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What Goes on in This Community?

Explain the pictures depicting life in the community.

Outcomes References Related Resources

Suggested Activities

In this challenge, students learn about life in a community (Inuit, Acadian and/or prairie) by deciphering pictures of various scenes drawn from books, magazines and travel brochures. (A search of Google™ Image Search for "prairie (Canada)," "Inuit (Canada)" and "Acadia (Canada)" will produce many hundreds of colour prints for each region.) The pictures should include dimensions of the geography, culture, language, heritage, economics and resources of the community. Select a simple picture with a clear dominant action to demonstrate how students can be detectives by using clues from the picture to draw conclusions about the event represented. Begin by asking what clues suggest who the person (or persons) might be. Encourage students to offer several clues and to suggest alternative conclusions. Suggest that students examine the foreground, middle ground and background for these clues. Repeat this procedure with what the person is doing, where the person is and why is the person undertaking the action. See Investigating Pictures (Modelling the Tools) for detailed suggestions on how to teach and assess the tools for interpreting the main actions in a picture. Create a chart to summarize the information that students gather from the pictures.

In this community we find ...

People (who)

Places (where)

Activities (what)

Needs met (why)


The lesson is adapted from Contributing to Family and Community, edited by Mary Abbott, Roland Case and Jan Nicol (Richmond, BC: The Critical Thinking Consortium, 2002), 15–21.

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