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
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
- Develop and refine collaborative skills through practice in
working group situations.
- Appreciate history as a product of the interplay
aspirations, personalities, ideals and cultures.
- 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:
- Make efficient use of books, newspapers, magazines, and
other reference sources.
- 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.
To assist students in the completion of this task, the cooperative
learning structure, Think-Pair-Share, is recommended. This
method involves the following steps:
- Assign the following focus question: "Why are the
anti-confederates proposing that Newfoundlanders and
Labradorians vote for responsible government?"
- Draw the students' attention to the articles, "No More Help from Britain"
and "Have Faith in Your Country".
- Instruct students to think about the question as they
read the articles. Each student is to formulate individually an answer to the focus question.
- 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.
- 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.)
- To bring closure to the task, each pair may present the new
answer to the class.