In this challenge, students examine the effects of political conflicts between the British and French during the 18th century on various groups living in North America by writing newspaper articles, based on the perspectives of four groupsEnglish Canadians, Canadiens, Acadians, Aboriginal peoples. Note: French people living in Canada were referred to as French prior to 1600 and as Canadiens from 1660 to 1917.
Ask students to imagine they are journalists who have been sent back in time to write an article that reflects the political well-being of one of four groups: English Canadians, Canadiens, Acadians, Aboriginal peoples. Suggest that there was a lot of conflict between the British and French during this time and that their initial job, as reporters, is to report the results of three major conflicts:
- War of Spanish Succession, resulting in the Treaty of Utrecht, 1713
- War of the Austrian Succession, resulting in the taking and returning of Louisbourg, 1745
- Seven Years' War, resulting in the Treaty of Paris, 1763.
Divide the class into small groups and provide each with briefing sheets or readings that outline the three conflicts. Direct groups to take notes on each event. The following questions may provide a useful framework to guide research:
- What happened during the conflict?
- Who was involved?
- Why did the conflict spread to North America?
- When did it happen?
- Where did it take place in North America?
- How was it resolved?
Consider adapting one of the charts or strategies in Reporter's Log (Support Material) to assess and structure this activity.
As a class, examine the consequences of each event; e.g., the War of Spanish Succession spread to North America because France and England were fighting in Europe on opposite sides in the conflict that began in 1701 and ended in 1704. Consider the positive outcomes and negative consequences, where applicable, for the affected groups. For example, British sovereignty over Rupert's Land and Newfoundland was recognized by France, but France gave up various North American colonies, including Acadia, to Britain.
Review the format of a newspaper article. Encourage students to bring in examples of well written articles and poorly written articles. As a class use these to develop the criteria for a well written article, e.g., informative, convincing, sensitively represents the perspective, accurate, as a class. Post for reference as students begin to draft their article.
Assign students to one of four groups: English Canadians, Canadiens, Acadians and Aboriginal peoples. Explain that they will write an article that describes the three events and the causes and consequences of each, based upon the perspective of their assigned group.
Alternatively, invite students to work in groups of four to create a newspaper that contains an article written from each of the profiled perspectives. Other newspaper features could be included, e.g., letter to the editor, obituary, real estate advertisement, announcements, to show the impact of these events on the daily lives of the assigned group. The newspaper could be constructed, using word processing, drawing and/or graphic arts software.