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Lesson Plan Title:


Date: March 20, 2017 Subject: ELA9a

Topic: Conflict/Doing the Right Thing/Residential School Story Essential Question:

Grade: Nine

How do our opinions affect how we perceive others? How does society affect our opinions and how we treat others? Do we have a responsibility to work towards resolving conflict from the past? How does conflict from the past that has not been resolved affect us today? How could we contribute to healing and resolving past conflict?


Heritage Minute Video-Chanie “The Stranger” Video and Lyric Sheet (for each student or pairs) Secret Path Graphic Novel MP3 of “Swing set” and “Seven Matches”/ lyric sheets or project lyrics on board (alternative) PowerPoint of complete novel images/sound track songs

Stage 1- Desired Results you may use student friendly language

Stage 1- Desired Results – you may use student friendly language
Goal of Lesson Throughout this lesson students will respectfully and thoughtfully respond to the impact

Goal of Lesson Throughout this lesson students will respectfully and thoughtfully respond to the impact and effect that the attempts at cultural annihilation of Indigenous people had on people not only in the past but also in the present through discussion and writing. Students will understand that the effects of residential schools impacts current day in a variety of ways (socially, relationally, mental health, physically, societally, stigma) and that different cultures experience differential treatment due to perceived differences, opinions, racism and oppression.

What do they need to understand, know, and/or able to do? Students will need to

What do they need to understand, know, and/or able to do? Students will need to approach a sensitive subject with a respectful perspective, attitude and engagement. Students will need to be visual readers of images and detail their understanding in a written format.

Broad Areas of Learning:

Broad Areas of Learning:

The Broad areas of learning include Lifelong learners, Sense of self, community and place and

The Broad areas of learning include Lifelong learners, Sense of self, community and place and Engaged citizens and will be incorporated as the students explore and expand their own understanding and critical analysis of the literature they read and experience. Moving towards understanding how their own knowledge and perspective, as well as that of the community and the world they live in, shapes and defines who they currently are. With this understanding students interact with and respond to others with an awareness of their own place, ownership and responsibility in their community and world. By making connections to the world beyond, students will reflect on their own sense of agency and duty as a member of society.

Cross-Curricular Competencies:

Cross-Curricular Competencies:

Use their language and thinking skills to make sense of information, experiences, and ideas through thinking contextually, critically, and abstractly.


Students will explore ideas and issues of identity, social responsibility, diversity, in order to develop an understanding, valuing, and caring for oneself as well as understanding, valuing, and respecting human diversity and human rights and responsibilities

Students will explore how a variety of forms of representation expand their own understanding and literary competency in their exploration of meaning and search for knowledge across subject areas.

Using moral reasoning processes along with engaging in communitarian thinking and dialogue, students will explore cross curricular material from within their own social responsibility framework, explore similar and differing understandings and beliefs of others, and critically evaluate, synthesis and adapt their own beliefs and representations.



CR9.6a Read and demonstrate comprehension and interpretation of grade-level appropriate texts including traditional and contemporary prose fiction, poetry, and plays from First Nations, Métis, and other cultures to develop an insightful interpretation and response.


PGP Goals


ability to use technologies readily, strategically and appropriately

This is a lesson that I will be using a lot of media to present the material. I have a PowerPoint with the images from the book, and the music plays throughout the slides that correspond to the graphic novel. I also have the actual book that I can use and I would just play the songs (the two I selected) and turn the pages for the students. Depending on the class size I would decide how I felt it would be best presented. I have a variety of technology / non-technology ready if there is an issue with the computers/internet etc.


a commitment to social justice and the capacity to nurture an inclusive and equitable environment for

the empowerment of all learners.


this is a very powerful and difficult subject to discuss with students. The images are very powerful and the story they tell is haunting. I would want to ensure I discuss with the class (the day before this lesson is taught) the subject and content so that if necessary, students can come to me prior and address concerns they may have. In my experience with my current placement I have had clients who have experienced unspeakable trauma and it is important that I am cognizant of each student’s personal experience/history and make required accommodations in order to help them engage with the material in a beneficial way.

Stage 2- Assessment

Assessment FOR Learning (formative) Assess the students during the learning to help determine next steps.

Asking questions at the beginning of the lesson will provide me an understanding of student’s knowledge about the history, treatment and deaths of Indigenous children that occurred throughout the history of the Residential Schools.

Assessment OF Learning (summative) Assess the students after learning to evaluate what they have learned.

Students will select three images that they connect with (emotionally, visually, contextually) and provide written responses about these images that incorporates prior cultural/racist/historical knowledge (or learning that happened today) and personal interpretation and reaction related to the story today. (ie: students writes about the “cutting of the boys hair” image; they write about the significance culturally of cutting of long hair of Indigenous people {power, annihilation of culture, control, assimilation) as well as how the hair floated soundlessly like falling leaves in the animated image) representing the “silence” that Indigenous families endured. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the devastating impact that dominant society had on the identity and culture of Indigenous people and recognize ongoing struggles that continue, resulting from this history.

Stage 3- Learning Plan

Motivational/Anticipatory Set (introducing topic while engaging the students)

(2 min) Play the short one-minute “Heritage Minute” video:

min) Play the short one- minute “Heritage Minute” video: Heritage Minutes_ Chanie Has anyone heard

Heritage Minutes_


Has anyone heard this story before? Tell me what you know. Explain briefly about Chanie being taken to residential school, escaping with 3 other boys and the life-ending two day journey he endured as he attempted to walk 600km home.

Main Procedures/Strategies:

(5 min) Play the music video “The Stranger” by Gord Downie. Think about what conflict exists when you watch this video.

Think about what conflict exists when you watch this video. “The Stranger” Official Video - Gord

“The Stranger” Official Video - Gord

(Very powerful story, monitor students closely for comments/behaviour/respect) (15 min) Have students discuss this video. Opening Statistics:

-1880-1996 over 150,000 Indigenous children SYSTEMATICALLY taken (what does that mean?) -Church schools FUNDED by the Canadian Government -forbidden to speak language, practice their culture (assimilate into white Canada) -Chanie; 1966 tried to run 600 km home, died on the tracks,

Why is he the “stranger”? What does that imply? Were Indigenous people “strangers” in society? What does the secret path refer to? Only the children knew of it? How is that similar to the “way of being” of Indigenous people? What is he feeling? What is in his head? In his chest? (Fear, family, home, TB/sickness) What does “They’re not going to stop” refer to? Why can’t we “see him”? “My dad is not a wild man”- What does he mean?


Self: escaping, surviving, emotional conflict, Nature: surviving the elements, snow, cold, isolation, distance Society: school, nuns/priests, cut hair, shower, abuse, beating, annihilate language/culture,

How is this story relevant to conflict and doing the right thing? What is the right thing to do now? Do we have a part in doing the right thing? *monitor this conversation and ensure that it is respectful and productive in helping students develop a lens of understanding and “putting ourselves in the shoes of the other” based on historical facts. Address any false perspectives and inappropriate comments (didn’t happen, they wanted it, own fault, was a “good” experience etc)

Why is it important to talk about it and learn about it? (history repeats, history impacts present, ongoing racism, similar treatment to other cultures, acknowledge the impact on generations, family, children, parenting, current struggles) How was the story told? Was it effective? Did the story need words? How was this video effective? What elements stood out to you? (use of b/w (residential school) and colour(home/family), music with no sound, simplistic photos/animation,

(10 min) Read the Novel “Secret Path” Tell the students this book is a story told with images and songs. They will experience both the images and lyrics together (two songs from the book will be played) as well the images will be presented without music. During the time when it is just the “images” and no music, instruct them to “read” the images of book. (look for repetition, mood, theme, colour, emotion, symbolism, power, perspective, POV)

Instruct students that as we ‘read’ through the whole story they are to select two or three images they feel were the most significant (images that spoke to them) and why. Pick out one image that they did not understand (why was it was included in the story? What was the meaning?). They can choose images from either the song/images parts or just the images part of the reading. Jot down thoughts, words, feelings, conflict, mood, as they listen/view. They will be writing about the significance of the images they selected.

The two songs to play: “swing set” during the images that correspond and “seven matches” during the images that correspond. (The song lyrics are written in the book)

(15 min) In their journals make note of the images 2 (understood) and 1 (not understood) OR 3 (understood) they selected. Write down a brief explanation of why these images stuck out for them. Think about the image with respect to Indigenous culture and ways of living. How was this evident in the image? (you can provide the example of the “hair cutting” image) Students use their journals to write about the “conflict” that was

evident in each of the images they selected. How was the conflict portrayed? (colour, size, sound, shape, emotion, imagery, repetition, symbolism) What is the significance of that image to the story of Chanie? How did the image tell a story? How was the conflict handled?

(7 min) Was this book an effective way to tell this story? Which was more effective, with music/lyrics or without? Why? (different perspectives) What was Chanies conflict? How did he handle conflict? Was there a different way? Anyone want to share an image they selected and why it was significant to them around the theme of conflict?

The right thing was not done in this story, or in the overall treatment of children in residential schools. What is the right thing to do now? (ensure the truth is told, understand the history and ensure the attitude and racism does not continue into the present, recognize healing involves all of us through understanding, support and education) Monitor this discussion for respectfully appropriate responses.


This lesson is very visually and auditorily focused with music and visuals telling the story of what is being presented. Through the classroom discussion students can listen to ideas and prior knowledge as it is discussed in conversation. This will help students who are ELL to engage and understand on a visual/emotional level without needed to do a lot of reading.

Writing support: For students with difficulty in writing or newer ELL students, they can provide a point form representation of the key learning and understanding that they got from the story. ie:

Music- no lyrics during running scene, alone, no one around Black/white image- cold, empty, unloved, abandoned Hair cut- long hair part of Indigenous culture, identity, purpose, family, self

Closing of lesson:

2 min- check in. Hands up who wants to share ONLY “one word” about what they saw/listened to today? (reminder of respect if you feel that is necessary based on how class has gone up until now).

We will start our class tomorrow talking about any thoughts or questions that may come up for anyone. (also let students know I will be around after class if there is anything they want to share/discuss and if there isn’t time to talk then, I will make time at recess/noon)

Personal Reflection:

I find the imagery of this graphic novel/lyrics to be haunting and powerful. I think it has a lot of potential to move students who are tired of “hearing about Indigenous content” into a place where emotions and feelings become harder to “rationalize” and therefore this Indigenous story becomes a more visceral story about someone (as well as a whole culture/people) who has had their own identity taken, their culture punished and forbidden, and their way of life annihilated. Tying this to the students own ongoing development of their

identity as they try to figure out “who they are” and “where they belong” and explore how this annihilation would affect that development and sense of self.

*Adapted from Understanding by Design (McTighe and Wiggins, 1998)