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Life on a Seigneury

By Louisa Ellul, 2010 Governor General's Award Finalist

View Lesson Plan


Grade 7 History, Drama, Art, and English


Royal Government, Seigneurial System, Fur Trade, Life in New France in the 1600-1700’s


Students will:

  • use a variety of resources and tools to gather, process, and communicate information about how settlers in New France met the physical, social, and economic challenges of the new land (e.g., the seigneurial system; the roles of Governor, Bishop, and Intendant);
  • identify key characteristics of economic, political, and social life in New France;
  • communicate the results of inquiries for specific purposes and audiences, using oral presentations, written notes and reports, and drawings (e.g., create a plot of land that illustrates the organization of a seigneury);
  • use a variety of primary and secondary resources to locate relevant information about how early settlers met the challenges of the new land (e.g., primary sources: journals, letters, statistics, interviews, period documents and maps; secondary sources: maps, illustrations, print materials, videos, CD-ROMs, Internet sites)


It is difficult to truly understand the past unless you are able to become a participant in it. The tasks in this unit allow students to experience the past in a variety of ways. Through research, students will develop an understanding of life on a Seigneury in New France (1600-1700’s). Students then show their understanding through a variety of different learning experiences such as; re-creating a plot of land in a seigneury (art), participating in a town meet and greet (Drama), trade resources like a Couriers de Bois (game), and finally create an educational game for children that demonstrates their knowledge of the time period.


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