2011 Governor General's Award Finalists
Canada's History Society in partnership with TD Bank Financial Group today announced the 18 finalists for the 2011 Governor General's Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History — the nation’s top teaching prize. Now in its 16th year, the award honours teachers who excel at bringing history to life for their students.
A national judging panel will next select six recipients out of the twenty-two finalists, based on a submission outlining the nominee’s innovations and achievements in the field of teaching Canadian History or Social Studies. Those six recipients will receive $2,500, a gold medal and a trip this fall to the Awards ceremonies at Rideau Hall. Their respective schools will also be awarded a cash gift of $1,000. The program, including the Awards prizes are made possible through the generous support of TD Bank Financial Group.
The 2011 Finalists are:
Canada is a mosaic of nationalities, beliefs and immigration stories. What better way to explore the past, present and future of this nation than to connect directly with the people themselves? For the past three years, class time in Language Arts, Social Studies, and Jewish Social Studies, have been used to interview and research a number of immigration stories.
The heart of the unit "What do we remember on Remembrance Day?" is the literature circle reading of Generals Die in Bed, Charles Yale Harrison’s account of his time with the Canadian forces in the First War. Over the course of the unit, students learn about the conditions and horrors of life in the trenches.
In this project, students undertook the real work of historians. They were first asked to find objects that date back prior to 1960 and to provide a brief description of its provenance.
Over four-five weeks, students relive the Seven Years’ War by researching, learning military tactics, designing an intelligence report, creating props, role-playing, and learning marching techniques. They then simulate the battle on the Plains of Abraham with over 120 grade seven students. As a final task, students are asked to envision the effects of a French victory on Canada today.
Students engage in a series of differentiated activities that enable them to gain a stronger sense of belonging and citizenship while fostering an understanding, interest, and connection to Canadian history. Through graffiti exercises, group research, and the production of an African-Canadian arrival timeline, students participate in critical analyses and discourse regarding their own identities and place in Canadian society.
Shantelle piloted a course entitled “The History of Africa and Peoples of African Descent” at Walkerville Collegiate Institute. This course gave students of African descent an opportunity to connect with their education and see their histories and cultures reflected, making their learning experiences more engaging, inclusive and relevant.
Students discover the “history in their own backyard” by researching WWI and WWII soldiers from their community. Through engagement in primary document research, veterans’ visits, local fundraising and trips of remembrance to Ottawa and Europe, students develop historical thinking abilities and gain experience in community partnerships.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the French village of Maillardville, Coquitlam, in 2009, the school partnered with the Francophone Society of Maillardville to research and write a book recounting the arrival and early pioneer life of the francophone community in 1909, as well as the origins of the establishment of francophone settlements in the province of British Columbia.
"Remembering our Valiant Soldiers!" is a lively approach with the goal of helping students in grades Sec. 4 and 5 discover our military history. It is a multi-year project where students collect stories of veterans in the Montérégie area and present them in a multimedia work.
Honour and Remember by Making it Real" is a series of multiple lesson plans and projects on WWI, The Winnipeg General Strike, as well as, a Hong Kong Commemoration Ceremony, the organizing of a History Conference and the 'Portraits of Valour' Writing Contest.
Researching internet databases, unit histories, local newspapers and the memories of local families, Clint Lovell’s students wrote and published the stories of their local boys killed in the world wars.
The Oral History Project began with the idea that people who have lived through major events in history should share their experiences by talking to students directly. Scott has chosen to focus on the World War II/Holocaust era as a first step as he believes that it is important for this generation to speak to students while the opportunity is present.
Cynthia Mundell Hahn’s students developed and produced a book of World War II veteran memories based on personal interviews and multimedia research.
This project encourages students to apply everything that they’ve learned during their history course by sharing their research results with their colleagues in class and together presenting them in an original artistic performance.
A grade 3/4 class, made up of students with different challenges and gifts, learned about Canada’s past and present through two inquiry projects. Both projects highlighted differentiated instruction, curriculum integration, and promote understanding and pride in the diversity of Canada.
Under Sylvia's guidance her students booked guest speakers, developed multimedia resources, and began decorating small wooden tiles that became meaningful artifacts, each one representing a young life lost to the depredations of the Indian Residential School system.
"Reel History" is a grade 5 class project that looks at Immigration yesterday and today. Students found out what it was like to come to Canada many years ago through Pier 21 in compared to what it is like immigrating to Canada today. Students research, interview, make local connections, write journals, take field trips to document and create a documentary video on the subject.
The Holocaust is world history, but it is Canadian history; it is Jewish history, but it is human history. This idea inspired the semester-long project “We Who Listened," a response to survivor Alex Levin's memoir about his post-war journey to Canada.