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ARCHIVED - The Early Chinese Canadians

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Educational Resources

Activity 1.2
Preliminary Research for Concept Maps

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1. A concept map is a student-generated diagram that visually demonstrates links between various ideas. It may also be called a "mind map." Often, the central ideas are written in the middle of the page, and surrounding words for concepts or events are written around the central ideas. Lines are drawn to show relationships between the central ideas and the surrounding ones.

2. Students will be gaining an understanding of the causes and consequences of Chinese immigration in the 19th and early 20th centuries, exclusion from 1923 to1947, citizenship and the right to vote in 1947 and the slow achievement of equality over the next few decades. As a class, they will create a concept map exploring the reasons for Chinese Immigration to Canada. Later in groups, they will create their own concept map to demonstrate their understanding of the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923.

3. Before creating the concept maps, conduct a class discussion and introduce the following specific questions:

  • Why did the Chinese immigrate to Canada?
  • What is the Chinese Immigration Act, and why is it important?
  • Why did Canada at one point encourage the Chinese to immigrate and then refuse them in 1923?
  • What were the consequences of this exclusion?
  • What changed in Canada for the Chinese community in 1947?

4. Students may refer to The Early Chinese Canadians, 1858 to 1947 and the additional websites listed in the Activity Resources section of this educational resource to address the questions listed in #3. Students may work in groups or individually.

Note: The Early Chinese Canadians website clearly explains a number of causes for Chinese immigration, called push and pull factors. Students will be able to find the concepts and vocabulary of long-term causes such as scarce farmland in China and more short-term causes such as the discovery of gold.

5. Give your students at least one class to research answers to the questions listed in #3. Students should aim to have approximately one paragraph of information per question.

6. At the end of their research, regroup as a class and compare answers. You may wish to record the main points in response to each of the questions in order to guide your students' concept map creation.

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