11: Canada - What's the Difference?
Canadian Geography, Prominent
Canadians, Web Research, People
of Canada, Make a Postcard, Provinces
of Canada, Comparison of Two Governments,
Comparison of Newspapers, Field
Trip to Victoria
The Pacific Rim countries are always interesting to study but often
they are too far away from our state to visit. Canada is different.
What an opportunity to travel to another country that is only a
few hours away from Seattle! This unit directs the students through
some very interesting activities to learn about the geography, historical
figures, government and culture of Canada. The boys and girls will
use Publisher software for several lessons. The grand finale is
a trip to Victoria, Canada, for the whole class—a high point
for the year!
Desired Academic Results
Essential Academic Learning
Requirements in Social Studies
EALR #1. The Student uses
maps, charts, and other geographic tools to understand the spatial
arrangement of people, places, resources, and environments on Earth’s
#2. The student understands the complex physical and human characteristics
of place and region.
EALR #3. The student
observes and analyzes the interaction between people, the environment,
has ten provinces and three territories
• Canada and the U.S. have many commonalities. Canada and
the U.S. were countries formed at the same time, created by Europeans
supplanting existing Native people.
• Native peoples still live in the U.S. and Canada.
• For the most part, Canada and the U.S. have a similar contemporary
• The governments of both the U.S. and Canada have roots in
• France and Britain fought over Canada. Britain won but many
What the Students Will
• What makes Canada
a separate country?
• Why does a big part of Canada speak French?
• Why does most of Canada speak English?
• What happened to the first peoples of Canada?
• What is the current popular culture of Canada?
o What are their tastes in music, entertainment, and food?
o What kind of jobs do they do?
• What ethnic backgrounds do the people of Canada have?
• How does Canada differ from the U.S.A.?
• What is the governmental structure of Canada?
• Describe the
geographic regions of Canada.
• What makes Canada a distinct nation from the U.S., when
so much is the same?
• What does “Customs” do?
• What is the “Parliament?”
• What are provinces?
• What is the economy of Canada as reflected in the jobs listed
in Canadian papers? How do these compare to U.S. papers?
• How are Canadian newspapers organized compared to U.S.?
(How is information categorized?)
• What are the ethnic backgrounds of Canadians?
Assessment: The Evidence
That Will Demonstrate Student Understanding
Performance Tasks and Projects
produced (Publisher) postcard from Canada.
• Analogies. Devise three of more analogies comparing Canada
• A pie chart detailing the ethnic composition of the Canadian
• A digital postcard of a significant Canadian place
• A travel brochure on a specific province or territory
• A student generated general question True/False quiz
• A Venn Diagram comparing/contrasting Washington and British
• Several paragraphs detailing new information learned about
• A “letter home” describing a field trip to Victoria,
• A brochure or “wax museum performance” on a
• A Venn Diagram comparing/contrasting two newspapers: Canadian
• Cooperative group
work behaviors checklist
• Answer to questions
• Questions asked in class
• Ability to find locations on maps
• Filling out a
K-W-L learning log
Experiences and Instruction
What the Students Will Need to Know
• Basic map skills
• Analogies format
What the Students Will
Need to Be Able to Do
• Find sites on
• Use Microsoft Publisher
• Make a Venn Diagram
Lesson 1: Canadian
Using classroom atlases,
and a blank Canadian map, students: draw the major physical and
geographical features of Canada; place Canadian provinces, provincial
capitals, and territories; label a list of
natural features evident in the map. A more detailed atlas activity
is to create a class atlas. An additional activity is to answer
the 40 questions on Canadian Geography. (See
the Appendix, Lesson 1, for more descriptions on these activities).
Lesson 2: Prominent
Canadian Brochure or “Wax Museum”
Students research a
prominent Canadian and make a brochure about this person using Publisher.
Alternately, students can research a well-known Canadian and offer
information on that person through a “wax museum” format.
The Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia lists prominent Canadians
by home province. See the Appendix for details on the Wax
Museum activity and a presentation evaluation
Lesson 3: Virtual
Tour of New France—Website Research
Take a virtual tour
of the “Virtual Museum of New France.” Each student
is to explore this site. Then write about what
they learned in the site. See the Appendix.
Lesson 4: The
People of Canada
Students make a pie
chart showing the ethnic composition of Canada.
Lesson 5: Make
a Postcard of a Canadian Place
Using the World
Wide Web and Publisher. Students download a picture of an interesting
site in a province or territory of Canada into a Publisher file.
On the reverse side they describe in words the pictures and add
other Canadian information they have learned. See the Resources
section for provincial and territorial government websites to assist
this activity. Further details on the lesson are in the Appendix.
Lesson 6: Brochure/Poster
Make a travel brochure/poster
on the province or territory of your choice. Utilizing provincial
websites and other sources, students make a travel brochure
using Publisher or other software.
Lesson 7: Write
Your Own Class Quiz
Devise a true or false
quiz of 5 questions, each comparing/contrasting Canada to U.S. Questions
must be general, “big” questions. Students are to list
their resources they consulted to make their questions.
Lesson 8: Canadian Government Comparison
government organization with Washington
State government. This lesson builds on the field trip to Victoria,
assuming students visit the parliament and receive a tour.
Lesson 9: Newspaper
Examine select sections
of the Seattle Times Sunday Edition and compare it to the Vancouver
Sun. These papers are also online at http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/home/
discover through a detailed reading of the Canadian newspaper that
most of the content is comparable to a U.S. paper of the same date.
Students are assigned a major section of each paper (e.g. world,
local, sports, jobs, etc) and make a Venn diagram of what is different
and common within that section. Students in the classified section
make a list of items they understand, and items they don’t
know in the employment section and the classified ads.
these publications and select articles from them on the same subject
to compare and contrast. Another possibility: select uniquely Canadian
articles for student analysis.
Lesson 10: Field
Trip to Victoria
Field trip to Victoria,
Canada. This is an all-day field trip departing from Seattle around
8 AM and returning around 8 PM. (Since the field trip extends past
the normal school day, permission from the school district is required.)
offers student discounts in May. Cost per student is about $50.
See the following section on Field Trip Contacts for more details.
Preparation for field
trip emphasizes the Canada is a separate country. Canadian Customs
regulations must be consulted for what food items are allowed. Proper
identification is required. Proper etiquette while passing Customs
is practiced. We have done this with parents each chaperoning a
group of 4-6 students. Friday is the best day to allow time to recover
for another teaching day. A useful itinerary is to make appointments
at Parliament and the Royal
British Columbia Museum for the afternoon for the entire class,
with just enough time to return to the Clipper dock (an easy 5 minute
walk away). The morning is left to individual-chaperoned groups
to explore Victoria and eat lunch. For many students, this is the
first time out of the country and they are very excited about it.
Be mindful that foreign-born students need a valid visa to reenter
the USA. A possible assignment for students upon your return is
to write a letter to an imaginary relative back home describing
what you experienced on the day of the field trip.
Site devoted to French exploration and settlement in North America.
A project of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the site includes
biographies of the explorers, articles about people such as fur
traders, trappers and settler and historical places to visit. Much
This link (Kids’ Zone) from the Canadian government web site
is maintained by the Indian and Northern Affairs department of Canada.
It contains kid friendly information on the Native peoples of Canada
National Government of Canada official web site. Links to official
provincial sites listed below. The content of these sites, and therefore
their usefulness to U.S. students varies. Subjects include: tourism;
economic; current events; connecting with provincial governments
etc. Some have “kid links.” All provide insights into
Canadian government and culture. As they are maintained by provincial
government, they should be available in the years ahead.
Province of British Columbia official website
Government of Alberta home page
Government of Saskatchewan home page
Prince Edward Island
Government of Nunavut web site
Natural Resources Department of Canada. All sorts of maps.
Web page of The Seattle Times newspaper
Web page of The Vancouver Sun newspaper
to Lesson 5
LeVert, Suzanne. Let’s
Discover Canada. British Columbia. New York. Chelsea House
Publishers. 1991. Nanton, Isabel. British Columbia. Toronto. Grolier.
More Books on Canada
in the series Discover Canada
Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations. Timothy and Susan
Gall editors. New York: U*X*L c1996
Liptak, Karen. Indians
of the Pacific Northwest. New York. Facts on File 1991.
Lands and People 1995: North America vol. 5. Grolier Inc. Danbury
Bowers, Vivian, WOW
Canada! Exploring this Land from Coast to Coast. Owl Books.
Neighbor. 2nd edition. Center for Canadian-American studies.
Western Washington University. Bellingham. 1999.
Field Trip to
Victoria B.C. Contacts
Special rates to students in May and June.
Cost is about $35 round trip to Victoria B.C. from Seattle.
Royal British Columbia Museum
This natural history museum has one of the finest displays of Northwest
culture and artifacts in the world.
Special rates to school groups:
Student rate: $1.71 CDN per person; Chaperon rate: $4.28 CDN
The buildings, which house the seat of government for the Province
of British Columbia, are open for visits. Reserve time to sit in
when Parliament is in session and your students can listen to the
Contact Pamela Welch.
Admission is free.
Offers a wide range of life-like displays, including Canadian and
U.S. history makers. Guided tours at no additional charge.
Contact Ginger Smith.
Fees Grades 1-7: $2 CDN per person; Grades
8-12: $4.50 CDN per person.
One: Canadian Geography
pencils. On the 11” X 17” map of Canada provided:
1. Draw a line 150 miles north of the U.S.— Canada border.
On the back of the map, on the upper left side, tell how you figured
out how to measure where 150 miles was.
2. Lightly shade the area you just made.
3. Place on your map the following Canadian cities: Vancouver,
Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec.
4. Label the ten provinces and three territories.
5. Label the capitals of each province and territory.
6. Label these bodies of water:
- Hudson Bay and Strait
- Gulf of St. Lawrence
- Arctic Ocean
- Atlantic Ocean
- Pacific Ocean
- Lake Winnipeg
- Labrador Sea
7. Label these Islands:
- Victoria Island
- Baffin Island
- Ellesmere Island
- Queen Charlotte Island
- Vancouver Island
8. Label these rivers:
- Fraser River
- St. Lawrence River
- Detroit River
- Ottawa River
9. Label the “Great Lakes,” Great Slave Lake, and
Great Bear Lake.
One: Map Activities, continued
atlas to answer these 40 questions on Canadian Geography
1. What body of water connects Lake Ontario to the Atlantic Ocean?
2. What are the names of the five Great Lakes?
3. How many Great Lakes border Canada?
4. What large bay is located north of Lake Superior in Canada?
5. The following four countries are among those with the largest
land areas in the world: (1) Russia (2) Canada (3) China (4) United
States. On what continent is Canada located?
6. What countries have land borders with Canada?
7. What is the capital of Canada?
8. States are to the United States of America as _____ are to
9. Which oceans border Canada?
10. Find two lakes in Canada that have “Great” in
11. What country is both west and south of Canada?
12. What mountain range runs through western Canada, but not along
13. What is the westernmost province in Canada?
14. Which province is divided by water and is both an island and
on the mainland?
15. Which province is only an island?
16. Name the two parts of Canada which are not provinces.
17. Which provinces border Hudson Bay?
18. What is the capital of Alberta?
19. Name the large island north of Quebec.
20. Which of the Great Lakes does NOT border Canada?
21. Name two ‘landlocked” Canadian provinces.
22. Name the provinces that border the Pacific Ocean.
23. What is the special name of the parallel north of 65ºN
latitude that runs through the Yukon and Northwest Territories?
24. What is the capital of Manitoba?
25. Name all of the provinces that border the Atlantic Ocean.
26. Name the mountain range in northeastern Canada.
27. Name the island on which the city of Victoria is located.
28. The capital of which province is located closest to 50*N Latitude
and 105*W Longitude? What is the name of that city?
29. Name two bodies of water north of the Yukon Territories and
the Northwest Territories.
30. Name two straits north of Quebec.
31. How many provinces does Canada have?
32. List the provinces in alphabetical order.
33. The northern border of four provinces runs along what parallel?
34. Name the westernmost mountain range in Canada.
35. What is the largest city in Canada? (Hint: note the size of
36. The southernmost tip of Canada is located in what province?
37. Name three rivers in Alberta.
38. What is the capital of Newfoundland?
39. Where is the Mackenzie River located?
40. Name the lake that has the same name as the capital of the
province in which it is located.
Canada Geography Key
2. Superior, Erie, Michigan, Huron, Ontario
3. 4 (Ontario, Huron, Erie, Superior)
4. Hudson Bay
5. Continent of North America
6. United States
9. Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean
10. Great Slave Lake, Great Bear Lake
11. United States
12. The Rockies
13. British Columbia
15. Prince Edward Island
16. Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories
17. Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec
19. Baffin Island
20. Lake Michigan
21. Alberta and Saskatchewan
22. British Columbia
23. Arctic Circle
25. Quebec, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward
26. Labrador Highland
27. Vancouver Island
28. Saskatchewan, Regina
29. Any two: Beaufort Sea, Amundsen Gulf, Arctic Ocean, Baffin
30. Hudson Strait, Davis Strait
32. Alphabetical order: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New
Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island,
33. 60°N Latitude
34. Coast Mountains
37. Any three: Peace River, Athabasca River, Bow River, North
Saskatchewan River, South Saskatchewan River
38. St. John’s
39. Northwest Territories
40. Lake Winnipeg
to Lesson 1
One: Class Atlas Activity
Objective: Students will practice their mapping skills as they
learn more about Canada¹s geography.
Bring in a variety of atlas for students to explore. Ask students
about the type of information that they can find in an atlas. Inform
students that they are going to create a classroom atlas which focuses
on Canadian geography.
1. Have students work in pairs. Let students know that each atlas
will contain 12 pages. Each student pair is responsible for one
of the following sections. Title page, Map of the World, Map of
North America, Map of Canada, Canadian Province and Capital Map,
Canadian Landform Map, Canadian Latitude and Longitude Map, Canadian
Time Zone Map, Canadian Climate Map, Canadian Population Map, and
a Canadian Natural Resource Map.
2. Student pairs create each of their maps on one 11”by 18“
3. Students write a summary of what information can be found on
4. Students present map to class; Maps are comb-bound together
to make a class atlas that remains in the class as a valuable resource
as we continue studying about Canada.
to Lesson 1
Two: Prominent Canadians ~ The Wax Museum
Students will learn more about the people of Canada by researching
and summarizing a biography on a famous or influential Canadian.
Students will create a “wax museum” by dressing up as
their subject and reciting the summary of their subject¹s life
when statue is activated.
Survey class to find out how many students have been to a wax museum.
Discuss with class what they saw at the wax museum? What did they
learn there? Inform class that they are going to create a “Wax
Museum” featuring famous Canadians. They are going to become
the statues found in the wax museum and each statue will have a
button by it. When the button is pressed the statue will come alive
and recite a summary of the statue¹s life.
1. Present list of famous Canadians. Have students select a Canadian
2. Discuss with the students what kinds of information are needed
to have in a biography (Name or names, Place and date of birth,
Family, Places lived, Education, Hobbies, Occupations, Significant
incidents in his/her life, and What made him/her famous?)
3. After researching subject, students will create a speech with
the purpose of informing or educating the patrons of the museum
about their subject¹s life. The speech should include an attention-getting
beginning, a convincing main part, and a strong ending.
Invite other classes to come visit the Wax Museum. The day of the
Wax Museum, students come dressed up as the person they researched.
Depending on ability level of students, you could have students
memorize speech, or they can use their notecards. Have students
spread out in a large area. Place a small paper circle (for the
“on” button) in front of each statue. Inform students
that when patrons of the museum press the button, they are to recite
their speech. Inform students that they are wax statues and are
not allowed to talk or interact with patrons of the museum--only
recite their speech.
Return to Lesson 2
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WAX MUSEUM EVALUATION
_______ VOICE: speed, volume, fluency, intonation ( 5 4 3 2 1
_______ BODY LANGUAGE: appropriate movements ( 5 4 3 2 1 ) X1
_______ INFORMATIONAL CONTENT: What we learn about your character,
length of speech ( 5 4 3 2 1 ) X3
_______ MEMORIZATION: Can you recite without looking? Longer speeches
count more. ( 5 4 3 2 1 ) X2
_______ COSTUME: matches the character, effort ( 5 4 3 2 1 ) X1
_______ TOTAL POINTS
_______ LATE? Deduct 40%
WAX MUSEUM EVALUATION
_______ VOICE: speed,
volume, fluency, intonation ( 5 4 3 2 1 ) X2
_______ BODY LANGUAGE:
appropriate movements ( 5 4 3 2 1 ) X1
CONTENT: What we learn about your character, length of speech (
5 4 3 2 1 ) X3
Can you recite without looking? Longer speeches count more. ( 5
4 3 2 1 ) X2
_______ COSTUME: matches
the character, effort ( 5 4 3 2 1 ) X1
_______ TOTAL POINTS
_______ LATE? Deduct
to Lesson 2
Three: Virtual Tour of New France
This site, a project of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, is
devoted to French exploration and settlement in North America. The
site includes biographies of the explorers, articles about people
such as fur traders, trappers, and settlers, and historical places
to visit. There is a lot to explore.
Go to http://www.civilization.ca/vmnf/vmnfe.asp
Here is one possible example activity on this site. There are many
1. Click on “Bienvenue”
Notice the language. What language is it? Why is this? Click Back.
2. Click Settling
in New France. Read the selection. Write down three things
about the life back then that you find interesting. Click Back (Main
3. Click on the Explorers icon. How many different French
explorers are listed?
4. Click Cartier. Click To The New Lands. Copy down the
quote telling what he was supposed to do on his mission.
to Lesson 3
4: The People of Canada
Objective: Students will read a selection detailing the ethnic
composition of Canada’s population and make an annotated pie-chart.
One source for this selection is Lands and People: North America,
Materials: 11” x 17” paper with circle drawn in center
handout: “The People of Canada”
handout: “A Multicultural Society”
Preview the reading selection: Ask for initial impressions on the
content of the article based on the title and headings.
Preview the vocabulary:
descended ancestors derogatory
reserves retain Loyalists
influences “trace their ancestry”
Allow students one minute to scan the text for a few additional
unfamiliar words, and go over these.
Begin the Reading:
Explain that students each will present the information in the article
in another mode--a pie chart. Each section of the pie chart should
have a label adding more information. Readers who finish early can
get another article and add more information and answer additional
questions. Students will work in existing table groups.
The pie chart should:
• have a title
• be neat and pretty
• be in colored pencil
• show accurate in information and proportion
• contain labels for each major ethnic group giving more information
from the article on:
• Native peoples
• French Canadians
• British Canadians
• Other Canadians
Return to Lesson 4
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Five: Digital Postcard
When students have some familiarity with useful websites (start
with the websites listed in the Resource section), have them use
Publisher to make a digital postcard. Divide the possible images/places
into categories: Natural, Historical, Cultural, Political, Economic,
and so on. Assign students a certain category or have students decide
which category to look for in their internet search.
Students select an image, and copy it to a Publisher document. In
a text box underneath the image, copy the address where the image
was found on the World Wide Web. (For copyright protection.)
On the “back side,” students write a brief description
(two sentences) of what and where the site is. In the “message
home” section, students include further details on the site,
and add any other facts on Canada learned in this unit.
Alternately, students, working alone, or in pairs, can make one
or several PowerPoint slides. These can be put together for a class
Return to Lesson 5
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