Magazine article Teach

Historical Biographies of the Métis: Lesson Four

Magazine article Teach

Historical Biographies of the Métis: Lesson Four

Article excerpt

The following is a lesson plan excerpt from The Ruptured Sky, a graphic novel and digital literacy title. To see the full lesson plan or to learn more, please visit


Language Arts, History, Visual Arts

The Ruptured Sky looks at the War of 1812 from a contemporary time frame. Two First Nations teenagers, Chris and Angie, are working on a school project about the war. Chris' grandfather, John Montour, figures that the teenagers might like to hear about the events of the war directly from a group of First Nations elders. As each of the elders relates part of the story of the War of 1812, the people, places, and events come to life. Chris and Angie experience the war through these important stories. They hear firsthand about the great Shawnee war chief, Tecumseh, the Mohawk War Chief, Joseph Brant and his protégé, John Norton to name some. They come to understand how important the role of First Nations warriors was in key battles such as the taking of Fort Detroit, Beaver Dams, and Queenston Heights. Chris and Angie learn this story of long ago is still evolving, that the events of history still resonate and influence events of today. In the end, the story is theirs to continue.


Throughout this lesson package, students will analyze, synthesize, and evaluate historical information through studying biographies of significant people, including the Métis, visual arts, and audio clips, in regards to the War of 1812. Students will further develop their current schema of Aboriginal People's perspectives and Early Canada during the Wars of 1812. Finally, students will demonstrate their learning through the creation of a historical narrative video as their final performance task.

Key Concepts

Students will explore the following concepts:

* Students will explore the following concepts:

* Analyzing media works

* Understanding Aboriginal worldviews

* Exploring new vocabulary and concepts relating to the First Peoples of North America

* Synthesizing historical concepts

Learning Skills

* Research skills

* Creative thinking skills

* Media literacy skills

* Communication and information technology skills

* Cooperative learning skills

Time Required

Each lesson step may take one or two class periods, plus the performance task to complete this package, based on student needs and inquiry.

Lesson Steps

Step One Research - Biographies and Autobiographies

Step Two Métis Soldiers/Warriors

Step Three Visual Arts rendition

Step Four Métis Soldier - Autobiographical Radio Clip

Step Five Performance Task - Create A Moment in History Commercial - You Tube

Blackline Masters

#1 Biography/Autobiography Rubric

#2 Radio Clip Checklist

#3 Performance Task Criteria

#4 Performance Task Rubric


Appendix I Teacher Checklist

Materials Required

For Teachers

* See Suggested Resources document

* Teacher Checklist (Appendix I)

* Computer, document camera

For Students

* Copy of The Ruptured Sky

* Student handouts

* Access to a computer, if possible

* Chart paper, markers, tape


Overall Curriculum Expectations

The overall expectations listed below serve as an entry point for teachers. Teachers are encouraged to make connections to specific expectations in their region and grade.


Outline the reasons why settlers came to New France; identify the social, political, religious, and economic factors that shaped the colony; and describe how settlers and fur traders interacted with the First Nation peoples.

Identify and explain similarities and differences in the goals and interests of various groups in New France, including French settlers, First Nation peoples, and both French and English fur traders.

Media Literacy

Demonstrate understanding that different media texts reflect different points of view (e. …

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