language Arts
Grades: Grades 6-8
Duration: 3 lessons
Purpose: To identify characteristics of explorers and adventurers
Summary: Students work in small groups to create a silhouette and a word cloud to represent arctic adventurers and their character traits.

Before Exploring

Ask: What adventure would you like to undertake? Have students write or draw their response and share it in groups of three. Ask students, in their groups, to list the characteristics they feel a person would need in order to undertake each adventure. As a whole group compile a list of the most common characteristics.

Outline the Opportunity

Direct students to the topic Breaking the Ice: Canada and the Northwest Passage on the CBC Digital Archives website. In their triads, have students browse the clips 'The northern quest begins,' 'The mysterious Franklin disappearance,' 'Amundsen, Nansen and Canadian sovereignty,' 'St. Roch crew member tells about making history,' 'Sailing the passage by catamaran' and 'On the trail of the St. Roch.'  Also have them research information gathered from the internet and other traditional resources, and identify characteristics of the Northwest Passage adventurers.

Each group will create a silhouette image to represent these adventurers. They will then design a word cloud of the various character traits that represent these adventurers. They can prepare their word cloud on the computer and use font size, type styling, colour, and texture to represent the significance of the words.

Assessment Tip

Have students complete the peer evaluation on the download sheet Calling All Adventurers for the students in their group. Students share and discuss the evaluation with their group. Students may choose to include one or both evaluations in their portfolio.

Revisit and Reflect

Gather students to share and discuss their adventurer images and accompanying word clouds. Reach a consensus on the three words that best describe the Northwest Passage adventurers.


Students can write a story about an adventure they would like to take in the future. They should be sure to develop traits that will ensure the main character's success.


  • craft materials

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