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Canada's Regional Treasures

Identify the most remarkable geographical features and the most fascinating place names to use in creating a travel brochure or guidebook to promote a specific region by highlighting the region's geographical treasures.

Outcomes References Related Resources

Suggested Activities

Students learn about a specific region of Canada by researching the most remarkable landforms and the most fascinating place names to use when creating a travel brochure or guidebook to promote a region.

Identify effective graphic design features in travel publications
Gather a variety of guidebooks and travel brochures on Canada. Distribute the brochures and guidebooks to groups of students and ask them to look through the resources to determine effective design elements. Ask students to consider these questions:

  • What catches your attention? For example, what is the impact of pleasing colours, engaging photographs and interesting facts?
  • What is effective or ineffective about how information is displayed? For example, what is the impact of the use of white space, font size, headings, layout and the balance of text and images?

Invite groups to share this information with the class by using illustrative examples. Record a list of the most frequently occurring responses. Post for future reference.

Introduction to the travel brochure project
Explain to students that they will create a tourist brochure or guidebook to attract visitors to a specific geographical region. If necessary, use a wall map of Canada to review the types of geographical features and regions of Canada.

You may want to consult What Does Canada Look Like? (Critical Challenge) for ideas on how to introduce these features to students.

Research 10 geographical features in a region
Assign students to specific geographical regions, such as Western Cordillera, Interior Plains, Arctic Lowlands, Canadian Shield, St. Lawrence Lowlands and Atlantic/Appalachian Region. Distribute to each student a map of Canada with the geographical regions clearly marked (see References).

Encourage the class to use print and online resources to research 10 geographical features, such as bodies of water, landforms. Ask students to note key facts about each feature, including appearance, size, impact on the environment and interesting details. Direct students to document their sources of information.

To meet diverse learning needs, you may want to provide students with a specific list of regional landforms and resources for research.

Rank the most remarkable features in a region
After students have completed their research, ask them to rank the five most remarkable features in their region. As a class, develop criteria for a remarkable geographical feature, such as:

  • immense size
  • unique appearance
  • impact on the environment
  • interesting way of forming.

You may want to adapt the materials found in Ranking Options (Support Material) to structure and assess this activity.

The following is a sample chart for ranking the Rocky Mountains.


Relevant Evidence

Main Reasons for Ranking


Size: Covers 8% of the province of Alberta. These mountains are also known as Canada's largest mountain range.

Appearance: Elevation of peaks ranges from 2130 m to 3747 m.

Environmental impact: Weather effects such as chinooks in Calgary area.

Formation: Mountain range includes glaciers, waterfalls, limestone caves and valleys. This range was created as a result of the glaciers that have melted over time.

We ranked this feature #1 because as a family we spend a lot of time in the mountains doing activities such as hiking, biking, camping and skiing.






Share ranking of features
Ask students to present and defend their choices. In addition, post each group's top five features on a regional map.

Research history of place names within a region
As a follow-up activity, ask students to use print and online resources to research the history of 10 place names, such as a city, a park and a human-made or natural landform (see References).

Where feasible, encourage students to look for original Aboriginal names for locations that now use an English or French name (see References). For suggestions for Francophone names in Alberta, see Jamais je ne l'oublierai: The Francophone Historical Contribution to the Development of the Province of Alberta (Background Information).

Encourage students to identify the following information:

  • Who or what were these features named after?
  • When and why were they named that way?
  • Have the place names changed over time? Why?

Rank fascinating place names
After students have completed their research, ask them to rank the five most fascinating place names. Determine criteria for selecting fascinating place names, such as the representation of the culture or geographical features of the region or interesting historical events. Ask students to defend their ranking of the place names.

You may want to adapt the materials in Ranking Options (Support Material) to structure and assess this activity.

Here is a sample chart for ranking the name of Red Deer.

Place Names

Relevant Evidence

Main Reasons for Ranking

Red Deer

Reflects culture/geographical features
The City of Red Deer was named after the river that flows through it. The Cree referred to the river as Waskapoo Seepee, the Aboriginal name for "Elk River." The river received this name because of the numerous elk on its banks in the early days. In the early 1870s, Métis buffalo hunters established themselves in settlements along the Red Deer River.

Intriguing history
In the mid 19th century, the Blackfoot, the Stoney, the Plains Cree and the Métis inhabited the area. Early European fur traders often mistook the elk as a type of European red deer. They mistranslated the Cree name Waskapoo Seepee for " Red Deer River." Later on, settlers to the area referred to their community as Red Deer.

I was born here and I have lived here all my life. Red Deer is also known as the halfway spot between Edmonton and Calgary.

Share ranking of names

Ask students to present and defend their decisions to the class. Compile results and post the top five place names on a regional map.

Create a travel brochure
Invite students to use the information they have gathered to create a travel brochure or guidebook that promotes their region to visitors. Students may use a desktop publishing application, such as Microsoft Office Publisher, or they may create the travel guide using other methods. You may want to suggest specific audiences for these brochures, such as younger children, adults or students from other countries. Discuss criteria for an effective travel brochure, such as:

  • represents the remarkable features of the region
  • is visually appealing
  • is informative.

See Creating Persuasive and Effective Visuals (Modelling the Tools) for suggestions on how to teach and assess the tools for developing a visual presentation.

Present the travel publications
Arrange for students to present their travel brochures and guidebooks to the class.

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