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Critical Challenge Lesson Plan

Critique the Piece


Judge the Better or Best
Rework the Piece

Decode the Puzzle


Design to Specs
Perform to Specs

Your Name: Amy Sansone


Course: Canadian History (Topic: New France) Grade Level: 7
Overall Expectations/Objectives:
A2. Inquiry: use the historical inquiry process to investigate perspectives of different
groups on some significant event, developments, and/or issues related to the shift in
power in colonial Canada from France to Britain (FOCUS ON: Historical Perspective;
Historical Significance)

Specific Expectations/Objectives:
A2.1 formulate questions to guide investigations into perspectives of different groups on
some significant events, developments, and/or issues related to the shift in power in
colonial Canada from France to Britain.
A2.4 interpret and analyse information and evidence relevant to their investigations,
using a variety of tools.

Critical Tasks/Question:
Question: Was European expansion a good thing for First Nations communities?
Task: You will undergo a historical investigation using several primary sources. Identify
the impact of multiple perspectives and discuss why some perspectives are more
available to us than others.

Overview:
Students will be put into groups of 4 and will analyse three different painting artifacts
taken from their textbook depicting European perspectives of First Nations events or
encounters. In their groups, they will first discuss their opinions about all 3 depictions.
Then each group will be assigned one of the three pictures to investigate, using the
provided handout, Using Primary Sources, which provides guiding questions for the
investigation. A spokesperson from each group will stand up with their group to present
their answer, while the teacher writes down key words on the board relating to bias. The
teacher will then have a class discussion about how these artifacts are similar and why the
words on the board reflect in all three artifacts. Finally, the students will all be asked to
independently read two quotes: one from a Europeans perspective and one from a First
Nations perspective of the same account. After a think-pair-share session, the teacher
will then write key words down, passively, on the board during a class discussion after
the reading. Using the key words written on the board relating to bias to guide the
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students, the teacher will then refer back to the critical question, and will ask students
what would be the issue with answering this questions based on the evidence presented
today?

Objectives:
Students will be able to:
1. Identify probable intentions of artists and writers using guiding, critical questions
2. Discuss potential challenges when searching for perspectives of first Nations people.

Broad Understanding:
Students will understand the importance of using differing perspectives to provide quality (lessbiased) critiques during the historical inquiry process.

Requisite Tools for Thinking Critically:


Background Knowledge: Students should have an understanding that historians
emphasize the importance of a variety of evidence and perspectives when making
conclusions about historical events, and that bias plays an important role in the
amounts of evidence and variety that are available to us (Example: more European
primary sources than First Nations due to written versus oral traditions). Students are
also aware of First Nations perspectives about first contact from past lessons.
Criteria for Judgement: The criteria for assessing perspectives of artifacts is the Using
Primary Sources handout (Junyk, M.,2007, Modified Pg. 10 of Student Reproducible
Masters). This handout provides guiding critical questions to help identify artists reasons
or intentions for portraying events in a certain way.
Critical Thinking Vocabulary: bias, oral tradition, culture

Thinking Strategies/Tools:
Suggest that when students observe the primary sources while answering the
questions in the handout, use a comparison chart to summarize their answers
regarding European influence versus First Nations influence. Ask them to notice
which side had the strongest influence in the imagery. For example:
European Influence
Europeans were helping First Nations

First Nations Influence


First Nations wanted the

European audience turned on (+ change)

First Nations Audience turned off


(forced change)
Inferior weaponry, no clothing

Scenes showed more European values


- Advanced weaponry, clothing style
European perspective

No First Nations perspective

Stronger influence in image

Weaker influence in image

Habits of Mind: Comparing perspectives, critical analysis

Suggested Activities
European expansion in North America effected the lifestyle and culture of First Nations
people. Was this change welcomed, or was it imposed on the First Nations? Examine the
primary sources to identify the message the artist has created.
Teacher:
Explain the meaning of bias, culture, and the difference between oral and written
traditions and its effect on the study of History.
Students: Think-pair-share
Identify the pros and cons between oral and written historical records. Did Europeans
have a strong written or oral tradition? Did First Nations people have a strong written or
oral tradition? Does this influence our perception about historical events? Why or why
not?
Teacher Suggestion:
Develop a comparison chart/T-chart to help you keep track of your observations. This is
not only a quick reference for now, but a study tip for the future. Comparing European
versus First Nations influence in the imagery in this format will be a simpler method of
recalling this information compared to re-reading in-depth answers to questions.
Teacher:
In groups of four, take a look at all three artifacts and discuss what message or interesting
details you think the artists are portraying. Next, you will be given one of the three
artifacts to examine in detail using the Handouts guiding questions.
(Teacher circulates around the class during peer discussion, asking devils-advocate
questions to different groups to help guide students to think outside the box. Example:
What if you were a French man or woman in Europe looking at these images. What if the
image showed French soldiers using bows and arrows? What would the response be
then? Was photography available during that time period? What is the difference
between a photograph and a drawing or painting? Would the King of France encourage
settlement in the colony if these depictions showed more First Nations influence?)

Materials Provided:
The following is a Mikmaq camp painting by an anonymous artist painted long after
Cartiers arrival.

(Information and Painting adapted from Cruxton, J.B., Wilson, W.D., Walker, R.J., Francis, D., Harrison, B., and
Johnson, P. (2007). Close-Up Canada: Second Edition. Oxford University Press: Don Mills, ON. Pg. 17)

A self-portrait drawing done by Samuel de Champlain depicting himself defending the


Wendat during a battle against the Haudenosaunee.

(Information and Painting adapted from Cruxton, J.B., Wilson, W.D., Walker, R.J., Francis, D., Harrison, B., and
Johnson, P. (2007). Close-Up Canada: Second Edition. Oxford University Press: Don Mills, ON. Pg. 25)

This is a European painting showing a Haudenosaunee village before European influence.

(Information and Painting adapted from Cruxton, J.B., Wilson, W.D., Walker, R.J., Francis, D., Harrison, B., and
Johnson, P. (2007). Close-Up Canada: Second Edition. Oxford University Press: Don Mills, ON. Pg. 33)

Handout:

Teacher facilitates class discussion when groups share their ideas collectively,
confirming students responses and providing feedback. During the discussion, the
teacher writes down key words (mentioned by the students) on the board relating to bias.
The teacher will then have a class discussion about how these artifacts are similar and
why the words on the board reflect in all three images.
By this time, students will have had the practice to critically analyse a source and will
now be given an independent reading task. This time it will be contrasting European and
First Nations perspectives regarding an event, rather than just having the European
perspective alone.

Material Provided:
The following is a Cartiers description from his journal about what happened when they
first exchanged goods with a Mikmaq group on his first voyage:
The next day some of the Indians came in nine canoes to the point where we
lay anchored with our ships As soon as they saw us, they began making
signs that they had come to barter and held up some furs of small value with
which they clothed themselves We sent two men on shore to offer them
some knives and other iron goods and a red cap to their chief They
bartered all that they had (Cruxton, J.B., Wilson, W.D., Walker, R.J., Francis,
D., Harrison, B., and Johnson, P. (2007). Pg. 15)
(Anticipated understanding of quote: Cartier suggests that they Indians seemed
desperate. They are perceived to feel a need for the things the Europeans had so much so
that they offered everything they had.)
The next quote is from the same account written down by a missionary in the 1900s, but

from a Mikmaq elders perspective:


When they [the Mikmaq] got up in the morning, they saw what seemed to
be a small island that had drifted near to the land and became fixed there.
There were trees on the island, and what seemed to be a number of bears
were crawling about on the branches. All the Mikmaq men seized their bows
and arrows and spears, and rushed down to the shore to shoot the bears. But
they stopped in surprise when they saw that the creatures were not bears but
men. And what seemed to be a small island with trees was really a large boat
with long poles rising above it. (Cruxton, J.B., et al. (2007). Pg. 16)
(Anticipated understanding of the quote: the Mikmaq seemed objective about their
arrival rather than expressed any feelings of desperation for help. They were curious and
were simply surprised by an unfamiliar sight.)

After a think-pair-share session between the students about the quotes, the teacher will
then write key words down, passively, on the board during a class discussion after the
reading. Using the key words written on the board relating to bias (even the Mikmaq
interpretation is written down by a missionary) to guide the students. The teacher will
then refer back to the critical question:
Was European expansion a good thing for First Nations communities?
Answers will depend on which perspective the students will draw from, European or
First Nations.
Teacher will ask students what would be the issue with answering this questions based
on the evidence presented today? The class discussion will prepare them for their
homework evaluation.

Evaluation: Using some of the critical questions asked in the Using Primary Resources
handout as a guide, compare the two quotes given to you at the end of class. In your
opinion, how does each quote try to portray the other group (positive, negative, etc).
Provide evidence from the quotes to support your answer. Use the Summary Checklist
sheet provided to help you write in correct, paragraph format. Your answer should be at
least 1 page, double spaced, written or typed. Maximum 2 pages. This is for homework
and should be handed in by the beginning of next class with your Summary Checklist
sheet attached.

(Adapted from Junyk, M. (2007). Teachers Resource: Close-Up Canada, Second Edition)

Extension:
1. Students can rank the four sources (the fourth one including the two quotes about
the same account) in order from best to worst.
2. Students could have a library session searching for more available primary
sources about early exploration from First Nations perspectives until there is an
even distribution between both perspectives. Students could then plan and
perform a short play presenting their findings and answering the critical question.

References:
Cruxton, J.B., Wilson, W.D., Walker, R.J., Francis, D., Harrison, B., and Johnson, P. (2007).
Close-Up Canada: Second Edition. Oxford University Press: Don Mills, ON. Pp. 15-17, 25, and
33.
Junyk, M. (2007). Teachers Resource for Close-Up Canada: Second Edition. Modified Pg. 10 of
Student Reproducible Masters.
Designing Critical Challenges in History: Handout (2014). CURS 4501U. University of Ontario
Institute of Technology: Oshawa.