Curriculum Analysis

Analysing Articles

Examining Opposing Viewpoints

Interpreting Folk Songs in History

Interpreting Cartoons

Responding Personally to Historical Information

Preparing to Conduct an Interview

Listening with Discrimination

Generalizing from Historical Data

Analysing Cause and Effect

The Confederation Debate: A Community Perspective

Analysing Newspaper Articles

Those who promoted the idea that Newfoundland should not enter into confederation with Canada were referred to as anti-confederates. Many anti-confederates supported the Responsible Government League, which promoted the idea of an independent country made up of Newfoundland and Labrador. (Others among the anti-confederates favored economic union with the United States). The League described its aim as " ... the restoration of Self-Government; that is a government ... elected by the people and ... responsible for its actions to the people" (The Independent, Monday, April 19, 1948).

This learning activity requires students to analyse two short articles, "No More Help from Britain" and "Have Faith in Your Country", carried in The Independent on March 29 and May 13, 1948.


By engaging in these tasks, students will achieve the following outcomes:

Canadian History 1201

  • Identify the purpose of key political movements.
  • Understand reasons used by anti-confederates.
  • Examine methods used by anti-confederate groups.
  • Retrieve and categorize information from a variety of sources.
  • Develop and refine collaborative skills through practice in working group situations.
  • Appreciate history as a product of the interplay aspirations, personalities, ideals and cultures.

Language Arts

  • Communicate information and ideas effectively and clearly, and respond personally and critically.
  • Interact with sensitivity and respect, considering the situation, audience and purpose.

Social Studies Skills

This lesson also promotes the following social studies skills:

Gathering Information

  • Make efficient use of books, newspapers, magazines, and other reference sources.

Organizing Information

  • Analyse and summarize information.

Participating in Groups

  • Participate in groups formed to achieve a common goal.
  • Give and receive feedback in a positive manner.
  • Willingly work within the parameters defined by a task and related rules of conduct.

Instructional Approach

To assist students in the completion of this task, the cooperative learning structure, Think-Pair-Share, is recommended. This method involves the following steps:

  1. Assign the following focus question: "Why are the anti-confederates proposing that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians vote for responsible government?"
  2. Draw the students' attention to the articles, "No More Help from Britain" and "Have Faith in Your Country".
  3. Instruct students to think about the question as they read the articles. Each student is to formulate individually an answer to the focus question.
  4. Divide the students into pairs. Each student shares his answer with his or her partner who carefully listens to what he or she has to say. The partner responds to the answer by asking for evidence for it, suggesting improvements, expressing approval, and so on.
  5. At this point, the role is switched as the second member of the pair shares his or her answer with the other. Through discussion, a new answer is created. (In the event that one of the partners does not wish to change the answer, ask the individual to reflect on why the original answer is preferred. He or she may wish to share opinions with the class.)
  6. To bring closure to the task, each pair may present the new answer to the class.

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