This activity is based on the article “Coming to Canada” in the Black history in Canada issue of Kayak: Canada’s History Magazine for Kids.
For this activity, you will need a map of the world and several pieces of string and tape.
Provide a map for the students to explore. Once their exploration is complete, prompt them by asking, “Where do you think Black people who live in Canada originally came from?” Encourage them to share their thoughts. Together, begin to explore the different countries that Black Canadians came from. Be sure to highlight Canada and use different colours of strings to represent the different countries and connect them to Canada. This will provide the children with a visual understanding.
Challenge it further
Following the information in the article “Coming to Canada,” plot the highlighted Black Canadians and/or settlements on the map individually. Explore and discuss each location and the history of each settlement.
Plot famous Black Canadians and where they are from. For example, use renowned Black Canadians like Lincoln Alexander, Jean Augustine and Michaëlle Jean to discover their background and their contributions to our society.
Encourage the children to ask various Black members in their school community (e.g., teachers, peers, custodial staff etc.) where they are from. Then have them pinpoint the location on the map. Incorporate math by having the children create a bar graph or tally chart to collect data and record data of the different countries that the Black members of their community are from. This will allow the learning to be more meaningful as they make real-life connections.