As a possible culminating activity students examine the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Treaty of La Grande Paix de Montréal to determine their importance in the protection of collective and individual rights, and then write accurate and informative captions for a textbook illustration.
Present a scenario
Tell students that a publisher of a new textbook wishes to include pictures of the Treaty of La Grande Paix de Montréal and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The publisher needs their help to write a concise, informative, insightful and accurate caption for each of the pictures. The captions cannot be longer than 30 words so students must take care to include the most important information. The captions must also reflect the significance of both documents in the protection of the collective and individual rights of Canadians.
Introduction to the Treaty of La Grande Paix de Montréal
To engage students' interest, form groups and give each group a copy of the primary source of the Treaty of La Grande Paix de Montréal. For copies of the document, go to the Library and Archives Canada website (see References). Numerous other websites provide background information (see References). You may wish to refer to authorized student resources for background information required to complete this critical challenge.
Gather background information
Encourage students to gather information about the origins of the Treaty of La Grande Paix de Montréal and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Students should focus on how each document contributed to the protection of individual and collective rights. Encourage students to use Internet sources, textbooks or briefing sheets.
To assist students in organizing their notes, provide a graphic organizer that compares the impact of both documents, such as Comparison of the Treaty of La Grande Paix de Montréal and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (see Lesson Material).
Consider the implications of the Treaty of La Grande Paix de Montréal
Invite students to discuss the extent to which consensus played a role when the Treaty of La Grande Paix de Montréal was signed. You may need to review the concept of consensus building.
Encourage discussion on the importance of the treaty by asking questions such as: "Why did several First Nations chiefs sign the Peace?" or "What if the majority of First Nations chiefs had not signed the Peace?"
If you choose to ask a "what if" question, you may want to refer to Web of Effects (Support Material) for suggestions on how to analyze the consequences.
Identify criteria for a significant contribution
To begin the discussion, ask students which is more significant—finding a penny on the road or finding your great-grandmother's diary in the attic. Through a discussion on significance, help students identify three or four criteria that could be used to judge the significance of an event or a document. You may wish to direct them to the dictionary or thesaurus for additional information on the term "significant." Possible criteria for a significant contribution might include:
- lasting nature of the impact (long term)
- degree of change brought about for Canadians
- ripple effect in other fields of activity.
Determine significant contributions of the Treaty and the Charter
Divide class into pairs and direct the students to share their notes on the origins and importance of the Treaty of La Grande Paix de Montréal and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Ask students to determine the two most significant contributions of each document in terms of the protection of individual and collective identity and collective rights.
Determine criteria for effective captions
Provide students with a variety of captions, including some that are lengthy and not very focused and others that are well written. Invite students to place the captions on a continuum ranging from highly effective to limited effectiveness. Ask students to share their thinking about what makes some captions more effective than others. Use their ideas to develop criteria for a powerful caption. Criteria could include:
Write effective captions
Ask students to write effective captions. They should use what they have learned about the history of the Treaty of La Grande Paix de Montréal and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and their impact on individual and collective rights in Canada.
Peer review the captions
Suggest to students that they exchange their captions with their classmates to receive critical feedback on how well the captions reflect the criteria for an effective caption. Consider displaying the finalized captions.