THE CANADIAN STUDIES PROJECT: An Exploration of Culture, History and Interconnectedness: Lesson Four: Peace: Opposites Attract [Part 4 of 4]

Article excerpt

Duration: 1-7 Class Periods

Grade Level: 9-12

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to The Canadian Studies Project. In successive issues of TEACH Magazine you will find four lesson plans that explore the following themes: equity, diversity, interdependence and peace. This is the fourth in the series. Due to limited space, the curriculum links and additional content will be posted on the Web site: www.teachmag. com/canadianstudies. The content of The Canadian Studies Project is also connected to a television series called Get Outta Town! (www.getouttatown. tv), where a host teen travels the world and meets up with teenagers to experience the life and culture of different communities from a local teenager's point of view. Video content from the series is posted on The Canadian Studies Web site.

Canada is a country of diverse peoples. Through the activities detailed in the following lesson plans, we are confident that you and your students will enjoy and celebrate Canada's unique status among nations.

We would like to hear from you. Please contact us at info@teachmag.com and let us know the kinds of projects and activities in which you have engaged. Send us your students' work and we will post the best entries on The Canadian Studies Project Web site.

CASE STUDY

Opposites Attract

Monika and Michael attend the same school in Moncton, New Brunswick. They became friends in school, working on projects and studying together and are now a couple. Michael was born in Canada, and his family can trace their Canadian heritage several generations back. Monika's parents are Sikh and emigrated from India some twenty years earlier. Although neither of them is particularly religious, they cannot escape their origins. Monika's family left India to seek a better life for the entire family. Her mother is a lawyer and works for a community-based legal aid clinic while her father is an engineer and works for a software company.

Michael's father works as a welder for a company that manufactures small diesel engines. Michael's mother works in a hairdressing salon. His parents understand the need for immigration but are suspicious of foreigners, and feel that they take advantage of the generous social welfare system in Canada and take jobs away from the locals.

Monika's parents are traditional and prefer that she "stick to her own community." Since she has been dating Michael, there have been many arguments and much tension in the household. Her parents don't ; approve of the relationship. They are afraid that the cultural gap is too wide for them to bridge and that they will be shunned by others in society. As a mixed race couple, her parents warn that they will be ostracized, ridiculed and possibly attacked by those who hold hardline racial attitudes. At the very least, Monika's parents are afraid the young couple will never be accepted by either side and that they will remain alienated from everyone.

Michael and his father haven't gotten along for a number of years and he thinks his parents' attitudes are antiquated and narrow-minded. Michael doesn't care about culture or race, and he sees Monika simply as a person that he cares for. It hurts him that his parents don't see that and can't understand his feelings.

Monika and Michael feel that in some ways, the antagonism they receive from both sides serves to strengthen their relationship and that if they are committed to each other, they can withstand and even win over both of their families. Nevertheless, it is difficult for them and has put a strain on their relationship.

KEY CONCEPTS AND ISSUES

This lesson plan explores the idea of peace and how to achieve it, points to conflict resolution strategies and implementation, and focuses on sources of conflict and how to avoid them.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Students will:

* Identify potential sources of conflict

* Learn how to defuse situations where conflict arises

* Understand the destructive nature of conflict in communities around the world

* Explore how to become a peacekeeping and peacemaking nation

* Critically assess information and seek solutions to real-world problems

* Work collectively in teams

TEACHER-DIRECTED DISCUSSION

Step One: Teacher-Directed Discussion

(1 Period)

Have students read the story of Michael and Monika. …