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Educational Resources

Lesson 1 - In Search of an Identity

Synopsis

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In this activity, you will establish a definition of the term, identity. Collectively with the class, compose a definition of identity, or give them the definition, "Identity is the set of characteristics that distinguishes people, places, and things". Identity tells us and others who we are. (e.g. our personal features, our personality traits, our accomplishments, our culture)

Specific Expectations

Students will

  • be introduced to the concept of multiple identities
  • generate characteristics that are elements of their personal, community/cultural, provincial/territorial, Canadian identities

Preparation

1. Bookmark the Cool Canada website www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/cool for documents to be used in this lesson.

2. Print Handout 1.1 In Search of an Identity, Handout 1.2 Making Generalizations, Handout 1.3 Narrowing your Choices and Handout 1.4 How Well do You Know the Terms and make copies for the students .

Time

90 minutes

Process

Introduction (15 minutes)
The Handout 1.1 In Search of an Identity introduces the concept of multiple identities. In this brainstorming activity students generate characteristics that are elements of their personal, community/cultural, provincial/territorial, Canadian identities.

After completing Handout 1.1, students could share their lists in small groups and then their combined lists with the class. Note: This is a quick introductory activity so set a time limit for the completion of each section (1-2 minutes per section). The questions that follow could be used during a debriefing of the activity:

  • What characteristics were common for each identity?
  • Which were different?
  • Why do differences exist?
  • How do you think your responses would differ from - someone from another territory or province, or another country who was trying to define these identities?

Body of Lesson (45 minutes)

1. In Handout 1.2 Making Generalizations students create categories of generalized characteristics that would describe all Canadians.

2. The Handout 1.3 Narrowing your Choices leads the students to choose a limited number of generalized characteristics that would describe all Canadians.

3. To determine the familiarity of your students with the terms they may encounter during their studies of the Canadian Identity have them complete the matching definitions activity in Handout 1.4 How Well do You Know the Terms?. This activity could be used as an assessment tool, at a later date, to determine whether students have understood the vocabulary introduced.

Assessment Opportunities

Collect all the handouts and assess them based on the guidelines in Handout 1.5 Evaluation Rubric - In Search of an Identity.

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