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Educational Resources

On the Job: A Case Study

Student Handout | Assessment Criteria

Activities 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

A Teaching Strategy for Use with Library and Archives Canada's Celebrating Women's Achievements website

This activity offers students the opportunity to apply researched information to their individual career interests or goals.


Social Studies (Contemporary Studies, Women's Studies)
Ages 14+

Learning Outcomes (APEF)
Expectations (ON)
Objectives (QC)
Learning Outcomes (WCP)

Social Studies Outcomes (History)
On completing this project, students will:

  • Demonstrate how diverse groups and individuals have contributed to the historical, cultural, and economic development of Canada

Guidance/Career Education Outcomes
On completing this project, students will:

  • Identify a broad range of options for present and future learning, work, and community involvement
  • Demonstrate knowledge of selected fields of work, occupations, and workplace issues

Language Arts Outcomes
On completing this project, students will:

R (Reading):

  • Locate and use explicit information and ideas from texts in forming opinions and developing generalizations

W (Writing):

  • Use a variety of forms of writing to express themselves, clarify their ideas, and engage the audience's attention

O/V (Oral and Visual Communication):

  • Use listening techniques and oral communication skills to participate in classroom discussions and more formal activities, such as role playing and reporting or presenting, for specific purposes and audiences

These Language Arts Outcomes correspond to:

  • WCP GO - R: 3.2; W: 3.3; O/V: 4.4
  • Quebec objectives - 3 (Reading); 1 (Writing); 6, 4 (Oral)
  • APEF CGO - R: 5; W: 8; O/V: 2

Student Demonstration of Learning

Students will research the life of a prominent Canadian woman in a field of their choosing, and use information gathered from the LAC website and other sources to plan a learning, training and career path of their own.

Materials/Resources Required

Computers with access to the Internet
Student Handout
Assessment Criteria

Web Links

Library and Archives Canada: Celebrating Women's Achievements

Related sites:

Famous Five Site
Canada Career Consortium: Career Directions

Instructional Procedures

Students will need to have a basic understanding of Internet navigation and web search tools.

Large Group Work
Hold a class discussion about careers. Take a poll of what careers students see themselves working in or would like to work in when they have finished their education. Make a table tracking the careers in two columns: one for male students (M) and one for female students (F). For example:

EngineerDoctor II
Teacher II

Students may notice a division between selected occupations along gender lines. Discuss reasons for this and reasons why individuals chose the occupation they did.

Make a new table as above. Solicit a list of jobs that they think are dominated by men and women and list them under male and female. Discuss this list based on the following questions:

  • What are traditional men's and women's jobs?
  • Why are they viewed this way?
  • Why or how did things evolve this way?
  • Do they still need to be this way?
  • How should people be selected for jobs?

Small Group Work

Step 1
Students could be grouped by similar career interests. They are then invited to visit the LAC Celebrating Women's Achievements website. They should select the field that matches their own career choice (or, failing this, a second choice) and read several biographies, looking for a figure that they admire.

If they have chosen a career path not represented on the site, students may still benefit from this exercise. They should choose an area they might have an interest in. They can also refer to biographies in other places on the LAC site.

Once they have identified a figure they admire, students should gather the following information from the LAC Celebrating Women's Achievements website as well as from other sources:

  • Personal info about the individual (birth date, education, etc.)
  • What field they were in -- give details about the field:
    • What does it involve? (education, skills, work, lifestyle, etc.)
    • Why is it important? (e.g. Engineering turns scientific principles into usable devices which can improve or threaten our lives.)
    • How does it affect our lives? (e.g. Librarianship improves our lives by making it possible to access information and by preserving books.)
    • Who are other notable scientists and what are other important developments in this field? (e.g. Other notable people in science include Marie Curie, who isolated radium, Albert Einstein...)
  • Why what this person accomplished was important.
    Research and brainstorm reasons
  • What challenges this person faced. Give details:
    • How did they overcome them?
    • Would they still face them today?

Finish by answering these questions:

  • What makes the accomplishments of this person exceptional?
  • Should it have mattered (or did it matter) that they were women?

Next, students use their findings to make judgments about their own career choices.

  • Did they learn about any challenges that they thought they might have to face?
  • How could they handle these challenges?

Step 2
Students should make a life plan toward achieving their goals.
Elements to include:

  • A timetable of education they will need;
  • Personal characteristics they may need to develop in order to succeed (e.g. discipline, math skills, public speaking abilities);
  • Practice and other activities outside school they might need;
  • Resources (money, equipment, etc.) needed, and ways they might get them; and
  • Any other strategies they can use to accomplish their goals.

Students can present their findings in the form of a presentation, describing what they have learned about the person they chose to research and their own life plans to accomplish their goals. They should use whatever visual aids they and their teacher deem appropriate.

Educators' Notes on Improving this Activity

Student Handout | Assessment Criteria

Activities 1 | 2 | 3 | 4