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Intended Grades: Grades 6 to 8 and Grade 6 to Secondary 2 in Quebec
Subjects: Language, Creative Writing, History
Considerations: Lessons should be modified according to the grade level of the students
The following lesson plan can be integrated into the creative writing/language curriculum. It introduces students to the diary as a form of writing and uses examples from the diaries of Mackenzie King to help them appreciate and understand this form.
Students will learn that diary writing creates personal records that describe and explain emotions, personal thoughts and courses of action. Students will learn that it is a powerful tool to monitor, record and plan personal progress.
The activity included in the lesson plan will also lead the students to an appreciation of the Mackenzie King diairies. They are one of the most valuable documents exploring the first half of the 20th century of Canadian history and a personal record of, as some historians state, one of the greatest Prime Ministers of Canada.
Students are introduced to sections of Prime Minister Mackenzie King's diaries. These sections are excerpts about King's first plane ride during the Second World War. Subsequently, information will be provided to help students understand diary-writing criteria. The ensuing project will invite students to role-play as being Prime Minister. The "Prime Minister" is about to board a space shuttle on a four-day trip to a space station. The purpose of this trip is the special inauguration of a new Canadarm.
Preparation Activities and Context Setting
Suggestion: Additional exercises could be added such as drama activities (i.e., role-playing, reader's theatre and interviews).