In this challenge, students investigate the roles of prominent Albertans in the province's development since 1905 by identifying their assigned person's most significant contribution.
Suggest that many Albertans have played important roles in the economic, social, political and cultural development of the province. Explain the terms prominent figure and significant contribution. Develop a working definition of each, such as:
- prominent figure: a well-known person
- significant contribution: an action that is long lasting and valuable to the community or province.
Test students' knowledge of the significant contributions of some of Alberta's prominent figures by playing a variation of Name That Tune. In one column, list names of key Albertans and, in a second column, their contributions. Invite students to guess the matches. You may want to select the most widely known names from Prominent Albertans (Background Information).
Brainstorm other Albertans who might be classified as prominent figures or who have made significant contributions to their community or province. You may provide students with additional names from the above list, selecting men and women from various groups.
Assign or allow students to pick one person from the list to investigate and create a short biography, including information, such as:
- a brief character profile; i.e., name, important statistics, personal characteristics
- a short description of his or her significant contributions
- an explanation of how the contributions impacted his or her community or province.
Consider adapting the character profile chart found in Collecting Information (Support Material) to structure and assess students' note taking.
Ask students to rank the contributions of their assigned individual, from greatest contribution to important but not too significant. Discuss criteria for greatest contribution. Suggested criteria include:
- biggest positive community/provincial contribution
- impact on the greatest number of people
- most long-lasting effect.
Consider adapting one of the charts or strategies found in Rating Options (Support Material) to structure and assess this activity.
Direct students to prepare an oral presentation that describes the greatest contribution of their assigned figure.
Adapted from Early Contact and Settlement in New France, edited by Roland Case, Catriona Misfeldt and Ruth Sandwell (Richmond, BC: The Critical Thinking Consortium, 2002). ISBN:0-86491-242-0