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 Cause and Effect

History provides opportunities for students to complete and analyse data, in print and non-print form, in order to make sense out of the human story. Historians may adapt several avenues for interpreting the human story and lending significance to it:

  • Historians may examine how change marches on at a fairly steady pace (i.e., continuity) along a chronological sequence. Nonetheless, this chain of events results in differences between actions, events, or eras (i.e., change).
  • Historians may explore the notion that an event rarely results from a single cause but from a complex array of events (i.e., multiple causation).
  • Historians may explore how disagreements and differences of opinions (i.e., conflict) among individuals, groups, or nations may lead to change.

Historians who look back at the Confederation era attempt to arrive at an understanding of the inevitability of Newfoundland's and Labrador's entry into Confederation. More specifically, the question is raised, "How can the success of the Confederate forces be explained?" To answer this question students will realize that the event was multi-causational and conflict-laden.


By examining this question, students will achieve the following outcomes:

Canadian History 1201

  • Examine the part played by key groups
  • Know reasons used by Confederates.
  • Know reason used by anti-Confederates.
  • Know options other than Confederation or Responsible Government.
  • Examine methods used by Confederate and anti-Confederate groups
  • Analyse cause and effect relationships.
  • Develop extrapolations based on an analysis of past and present events.
  • Appreciate the contribution of history as a basis for understanding current issues and anticipating future trends.
  • Appreciate history as a product of the interplay among aspirations, personalities, ideals and cultures.

Language Arts

  • Use a range of strategies to develop effective writing and other ways of representing and to enhance their clarity, precision, and effectiveness.

Social Studies Skills

This lesson also promotes the following social studies skills:

Organizing Information

  • Select main ideas and supporting details.

Communicating Information

  • Arrange information in a sequence.
  • Analyse and summarize information.
  • Develop effective content by establishing a purpose, and selecting and integrating ideas and details;
  • Achieve effective organization by creating an opening; maintaining a focus; ordering events, ideas, and details; establishing relationships among events, ideas, and details; and providing closure;
  • Use fluent sentences through control of syntax and sentence variety and length;
  • Establish a voice by speaking to the reader individualistically, expressively, and engagingly;
  • Use word choice for appropriateness, precision, and clarity;
  • Achieve effective conventions through use of punctuation,

Instructional Approach

To assist students in the completion of this task, you may wish to use the following procedures:

  1. Describe some of the major historical concepts such as continuity, change, cause-and-effect, and multiple causation.
  2. Explain that the confederation process is an excellent example of multiple causation; more specifically, confederation with Canada resulted from a complex set of situations and events.
  3. Assign the focus question, "How can the success of Confederate forces be explained?"
  4. Assign the writing task as outlined in steps 1-4 in the student material.
  5. After students have completed rough draft, ask them each to select a partner to review the report. Criteria to help students in this task are provided in the student material.

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