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NAMES: Brent Armstrong, Robert Croskery, Markus Vaisanen


SUBJECT: History TOPIC: Primary Sources: Canada A Changing Society



To examine the social and economic factors, technological advances, and individuals
and groups that promoted change in Canada between 1885 and the beginning of the
First World War in 1914. Students will investigate the social and political challenges
of increased migration and settlement, and rapid industrialization. Students will
develop skills of historical analysis by making comparisons and connections between
conditions near the beginning of the twentieth century and aspects of life in present-
day Canada with the use of primary sources.


(General/Specific)(Knowledge, skills etc.)

*The overall and specific expectations of this lesson meet the requirements for Grade
8 History outlined in the Ontario Curriculum.

Overall Expectations:

Learners will be able to:

1. describe key characteristics of Canada between 1885 and 1914, including social
and economic conditions, the roles and contributions of various people and
groups, internal and external pressures for change, and the political responses
to these pressures. (Ontario Curriculum: page 63, paragraph 1)

Specific Expectations:

1. describe the factors contributing to change in Canadian society (e.g., immigration,

technology, politics, globalization) (Ontario Curriculum: page 63, paragraph 1)

2. use a variety of primary and secondary sources to locate relevant information (e.g.,
primary sources: immigration posters, photographs of working conditions,
journals and diaries; secondary sources: print materials, videos, CD-ROMs,
Internet sites) (Ontario Curriculum: page 64, paragraph 3)

3. create an immigration campaign to attract immigrants to Canada around the

beginning of the twentieth century and today, using media appropriate to the
period (e.g., poster, pamphlet) (Ontario Curriculum: page 64, paragraph 8)


1 Blackboard or chart paper (for Mind Map introduction)

2 Chart paper (1 or 2 sheets per group)

3 Markers/Pencil Crayons or other art supplies (the more the better, allows for

4 Primary source/secondary source kits (1 for each country; China, Italy, Russia)
*Prepared before hand

5 Document camera/powerpoint


1 Pencil/ Pen

2 Paper



Using a mind map, probe students for what they believe constitutes a primary source.
Ask them for examples. Write all answers on the board (the point of the exercise is to
get students thinking). Begin with a discussion on primary sources and introduce the
importance of using primary sources in the study of history.


1. Generate a discussion on the conditions in Canada at the turn of the century.

Provide students with background knowledge of why Canada wanted to
encourage immigration. (5 minutes)
2. Provide students with visual examples of immigration posters using document
camera or PowerPoint.

3. Divide class into 3 groups. (If a large class, duplicate groups)

4. Set the stage and introduce the primary source activity. Explain that each group is
going to receive a kit with primary and secondary sources that deal with either
China, Italy, or Russia, and that they are to use the information provided to create
an immigration poster of their own. Explain that the purpose is to create a poster
that targets citizens from that particular country, and encourages them to
immigrate to Canada.

5. Let students open packages and begin their inquiry study of the sources, and
create their posters using the art supplies provided by the teacher. (15 minutes)

6. Regroup and have each group present their findings and their poster to the class.
Students should begin to mention how they used the sources to gather specific
information about their country. Guide discussion if necessary by asking
questions. (10 minutes)

7. After the presentations, debrief and reflect on activity and what students learned.
Ask questions such as: How did you use your primary sources to gather
information about your country? What is the importance of primary sources?


1 Activate prior knowledge about primary and secondary sources.

2 Encourage students to think critically and examine information in different


3 Teach students how to refer to information in the primary sources to support

a point they wish to make.

4 Help students recognize the importance of primary sources.


FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT: Students will be assessed formatively on their

ability to think critically and participate in discussion. Teacher will evaluate students’
ability to work in a group with others.

Other things to be observed:

Can students:

1 Describe the conditions of the country they are studying?

2 Listen and gain new insight from one another?

3 Make connections, using examples from the primary sources?

4 Listen and respond appropriately to others’ suggestions and discussions?

5 Locate relevant information in the packages to support their ideas?

6 Identify the main ideas being examined in the activity?

***Note: This lesson plan can be differentiated at the product/assessment task level
to meet the needs of various types of learners such as kinestetic, oral, and visual
learners. In the differentiated lesson, students will have a choice to choose what they
would like to produce or work on for their assessment activity.


Students will choose from a list of projects or tasks:

1 Letter /Invitation: Students will create a professional style letter, based on a

template provided by the teacher, free of errors, and highlighting their
research or ideas related to the immigration. The letters will highlight key ideas
as to why citizens from a country would benefit by immigrating to Canada.
Letters will be 1 page in length, typed or written.

2 A creative play: Students will produce a dramatic skit or play that deals with an
idea immigration. Students will produce a skit to promote Canada and the
benefits of immigration. Skits must be 5 to 10 minutes in length, and the
script must be handed in as well as presented.

3 Visual representation or model: Students will construct a visual representation of

an advertisement to encourage imigration. Students will be able to use any
supplies that they wish.

4 Web page: Students will create a plan for the production of a web page that
encourages immigration to Canada. The web page should be designed as an

Projects are to be handed in or presented on the last day of the unit. All group
members must participate equally and evidence of shared work must be present.

***The following appendixes are a list of just some of the resources you can use for creating the source
kits for each country. Each kit will include the handout: Questions to think about while
exploring your kit…
Questions to think about while exploring your kit…..

1. What information in your kit could be used in

determining why Canada would be more appealing?

2. From the information found in your kit, how would you

represent it within your poster?

3. Put yourself in the place of a person living in your

country, why might you want to leave and come to a
country like Canada?

4. From the information provided in your kit, what other

information can be used to customize and target your
specific country?
Primary Source Kit for Italy:

Picture: Italian Immigrant Family:

Library of Congress (ca 1880-1920). Italian Immigrant Family at Ellis Island. Retrieved
January 27th, 2008 from the Library of Congress: Prints and Photographs Reading
Room. Website:

Picture: Homeless Italian Earthquake Refugees:

Library of Congress (1909).Going to the land of opportunity, homeless Italian earthquake

refugees on their way to America. Retrieved January 27th, 2008 from the Library of
Congress: Prints and Photographs Reading Room. Website:

Newspaper article, Why Italians Come Over

The New York Times. (1888). Why Italians Come Over. Retreived January 27th, 2008.
from Latin American Studies. Website:

Giuseppe Garibaldi speech to his soldiers (translated):

Garibaldi, Giuseppe. (1860). Giuseppe Garbaldi Encourages his Soldiers. Retrieved January
24th, 2008 from The History Place: Great Speeches Collection. Website:
Charles Dickens Account of Italy while traveling:

Dickens, Charles. (1846). Pictures from Italy: The Reader’s Passport. Retrieved January 24th,
2008 from Project Gutenberg eBooks. Website:

D.H. Lawrence Account of Italy while traveling:

Lawrence, D.H. (1916). Twilight in Italy. Retrieved January 24th, 2008 from The
University of Adelaide Library (Australia), eBook @ Adelaide. Website:

Report on the Conquest of Naples, 1860.

Garibaldi, Giuseppe. (1860). Report on the Conquest of Naples, 1860. Retrieved January
24th, 2008 from the Internet Modern History Sourcebook: 19th Century Italy.

Primary Source Kit for China:

Web Resources used:





Primary Source Kit for Russia:

Some of the Print Sources Used:

Wilson, Francesca. Muscovy: Russia through Foreign Eyes, 1553-1900. London:

George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1970, illustration opposite page 224, illustration
opposite page 256.

Woodsworth, John, comp. Russian Roots & Canadian Wings: Russian Archival
Documents on the Doukhobor Emigration to Canada. Manotick, Ontario:
Penumbra Press, 1999, p. ii, xx.

The sources for the Doukhobor immigrants from Russia were a nice
complement to the electronic sources used for Italy and China because students
learned that primary sources are often contained within secondary sources, such as
monographs. Monographs are far more available than are some primary sources.
Students should also learn to be comfortable in using monographs and not feel they
have to read the entire book for it to contain items of value for their research. Many
primary sources are often only available in archives, and so grade eight students
should learn the distinction between the secondary source components in
monographs and the primary sources, such as illustrations, photographs or
appendixes, that are reproduced within such monographs.