Educational Resource # 3
The resource is being field-tested and is subject to revision.
Question critique 2
Was the Canadian Dream a Myth or a Reality?
In this overarching critical challenge, students determine
the degree to which the dreams that immigrants had of Canada matched the realities
they encountered once here. Students (in groups of two to four) complete a three-panel
display. Panel one ("Creating the Dream") focuses on how the image of
Canada was shaped by push factors as well as pull factors, the latter of which
included marketing by Canadians. Panel two ("Confronting Reality") depicts
the realities faced by people newly arrived to Canada. Panel three ("Completing
the Dream") evaluates the degree to which immigrants were successful at realizing
their dreams and suggests the most important factors that contributed to their
success. Five critical challenges guide students' examinations of primary documents
as they complete their panel displays:
- Shaping Dreams: Which push or pull factors contributed the most to
shaping immigrants' dreams?
- Marketing Canada: How effective was the marketing of Canada in shaping
the dreams of immigrants?
- The Great Canadian Ad Scam: To what degree was Canada accurately portrayed
by those who marketed it?
- Supports and Barriers to Realizing Dreams: What were the two most important
factors that contributed to immigrants realizing their dreams? What were the two
- Dreams Realized or Shattered?: Which immigrants were most likely to
realize their dreams?
- Develop an understanding of the degree to which push and pull factors shaped
immigrants' images of Canada
- Determine the degree to which these images of Canada aligned with reality
- Identify the most significant factors that led to immigrant dreams being realized
- Make reasoned judgments supported by available evidence
Complete list of historical sources
Critical Challenge 1
Create three headlines -- that might have appeared in
a newspaper of the assigned time period -- that clearly reflect the push or pull
factors that contributed most to shaping immigrants' dreams as they left their
homelands for Canada.
This critical challenge invites students to create headlines
that accurately reflect the most significant push and pull factors that shaped
the dreams of those moving to Canada. By examining primary source materials, students
will uncover a range of factors that shaped immigrant dreams. The headlines created
in this exercise can be used as part of panel one of their displays, "Creating
Step 1: Inform students that several factors influenced
people's desires to leave their homelands and rebuild their lives in Canada. Often
these factors contributed to defining their dreams of their new life. Immigrants
may have been searching for freedom from persecution, from poverty, or from oppression.
All of these are push factors that drove people from their homes. In some cases,
the promise of free land, a sense of adventure, or economic opportunities motivated
people to uproot themselves. These are pull factors that drew immigrants to Canada.
Step 2: Provide students with a variety of primary
documents that discuss the motivations of immigrants for leaving their homelands
for Canada. Instruct pairs to read a few of these documents and to list the various
reasons, separately, on individual cards.
Step 3: Working collectively, ask the class to
share their insights by grouping their cards together under headings such as "Freedom," "Economic Opportunity," etc.
Step 4: Students individually create three effective
headlines based on the clusters created by the class. The headlines should capture
the most powerful factors that led people to leave their homelands for Canada.
Critical Challenge 2
Assess the effectiveness of the way Canada was marketed.
Compare the four most powerful images, slogans and/or statements used to extol
the virtues of Canada with the dreams of immigrants who chose to come to this
In this critical challenge, students are asked to evaluate the effectiveness of government campaigns to market Canada. Students examine the relationship between the images, slogans and statements used to promote Canada and the dreams that immigrants had regarding Canada. The images, slogans and statements about Canada and the statements of immigrants that are gathered in this critical challenge can be used to create panel one of their final displays, "Creating the Dream."
Step 1: Inform students that, during many periods
in Canadian history, the government actively encouraged immigration to Canada
through aggressive marketing campaigns in selected countries. These marketing
campaigns sought to highlight the virtues of Canada in an effort to entice desired
immigrants. In this challenge, students select four powerful images, slogans,
and/or statements used by the government to market Canada. They then determine
the effectiveness of these marketing efforts by evaluating the degree to which
the marketing of Canada influenced the dreams that immigrants brought with them.
Step 2: Provide students with samples of marketing
efforts (such as posters, letters and newspaper ads) that were used to attract
immigrants. Using the Fishbone Graphic Organizer , ask students to identify six
features of Canada that were marketed to immigrants. These six features can be
recorded in the boxes on the fishbone.
Step 3: For each feature, instruct students to
find three specific examples of how this feature was "sold" to immigrants.
Students are to record these examples on the lines of the fishbone.
Step 4: Invite students to compare the features
of Canada that were marketed to immigrants with immigrants' expectations of Canada
(see "Shaping Dreams"). Infer how effective the marketing of Canada
was in shaping the dreams of immigrants.
Step 5: Instruct students to select four images,
slogans or statements used in the marketing of Canada and, for each, find a quote
from an immigrant that suggests these images, slogans or statements did or did
not influence their dreams of Canada.
Step 6: Finally, students should create a headline
for panel one of their displays that answers the question: How effective was the
marketing of Canada in shaping the dreams of immigrants?
Fishbone Graphic Organizer
Critical Challenge 3
The Great Canadian Ad Scam
Create a visual that accurately captures the relationship
between the image of Canada portrayed in marketing campaigns and the reality encountered by new immigrants to Canada.
This critical challenge invites students to consider the
relationship between the images of Canada created by government marketing efforts
and the realities encountered by new immigrants. Students will draw conclusions
about the degree to which Canada was accurately portrayed by marketers.
Step 1: Inform students that the purpose of this
critical challenge is to have them assess the degree to which Canada was accurately
portrayed by its marketers. They will need to consider whether marketing campaigns
exaggerated certain aspects of life in Canada and avoided mentioning others. This
challenge builds on the previous challenge, "Marketing Canada," in which
students considered how Canada was marketed. Now, they will compare this marketing
to the realities encountered by immigrants.
Step 2: Provide students with primary documents
(such as diaries and letters) that provide insight into the welcome immigrants
received upon arrival, their perceptions of Canada once they arrived, and the
initial challenges they faced. Instruct students, in pairs, to identify the two
or three most significant challenges or insights into Canada identified in the
primary documents. These could include immigrants' reactions to the climate or
geography, the economic opportunities available to them, and the welcome they
received from other Canadians.
Step 3: Determine the degree to which immigrants
were likely to have known about certain features of Canada from marketing done
in their homelands. Features of life in Canada for students to consider include:
- harsh winters
- long distances between established communities and the land provided to immigrants
- difficulty of finding employment.
Students will need to carefully read their primary source
materials in search of evidence.
Step 4: Invite students to share their findings
with the class by stating the degree to which Canada was accurately marketed.
Students should support their positions with evidence from the primary sources
Step 5: Based on the conclusions they have drawn,
students select three features of Canada from which to create a visual. Their
projects will represent how each feature was portrayed in marketing and how these
portrayals compared to the realities confronted by new arrivals to Canada.
Critical Challenge 4
Supports and Barriers to Realizing Dreams
Select four powerful statements from primary sources.
Combined, these statements should clearly reflect the two most important factors
affecting immigrants' realization of their dreams, as well as the two greatest
This critical challenge asks students to consider the
factors that had the greatest impact on whether immigrants were able to realize
their dreams. Considering a variety of factors, from race and religion to economic
status, students will determine what most influenced the nature of the immigrant
experience in Canada.
Step 1: Remind students that immigrants from diverse
backgrounds chose to make Canada their home and that they achieved their dreams
of life in Canada with varying degrees of success. While some people flourished
in their new home, others encountered barriers that either delayed the realization
of their dreams or shattered them all together. Inform students that their challenge
is to identify the two most important factors contributing to immigrant success,
and the two greatest barriers.
Step 2: Assign students primary documents to examine. Instruct them to look for evidence of what factors contributed to immigrant success in Canada (such as government support, community support, family support and economic opportunity). Instruct students to also look for the barriers or hurdles immigrants had to overcome (such as racism, poor land, harsh climate and isolation). To assist students in their analysis of the primary sources, ask them to complete the "Both Sides Now" template (Document 4.1).
Step 3: Students share their findings with the
class. The teacher can compile the factors identified by students on a large version
of the "Both Sides Now" template.
Step 4: Considering all the evidence compiled by
the class, students individually arrive at a decision and provide reasons for
their selection of the two most important factors in success and the two greatest
barriers to success.
Step 5: Finally, students should select four powerful
statements from the primary sources to support their conclusions. These statements
can be incorporated into panel three of their displays.
Both Sides Now
|Evidence of Factors Contributing to Immigrant Success
What were the two most important factors that contributed to immigrants realizing
their dreams? What were the two greatest barriers to realizing their dreams?
|Evidence of Factors Preventing Immigrant Success
Critical Challenge 5
Dreams Realized or Shattered?
Create profiles of the immigrants most and least likely
to realize their dreams, considering economic status, religious background, education/skill level, race and gender.
Many new immigrants to Canada flourished in their new
home but others faced significant challenges to realizing their dreams. Were the
challenges faced by immigrants systemic barriers to success or were they merely
the challenges everyone faces when starting out in another country? This critical
challenge asks students to consider the nature of the most significant challenges
immigrants faced in achieving their dreams to determine who was more likely and
who was less likely to succeed. The profiles created for this challenge can be
used on panel three of their final displays, "Dreams Realized?"
Step 1: As the final activity, instruct students
to reflect on the primary documents they have read and the conclusions they have
drawn. Ask students to brainstorm a list of reasons why immigrants' dreams may
not have been realized within their first 10 years in Canada. Invite students
to create a profile of the immigrant most likely to succeed and a profile of the
immigrant least likely to succeed. Students may wish to use the following headings
to guide the creation of their profiles:
- social class
- economic status
- family ties or relationships
Step 2: Ask students to test their hypotheses by
reflecting on the primary documents they have read and by reading other primary
documents, looking for evidence that either supports or refutes the elements in
their profiles. Students compare their profiles with what the primary sources
tell them about the factors contributing to immigrant success or failure in Canada.
Step 3: Students should select or draw and label
a relevant visual to illustrate their conclusions and place this on panel three
of their displays, along with the profiles. Relevant visuals include: a cartoon,
a poster, or a photograph.
Creating the Dream
Which factor contributed most to the images that immigrants
formed of Canada: marketing, push factors at home, contact from friends or family
who had already gone to Canada, or something else? Students may use the graph
below to record the results they find in the sources.
To what degree did the reality of Canada match the images
of Canada that immigrants brought with them? Students may find evidence in the
sources to support their choice.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
||Some Important Differences
||Many Important Differences
To what degree did immigrants achieve the success they
Dreams Partially Realized
Criteria that could be used to assess the effectiveness
of the three-panel display include:
- effectiveness at capturing the stages of dreams, realities, and adjustments
- of colour, space and design to communicate key ideas
- accurateness of information presented on the panel
- consistency of conclusions with evidence
Culminating Critical Challenge
As students complete each of these critical challenges,
they will gather and create the various components of their panel displays. When
they have completed the challenges, students should prepare a sketch indicating
how each element of the panels will fit into the whole, and how titles, subtitles
and colour can best be used to create an effective display.
As well, the display is to include two "Dear Canada"
letters that reflect the broad conclusions drawn by the student about the immigrant
experience; one letter should capture the ideas of Canada that immigrants brought
with them and the other should address the degree to which immigrants were able
to realize their dreams. Openings for these letters might be: "Thank you,
Canada, for .ï¿½" or "Shame on you, Canada, for ï¿½." Issues
for the students to consider when adopting an appreciative or accusatory tone
- Did Canadians welcome or resist immigration?
- Did the Canadian government support or hinder the abilities of immigrants
to adjust to Canada?
- Were the promises made by marketers of Canada consistent with the realities
that immigrants experienced?
- Were new immigrants valued for their skills and talents?
- Were new immigrants treated with respect and dignity?
Students may be encouraged to adopt a persona -- such
as a domestic, a mother of a young family, a child immigrant, or a farm labourer
-- and write all letters from this person's perspective.