The Confederation Debate: A Community Perspective
After your students have completed the lessons that they have selected in consultation with you, they should have adequate preparation to place the confederation debate within a local and contemporary context. This task should be developed as a class project to be posted on the Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Web Site. You may wish to select one of the following projects.
The class projects should be submitted to the Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Web Site Project for inclusion on their site. These projects should be submitted as HTML documents. We have prepared a template in which only the text of the main body need be replaced. The template also contains some links for assistance with writing HTML. Completed HTML files should be e-mailed as attachments to email@example.com. They can also be sent by regular mail on 3.5 inch floppy diskette to:
Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Web Site Project
E-mail the web site project if you have any questions.
Making a Choice Today
Help students organize a poll of a segment of the local population to determine how people would vote in a referendum today. The scenario is that two options are to be put to the people: to become independent from Great Britain and go it alone with Responsible Government, or to enter into Confederation with Canada as a province. The question which students may pose in their community survey is:
Assuming that you could vote as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians did in 1948, what would your choice of the following two options be:
After students have completed the survey, tabulate the results under the name and location of your school and place them in an HTML file (or use the template) for posting on the web site.
Why Confederate forces won
The background readings, Developments 1939-1949, as well as other resources explore the factors which contributed to the decision in favour of confederation. It would be interesting, however, to identify some of the conditions which influenced the vote in the local community. To do this, students will have to interview several or more seniors who lived during the 1940s. You may wish to review with students the lesson "Preparing to Conduct an Interview" as they develop their questions in preparation for the interview. Examples of the kinds of questions which may be asked are
How did the way the referendum campaign was carried out affect how you voted?
How did the style of key leaders influence how you voted?
How did your economic situation (e.g., job opportunities, income ...) affect your decision?
After students have recorded their anecdotal data from their interviews, conduct a discussion to identify the several trends running through the information gathered. Prepare an HTML file with the list of the common factors which influenced the decision of local voters on the second referendum.
Views on the impact of Confederation
From time to time one encounters debate about the impact of Confederation today. Students may wish to explore this issue within the context of the local community. Have students discuss the focus question
How has our community changed with Confederation?
After they have reflected upon this question, it would be useful for them to validate their positions by sampling the views of members of the local community. Once an analysis of the information has been completed, help the class to reach a large group consensus on the focus question. Prepare an HTML file with the class position for posting on the web site.