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

Responding Personally to Historical Information

The study of historical events, as a discipline, need not be viewed in the classroom as distinct from personal response. The teaching of history should provide opportunities for students to explore complex social issues and to respond to them within their own personal framework. Students come to many learning situations with personal feelings, arising out past experiences shaped by past experiences, biases, and stereotypical knowledge. The teacher can design learning opportunities in which students can test and refine their views and perspectives.

The confederation process provides opportunities for the student to examine the actions, roles, and positions of key persons and arrive at conclusions about their preferences and values. A case in point is the position taken by Lester R. Burry (1898-1977), a missionary of the United Church in Labrador. He was an ardent promoter of the confederate cause and was a delegate to the National Convention.

Two of Lester Burry's speeches provide a valuing incident to which students can react. A modification of Fraenkel's model for value-inferences is used; the following focus questions provide a framework for the task and the related exercises provided in the student material:

  • What is happening in the situation?
  • Why is it happening?
  • From what is happening, what values may be inferred?
  • What evidence is there to support these value-inferences?

Then the students are asked to put themselves in a situation in which they have to make inferences about their own values.


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

Canadian History 1201

  • Identify the purpose of key political movements.
  • Know reasons used by confederates.
  • Examine methods used by confederate groups.
  • Retrieve and categorize information from a variety of sources.
  • Engage in critical thinking, decision-making, and problem-solving.
  • Appreciate history as a product of the interplay among aspirations, personalities, ideals and cultures.
  • Appreciate the contribution of individuals, groups and cultures to the development of Canada.

Language Arts

  • Select, read, and view with understanding a range of literature, information, media, and visual texts.
  • Respond personally to texts.
  • Respond critically to texts.

Social Studies Skills

This lesson also promotes the following social studies skills:

Evaluating Information

  • Recognize trends and patterns in information;
  • Draw conclusions.

Participating in Groups

  • Give and receive feedback in a positive manner.
  • Willingly work within the parameters defined by a task and related rules of conduct.

Examining Values

  • Isolate ideas in a piece of communication;
  • Determine relationships among these ideas;
  • Explain the relationships;
  • Infer underlying values.
  • Compare inferred values to one's own values.

Instructional Approach

  1. Use lecture to provide an overview of the task (refer to the four focus questions above).
  2. Assign the reading of Burry's two brief speeches.
  3. In the whole class setting, have students discuss the first two focus questions; i.e.; "What is happening in this situation?" and "Why is it happening?"
  4. Ask the students to complete the five exercises contained in the student material, Responding Personally to Historical Information. This will be an independent assignment.
  5. After the students have completed the exercises, have them break into triads to compare their responses to exercises 3 and 4. Each student should be prepared to defend their responses.

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