Posts Tagged ‘Canada’
Learning about other countries and exploring their histories and cultures are integral parts of any K12 research. During the month of July, SIRS Discoverer’s Spotlight of the Month features articles and Web sites on the country of Canada. Our Spotlight of the Month presents information on Canada’s provinces and way of life, but it also highlights Canadian people who have influenced our world.
Several authors used Canadian themes and landscapes into their works. Lucy Maud Montgomery created the popular Anne of Green Gables books. Farley Mowat, best known for his books People of the Deer and Never Cry Wolf, often wrote about the Canadian North. Although her works are primarily aimed at adults, Margaret Atwood makes Canada–primarily Toronto–the setting for many of her books.
Artists and Entertainers
Emily Carr painted Canadian landscapes and was often inspired by the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast.
Canadian comedians Michael J. Fox, Mike Meyers, and Jim Carrey all started their careers in Canada. They have achieved fame and success all over the world
Birute Mary Galdikas is a famed primatologist and founder of Orangutan Foundation International.
Canadian scientists Irene Ayako Uchido and Ralph Steinman made great advancements in the field of biology.
Astronaut Chris Hadfield was the first Canadian to walk in space.
French explorer Samuel de Champlain founded Quebec and Lake Champlain is his namesake.
Laura Secord was a woman who warned Canadian troops about an attack during the War of 1812.
Direct your K12 students and young library patrons to ProQuest SIRS Discoverer and explore all that is Canadian! We are pretty sure that you’ll learn something new about this beautiful and diverse country.
Did you know that CultureGrams offers almost 80 free teaching activities to its subscribers? If you don’t have access to CultureGrams, enjoy this free teaching activity today and sign up for a free trial of the product to access more.
A Postcard from Canada
Grade Level: K–5
Research a Canadian province and create a post card depicting the highlights of the area.
National curriculum standard(s):
National Standards for Social Studies People, Places, and Environments
- Standard H [Early Grades]: Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of people, places, and environments, so that the learner can examine the interaction of human beings and their physical environment, the used of land, building of cities, and ecosystem changes in selected locales and regions.
- Standard G [Early Grades]: Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of people, places, and environments, so that the learner can describe how people create places that reflect ideas, personality, culture, and wants and needs as they design homes, playgrounds, classrooms, and the like.
(Developed by the National Council for the Social Studies)
Time Requirement Preparation: 15 minutes
In-class: 1 hour Materials
CultureGrams Provinces Edition Instructions
- Have students choose a Canadian province they would most like to visit. Each student should read their province’s CultureGrams report, making notes about things that are unique to the province and things that attract visitors. They should also pay special attention to the Official Emblems section.
- On 4×6 index cards, have students design post cards showing some of the highlights and unique traits of the province. Students may also want to incorporate one or more of the provinces’ official emblems, or they may do research to find some unofficial emblems.
- On the back of the post card, have students write a message as though they were visiting the province and writing home. They should think about what they would want to do while in Canada, what difficulties they might run into, and what differences they would expect to find between their home and the province they are visiting.
Have students pretend that they are from the province they researched. If they were visiting the area in which the students live, what kind of post card would they send home? What would they want to be featured on the front? What would they write on the back? Have students design a post card for their area and write a message on the back to their family at home in Canada.
Kateri, the daughter of a Mohawk chief and a Catholic Algonquin woman, was born in 1656 just northwest of Albany, New York, in the heart of the Iroquois Confederacy. She was orphaned at the age of four when smallpox wiped out her family and most of her village. The disease also left Kateri blinded and disfigured. She converted to Catholicism at the age of 20 and was baptized in honor of Saint Catherine of Siena. She moved to Kahnawake, a Mohawk settlement south of Montreal where the Jesuits had a mission. Kateri died at the young age of 24, and minutes after her death, witnesses say her smallpox scars vanished, and she appeared radiant and beautiful. She is buried at a shrine on Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada.
Tekakwitha was canonized on October 21, 2012, by Pope Benedict XVI. Known as the “Lily of the Mohawks,” she is the patron saint of the environment and ecology. During the ceremony, Benedict said: “Saint Kateri, Protectress of Canada and the first Native American saint, we entrust to you the renewal of the faith in the first nations and in North America. May God bless the first nations.”
Some traditional Mohawks treated the naming of the first Native American saint with skepticism and feared that the Catholic Church was using it to shore up its image and marginalize traditional spiritual practices. They saw the story of Tekakwitha as yet another reminder of colonial atrocities and religious oppression. But many Mohawks downplayed any controversy and joined Catholics who see Kateri as a uniting figure and hope her elevation to sainthood might help heal old wounds.
Kateri Tekakwitha’s Feast Day is July 14.
Related Topics & Resources:
Juan Diego & Our Lady of Guadalupe (Research Topic)
Encyclopedia of North American Indians (Reference Book)
Catholics in America (Book)
Native American Religion (Book)
National Catholic Reporter (Magazine)
July 1 is Canada’s birthday, otherwise known as Canada Day. On this day in 1867, the region’s three colonies were united into a single country called Canada, but it remained under British rule. Canada gained full constitutional independence in 1982.
OK…enough history. Now for some fun stuff!
There are lots of similarities between the United States and Canada. But there are also lots of wonderful differences! Let’s explore some fun facts that you can share with your students.
If your students were going to school in Canada, they would not worry about their grades. They would instead worry about getting good marks. And when they arrived home from school, they wouldn’t plop themselves down on the couch…they would instead plop down on the chesterfield. Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Oh…and if they lived in Canada and wanted their evening meal, they shouldn’t ask for dinner (they’d get lunch!). They must ask for supper!
On Halloween night in Canada, costumes would be worn under heavy winter coats. And instead of saying “trick or treat,” some Canadians exclaim “Halloween apples!” Canadians who celebrate Christmas decorate Christmas trees much like Americans…but it first needs to thaw, usually in the basement. And anyone watching New Year’s Eve fireworks in Canada may see fireworks in the shape of a very traditional symbol of the country–a maple leaf!
If your students were reciting the alphabet, the final letter would not be pronounced “zee,” but “zed.” They would call their moms mum. They would ask to use the washroom, not the restroom. They would take holidays over winter break, not vacations. And on these holidays, they could visit places with names like Moose Jaw, Blow Me Down, and Saint-Louis-Du-Ha-Ha.
On Canada Day, celebrate this beautiful country and its diverse and magnificent culture. Be sure to teach your students about our wintry northern neighbor! Visit SIRS Discoverer, and the product’s July Spotlight of the Month, for articles, Web sites, and photos to share with your class.
On May 18, 2015, Canadians will celebrate Victoria Day, which commemorates the birthday of the popular British queen who gave permission for the creation of the Dominion of Canada, the result of Canadian Confederation. Prior to this, it was just a collection of colonies of the British Empire.
Everyone would gather
On the twenty-fourth of May
Sitting in the sand
To watch the fireworks display
As referred to in this nostalgic lyric from the Canadian band Rush’s Lakeside Park, Victoria’s actual birthday is May 24. (Yes, that was an obviously desperate effort to get Rush into a blog entry.) Even back in the early days of Victoria’s reign, her birthday had been celebrated, and in 1845, the United Province of Canada (one of the colonies) passed the first legislation declaring May 24 to be a holiday. It wasn’t until 1952 that Canada made it so that it would always occur on the Monday before May 25. That was the year that Elizabeth II ascended to the British throne and the holiday was also declared to be the official celebration of the current queen’s birthday. In recent years, some have pushed for another change in the holiday to also honor the country’s First Nations.
So, why does Canada still celebrate the birthdays of British queens? Because it is a constitutional monarchy that, as part of the Commonwealth of Nations, recognizes the British monarch as its own, a system that has its supporters and detractors. But, that is a blog for a different day.
What about Victoria herself? She became queen in 1837 at the age of 18, and a couple of years later married her cousin, Prince Albert. They had nine children, who eventually married into royal families all around continent, providing Victoria with the nickname “Grandmother of Europe.” When Albert died of typhoid in 1861, she remained in mourning for the rest of her life. As queen, she reigned over and became a symbol of an expanding empire, and despite her gloominess, earned the devotion of her country. Among the landmarks that bear her name are Lake Victoria, Victoria Falls and Victoria, British Columbia.
There is much, much more in eLibrary on Victoria, her influence on culture and the events that occurred during her time as Britain’s longest-reigning member of the British Monarchy. For a start, see our Queen Victoria Research Topic page and the resources about her at the Victorian Web site, which is accessible through eLibrary.
Canadian authors such as Lucy Maud Montgomery, creator of the Anne of Green Gables books, and Farley Mowat, best known for his book Never Cry Wolf and one of Canada’s most popular authors, incorporated Canadian themes and landscapes into their works. Canadian scientists Irene Ayako Uchido and Ralph Steinman made great advancements in the field of biology. Canadian comedians John Candy, Mike Meyers, and Jim Carrey all started their careers in their home country. Even “Esther the Wonder Pig,” the pig who became an Internet sensation and helped convince many people to become vegetarians, is from Canada!
Visit SIRS Discoverer and explore all that is Canadian! We are pretty sure that you’ll learn something new about this beautiful and diverse country.
Most people know the Fourth of July as the day celebrating American Independence. Did you know that Canada also has a day celebrating its “birth?” That day is July 1, Canada Day, and it is marked with observances throughout Canada. This national holiday recognizes the anniversary of the enactment of the British North America Act on July 1, 1867 when three colonies – Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada – were united into the country now called Canada.
eLibrary includes a wealth of Canadian resources. Timely current news can be found in newspapers covering the breadth of Canada from the Vancouver Sun in British Columbia and the Toronto Star in Ontario to the Montreal Gazette in Quebec. Magazines such as Canadian Geographic and reference works like Canada Business provide historical and current topical information useful for research. Canadian-focused Research Topics run the gamut of Canadian Identity to First Nations of Canada.
O Canada! Our home and native land! True patriot love in all thy sons command. With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The True North Strong and free! From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. God keep our land glorious and free! O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
To our neighbors to the north we say Bonne fête du Canada!