In this challenge, students examine the contributions of ethnic, linguistic and cultural groups to the development of western Canada by preparing a multi-pronged advertising campaign that celebrates the most notable contributions of an assigned immigrant group or founding nation. The outcomes addressed by this challenge focus on the contributions of Asian and Eastern European immigrants and Francophones who relocated to Alberta from elsewhere in Canada. You may broaden the scope of the challenge to include the contributions of other founding nations and immigrant groups.
Suggest to the class that Canada's founding nations and immigrants contributed greatly to the political, economic, demographic and social well-being of the country. Assign students, individually or in partners, to research the achievements of a specific group or founding nation that played a significant role in the development of western Canada.
Assist students in locating relevant text and electronic sources, such as the Archives Society of Alberta, Alberta Heritage and Citizenship and Immigration Canada websites (see References).
For an example of a map of Alberta with Francophone names, see the Background Information section of this page.
As they conduct their research, direct students to record specific information about their assigned founding nation or group, including:
- historical background
- location and nature of settlement
- hardships endured
- contributions in various fields of endeavor; e.g., health, education, churches, commerce, politics, journalism, agriculture
- impact on the local community and western region in terms of the scope of influence (i.e., number of people affected), depth of impact (i.e., significance of political, economic and social changes) and duration of impact.
Consider adapting one of the charts in Collecting Information (Support Material) to structure and assess students' research.
Invite students to persuasively discuss the notable contributions of their assigned immigrant group or founding nation. Then, direct students to individually identify the most notable contribution(s) from each group, considering the hardships endured and the scope, depth and duration of the legacy. Consider adapting one of the charts in Selecting the Best Thing (Support Material) to structure and assess this activity.
Direct students to work in teams to prepare a multi-pronged advertising campaign that celebrates the contributions identified by each team member. The campaign might include one-page flyers, a newspaper broadsheet, a 30-second radio or television commercial or a series of posters. Individual aspects of the campaign may focus on specific groups, but ensure all of the immigrant groups are represented in the series.
Before they begin, encourage students to examine contemporary ads to look for techniques they might use. Discuss what makes these ads effective. Use students' observations to generate criteria for an effective advertisement, such as:
- strong image
- immediate impact
- novel elements
- clever use of persuasive techniques.
Invite students to consider these criteria as they analyze advertisements posted on the board to decide which one is the most effective. Suggest that students incorporate what they learned about persuasive advertising in their advertising media. See Creating Persuasive and Effective Visuals (Modelling the Tools) for detailed instructions on teaching and assessing the tools for developing various media presentations.
Arrange for students to air their celebratory campaign with other members of the class or with the school or community.
Ask students to consider the question raised by the following quote on immigration: "Canada's West was founded on a group of farmers who came to tame the land." Invite students to respond to this statement by forming a line that ranges from absolute agreement to absolute disagreement and then support their position, using details from their research. Consider using the strategies in U-shaped Discussion (Support Material) to structure this activity.