In this challenge, students examine Alberta's Francophonie by writing a story or creating a song to portray the evolving way of life and cultural identity of a particular Francophone community.
Use a Francophone folk song to introduce how history and customs have been transmitted orally in some cultures. Inform students that they will create a story or song after learning more about the history of one or more of Alberta's Francophone communities.
Invite students to speculate how present-day way of life and communities compare to those of the past for the Francophone group; e.g.,
- nearly the same
- some differences
- big differences.
Create a large chart to record class predictions. Consider adapting one of the charts and strategies for Comparing Differences (Support Material) to structure and assess this activity.
Use various sources, such as texts, photographs, videos, the Internet and guest speakers, to gather information on the above features.
For an example of a map of Alberta with Francophone names, see the Background Information section of this page.
You may want to conduct research as a class or assign pairs of students to investigate one of the features, then share their findings. Ask students to record the status of these features, both past and present, in the appropriate columns.
Discuss the criteria for a big difference; e.g., greatly affects how many people would live. Invite students to individually re-assess the degree of change that has occurred by completing the following stem: When I think of these features, life today for the Francophone community is [nearly the same, somewhat the same or very different] than it was in the past. Ask students to base their conclusions on what they have learned about the Francophone community; e.g., how would having access to French language television make a difference in the way people feel about the rest of the world?
Consider adapting one of the charts and strategies in Comparing Differences (Support Material) to structure and assess this activity. Compare responses.
Divide students into small groups. Ask each group to write a story or song about the features that have changed most, over time, for the Francophone group and how these changes may make them feel. Students may benefit from reading or hearing a number of stories and songs before creating their own. You may wish to have students use the music from a well-known folk song as a basis for writing their lyrics. If students have not worked with the elements of story, consider using some of the activities described in Stories of Alberta's Past (Critical Challenge).
Suggest the students consider the following criteria when creating their story:
- historically accurate and detailed
- shows how the group's way of life has evolved
- tells how a person from that community might feel about the changes
- has the elements of a story or song.
Encourage students to tell the story or present the song at a school assembly, senior citizen's home or cultural centre.