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The SARS Crisis and Irish Potato Famine:
Understanding How International Events Affect Canadian Legislation

(Ages 16 to 18)

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Introduction

In this unit, students will explore the effects of international events and Canadian legislation.

In order to protect the health and safety of Canadians, the government must regulate what or who is permitted or refused entry to the country. As the publisher of all major governing decisions of Canada, the Canada Gazette plays a key role in making such laws and regulations known.

Purpose

  • To understand the present and historical links between international events and Canada, and their effects on Canadian legislation.
  • To understand the government's role in preserving the health and safety of Canadians.

Concepts Students Will Encounter

  • Canada as a safe haven
  • Global connections
  • Sovereignty
  • Interdependence
  • Change
  • Immigration

Synopsis

Lesson 1:
Students will examine the 2003 SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) crisis to see how contemporary international events affect legislation in Canada. They will gain an understanding of the present role of government in preserving the health and safety of Canadians.

Lesson 2:
Students will explore the crisis that was created by the fevers carried by Irish immigrants fleeing the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s. They will explore the link between the past and present roles of government in preserving the health and safety of Canadians.

Some "Big Ideas"

  • Since before Confederation, Canada has dealt with issues and events that have occurred far outside its borders and that have affected its sovereignty, and the health and safety of Canadians.
  • Issues and concerns have led to policies, laws and regulations that have been published in the Canada Gazette each week since 1841.
  • Researchers use primary and secondary sources, including government documents, for information.

Unit Summary Chart

Downloadable Formats

Activity
Description
Materials
Lesson 1:
Global Events and Canada: Examining the 2003 SARS Crisis
[PDF 43 KB], [RTF 445 KB]
Students will explore the role of the Canada Gazette and the effect of contemporary international events on Canadian legislation.
 
Activity 1.1
The Role of International Events
[PDF 33 KB], [RTF 440 KB]
Students search for international events in current newspapers, and discuss their effects in Canada.
Current newspapers or magazines, chart paper, markers
Activity 1.2
Reviewing the Canada Gazette
[PDF 34 KB], [RTF 441 KB]
Students explore, online, the features and the role of the Canada Gazette.
Canada Gazette links, Activity Resources links
Activity 1.3
Examining Primary and Secondary Sources
[PDF 44 KB], [RTF 446 KB]
Students examine sources about SARS and the Quarantine Act using the criteria of primary and secondary sources.
Canada Gazette links, Activity Resources links

Handout 1.3 Examining Primary and Secondary Sources
[PDF 46 KB], [RTF 460 KB]

Handout 1.3a
[PDF 33 KB], [RTF 437 KB] and 1.3b Analyzing Sources
[PDF 33 KB], [RTF 437 KB]

Rubric 1.0
Research Skills
[PDF 37 KB], [RTF 443 KB]
Activity 1.4
Looking at Legislation
[PDF 32 KB], [RTF 436 KB]
In a class discussion, students compare the Quarantine Act and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Handout 1.4 Information Organizer: The SARS Crisis
[PDF 42 KB], [RTF 439 KB]

Canada Gazette links, Activity Resources links
Activity 1.5
Some Critical Thoughts
[PDF 32 KB], [RTF 439 KB]
Students answer critical thinking questions about the role of government in protecting Canadians' health and safety.
Canada Gazette links, Activity Resources links
Lesson 2:
Global Events in Canada's History: The Irish Potato Famine
[PDF 44 KB], [RTF 448 KB]
Students will explore the role of the Canada Gazette and the effects of historical international events on Canadian legislation.
 
Activity 2.1
The Challenge Ahead
[PDF 30 KB], [RTF 435 KB]
Students will be presented with the challenge that awaits them.
Handout 2.1
The Challenge Ahead
[PDF 32 KB], [RTF 436 KB]
Activity 2.2
Collecting the Facts
[PDF 45 KB], [RTF 444 KB]
Students research the Irish Potato Famine and discuss their findings.
Handout 2.2
Collecting the Facts
[PDF 39 KB], [RTF 445 KB]

Rubric 2.1
Research Skills
[PDF 37 KB], [RTF 443 KB]

Canada Gazette links, Activity Resources links
Activity 2.3
Memo to the Minister - Part 1
[PDF 52 KB], [RTF 466 KB]
Students discuss the role of government departments and agencies in preserving public safety and introduce them to pertinent concepts to prepare for Activities 2.4 and 2.5.
Canada Gazette links, Activity Resources links
Activity 2.4
Memo to the Minister - Part 2
[PDF 31 KB], [RTF 436 KB]
Students compose a memo to the "Ministers" of particular government departments or agencies, giving advice on the Potato Famine and reflecting the interests of the relevant department.
Canada Gazette links, Activity Resources links

Handout 2.4
Secret Memo to the Minister
[PDF 38 KB], [RTF 440 KB]
Activity 2.5
Facing the Scrum!
[PDF 31 KB], [RTF 436 KB]
Each "Minister" addresses questions from a media "scrum".
Handout 2.5
Facing the Scrum!
[PDF 40 KB], [RTF 441 KB]

Rubric 2.2
Memo Assessment and Group Work Self-Assessment
[PDF 38 KB], [RTF 446 KB]

Curriculum Connections


Province and Territory Grade Subject
Alberta 11 Social Studies: The Growth of the Global Perspective
  12 Social Studies: Perspectives on Citizenship
British Columbia and Yukon 11 Social Studies: Canada in the Twentieth Century
  11 Social Studies: Civics
  12 Social Studies: Canada and the World: History and Geography
  12 Social Studies: Law
Manitoba Senior 3 History: Canada: A Social and Political History
  Senior 4 Social Studies: World Issues
  Senior 4 Geography: World Geography (Human Perspective)
  Senior 4 Social Studies: Western Civilization
Nova Scotia 11 History: Modern History
  11 History: Canadian History
  11 Geography: Canadian Geography
  12 History: Global History
  12 Geography: Global Geography
New Brunswick 11 History: Modern History
  11 History: Canadian History
  12 Social Studies: World Issues
  12 Geography: Canadian Geography
Newfoundland and Labrador 12 History: World History
  12 Geography: World Geography
  12 Social Studies: Global Issues
Northwest Territories, Nunavut 11 Social Studies: The Growth of the Global Perspective
  12 Geography: World Geography
Ontario 11 Social Studies: Canadian Law
  11 Social Studies: Politics
  12 Social Studies: Canada: History, Identity and Culture
  12 Social Studies: Law: Canadian, International
  12 Social Studies: Politics
Prince Edward Island 11 Social Studies
  11 Geography: World Geography
  12 Social Studies: Canadian Studies: Canada in a North American Perspective and Prince Edward Island
  12 Geography: World Geography and Issues
Quebec 11 Social Studies: World Issues
  CEGEP History: World History
Saskatchewan 12 Social Studies: Canadian Issues
  12 Social Studies: Law

Suggested Learner Modifications

  • Allow a student to dictate responses to a buddy or into a tape recorder to later expand into short notes or sentences.
  • Set up a Word Wall with key vocabulary (e.g., quarantine, virus, infection, respiratory, legislation).
  • Allow visual representation (drawing) along with written expression or as a mode of brainstorming to generate vocabulary.

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