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A Pageant of Alberta's Past

  • Create an accurate profile of an event in Alberta's history, from precontact to the early 20th century, and of the role of one of the historical characters in this event.
  • Develop and present a story of the event and its modern day legacy as part of the Pageant of Alberta.

Outcomes References Related Resources

Suggested Activities

In this challenge, students learn about Alberta's continuing legacies by researching an assigned historical event and one of the key figures in this event. Using their researched information, students prepare and present a story, focused on the event and its ongoing legacy. In preparation for this activity, assemble resources to help students research their event; e.g., Alberta history books, online resources, drawings, paintings, photographs, video resources. The selection of resources should represent the range of groups who contributed to Alberta's development as a province, including First Nations, Métis, European immigrants, Francophones and British people.

Activity 1
Introduce the challenge by showing a collection of photographs, paintings, sketches or other visuals that represent key events in Alberta's history from precontact through to Alberta's joining in Confederation. Invite students to order the visuals chronologically on a time line.

Activity 2
Assign two to four students to each event so that at least two historical persons will be explored. Invite students to identify individuals involved in their assigned event and to choose one to research. Ask students to imagine that they have travelled back in time and are able to see the event through this individual's eyes. Their task is to create an accurate profile of the event and of the role of the historical character they selected.

Suggest that students use a chart, such as the one below, to record and organize their research. They should keep a record of all of their information sources on a separate sheet.

An Event and Character in Alberta's History


Nature of the event


How it started


How it developed


How it ended










Role in the event


View of the event


How the person was personally affected by the event.


Consider adapting the charts on Recording Our Research (Support Material) to structure and assess students' research.

Activity 3
Ask students to consider what makes an event that happened a long time ago significant today. Help students determine the current significance of their historical event by suggesting the following questions:

  • How are individual people's lives different because of the event?
  • Have whole communities changed, in any way, because of the event?
  • How has the environment changed as a result?

Invite students to list the ways in which this event affected and perhaps continues to shape life in Alberta.

Activity 4
The second part of the challenge focuses on creating and presenting a story of the event and its legacy, using researched information. Students should try to represent the event accurately, based on their understanding of the experiences of the historical character they studied.

The following questions might be used to structure the presentation of the story. The questions could be worded in the present tense, as though students are watching the event unfold before their eyes.

  • Who is that person?
  • What role does he or she play in the event?
  • How does the event affect him or her?
  • How does the event affect others?
  • What is the most significant impact of this event for Alberta society?

It might be helpful for students to submit a written story before the pageant so they can make improvements, based on your feedback, prior to the presentation.

When sharing their story, encourage students to add some details of costume and perhaps a key prop to their presentation. Suggest that students select one picture to use as a background for their story. This might be accomplished through the use of slides or by scanning images to display, using a software application, such as PowerPoint. Performances should be three to four minutes and include memorized dialogue. This pageant might best be organized chronologically so that the progression of events and their impact can be clearly seen. Introduce each episode with a large card that names the event, so that the audience has a context for each story. Invite students to question one another about the events and, particularly, about their ongoing impact.

Present this pageant to another class. Arrange the performers on stage at the end of the pageant in a frozen tableau, like mannequins. Members of the audience could then question individuals about the events portrayed and their contributions to Alberta's rich past and present.

Last updated: July 1, 2014 | (Revision History)
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