Game Lesson Plans

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Table of contents

Introduction

Below find two lesson plans and related handouts, which complement the Turtle Island and Memory games by providing follow-up activities for the classroom. They focus on curriculum from across Canada regarding First Nations, Métis and Inuit history, culture, and heritage to grades 3-6 students.

Technical Requirements

For students to have the best possible experience with the Kids' Stop games, the Adobe Flash player is recommended and can be downloaded free of charge. However, if you are not able to download Adobe Flash, you can print the contents of the games by following the printable version instructions. Specific requirements are included in the individual lesson plans.

Preparation

Before following this plan, we recommend the following preparatory steps:

  1. Book computer equipment, and ensure the proper plugin - Adobe Flash  - is installed. Test to make sure that Flash functions properly on your school's equipment by playing the games. If it does not, please use the printable accessible versions.
  2. Divide students into groups of two and allow them to play the Turtle Island and Memory games.
  3. If using the printable option, print out the appropriate materials (memory cards, accompanying resources, etc) for each pair of students.

Activity 1: "Think About This" Challenges

Goals

The following three activities have been designed to introduce children to the history, culture and present-day lives of First Nations, Métis and Inuit in Canada.

Specifically, students will:

  • Familiarize themselves with technologies, cultural practices and current issues of First Nations, Métis and Inuit;
  • Compare older technologies with newer adaptations and recognize that First Nations, Métis and Inuit technologies and culture are not merely "historic", but are still relevant today;
  • Discover symbols or ceremonies that play an important role in First Nations, Métis and/or Inuit culture;
  • Learn about and discuss current issues being addressed by First Nations, Métis and/or Inuit communities in Canada.

Subjects and Strands

This lesson plan can be used by teachers in all provincial and territorial grades 3-6 social studies classes; activities can be modified for age and ability. The main subjects are:

  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit culture and history.
  • Present-day concerns and achievements of First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.

These activities will also help students develop basic Library research skills and Interpretation/Analysis skills.

Set-up Instructions

Once students have completed the Turtle Island game online, they will have been exposed to 20 items and practices associated with First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultures, with brief explanations of the significance of each. To continue this experience, select one (or more) of the following activities and print out the related handouts. You may wish to have a group discussion prior to this step to answer any questions students may have about terminology or objects in the game.

Activity Instructions:

Research Challenge

  1. Ask students to divide into groups of two. 
  2. Hand out the Research Challenge question sheets.
  3. Bring students to your school or local library and instruct them to find information on a technology that was developed by First Nations, Métis or Inuit in the past that is still being used today (it can be an item or practice from the Turtle Island game or something completely different). You may wish to have a discussion in class about potential technologies that students can research prior to visiting the library.
  4. Help students locate books on their topic that are related to First Nations, Métis or Inuit technologies (a list of some recommended resources can be found in Appendix A).
  5. Once they have found some information relevant to their chosen topic, students should answer the questions on the Research Challenge.
  6. After answering the questions, each group should present what they learned to the class.

Poster Challenge

  1. As preparation for this challenge, you may wish to invite an elder or representative from a local First Nations, Métis or Inuit community to discuss their traditional practices with the class. If this is not possible, a class discussion on the importance of tradition and culture will help students complete this activity (see recommended resources in Appendix A).
  2. Ask students to find out more about one of the following topics, and illustrate their findings with a poster:
    • Smudging Ceremonies
    • Sweat Lodge Ceremonies
    • Traditional Hunting and Fishing Practices
    • Medicine Wheel
  3. On their poster, students should represent a) the various components of the chosen item or practice b) the importance of the item or practice to the relevant cultural group by including any important equipment, symbols, or colours that relate to the event.

Newspaper Challenge

  1. This challenge is meant for older students (grades 5-6), and involves some analytical skills. You may wish to partner students in groups of two for this task.
  2. Ask students to look in a newspaper, magazine or online (either at home or during class time) and find an article on a CURRENT issue - positive or negative - facing a First Nations, Métis and/or Inuit community in Canada. You may wish to provide a list of preselected articles to ensure the questions on the Newspaper Challenge sheet can be answered.
  3. Hand out the Newspaper Challenge sheet and ask students to analyse the article by answering the questions on the handout.
  4. Follow-up this exercise with a class discussion on the issues raised, emphasizing the relevant historical, political and cultural roots of each particular issue, and the various points of view presented in the articles chosen.

Activity 2: Storytelling

Goals

This activity will enhance students' understanding of First Nations, Métis and Inuit culture by introducing them to the importance of storytelling.

Specifically, students will:

  • Listen to and then recall Inuit, Métis, or First Nations stories;
  • Identify, describe and interpret important information in these stories;
  • Create their own stories based on the formats discussed.

Subjects and Strands

This lesson plan can be used by teachers in all provincial and territorial grades 3-6 social studies classes; activities can be modified for age and ability. The main subjects are:

  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit legends, stories and culture.

These activities will also help students develop basic Writing, Interpretation/Analysis skills.

Required Equipment and Materials

  • Stories from different First Nations, Métis and Inuit groups (oral stories are best, either online or in person, but books can be substituted if necessary).
  • Using Your Memory! (PDF 1.3 Mb) hand-out
  • Computers with Adobe Flash, OR printed cards and information sheet (see printable instructions).

Set-up Instructions

  • Have the class play the Memory game either online or using the printed cards provided in the printable version.
  • After students have played the game, hold a class discussion about the methods used to play it (e.g. did they choose cards at random or in sequence?) and the various items displayed on the cards in the game. The Description Sheet has additional information on each item.
  • Begin a new discussion on the role that memory played in traditional storytelling. Note: First Nations, Métis and Inuit did not have written languages before the Contact period - all of their history and beliefs were passed from generation-to-generation through oral stories.

Activity Instructions

  1. Following a class discussion on the importance of storytelling, invite an Elder from a local First Nations, Métis or Inuit community to tell traditional stories to the class. If this is not possible, there are several online resources available.

    OR

    From your school or local library, take out several books that recall First Nations, Métis or Inuit stories. See Appendix A for suggested books.
  2. After listening to the Elder (or reading the stories out loud to the class), hand out the Using Your Memory! (PDF 1.3 Mb) sheets. Explain that these questions are to see how much students remember from the stories they have just heard - they will not be graded on these questions. The goal of this exercise is for students to write down as much detail about the story as they can remember.
  3. After students have answered the questions, review the details of the story with the help of the class. You may find it helpful to list the following items on the chalkboard as they are mentioned by students:

    1. The names of the stories and the culture(s) they came from;
    2. The characters in each story;
    3. The lesson, message, etc. of each story.
    DISCUSS: Did the students remember every detail of the stories while they were answering the questions? What would have happened if they had waited longer to write down the information? How hard would it be to memorize all of the stories grandparents, parents and teachers have to tell them?
  4. Ask students to write their own story and illustrate it. Suggest that they use a story their grandparents of parents have told them in the past. Post the stories on a classroom wall for all to read.

Handouts

Research Challenge

In the Turtle Island game you learned about items that First Nations, Métis and Inuit developed in the past (such as canoes, maple syrup and snowshoes), and that are still being used today.

Choose something first developed by First Nations, Métis or Inuit and answer the following questions:

  1. What did you choose? Describe it and its ORIGINAL purpose.
  2. How has the item you chose changed over time (Is it made of different materials? Is it prepared in a different way? Does it have a new purpose?)
  3. How is the item used today? (Where and when is it used? Who uses it? Why is it used?)
  4. Which book(s) did you use to find this information?  (Title and Author).

Newspaper Challenge

Answer the following questions in paragraph form using the article you selected on a modern Aboriginal issue.

TITLE:

AUTHOR:

  1. What issue does this article report? 
  2. Who is affected by this issue?
  3. Does the article identify the harm or benefit of the issue? What is the main message of the article?
  4. Does the article present one point of view, or several? Can you think of other points of view that were not mentioned?
  5. Who did the reporter/writer interview to get the information in the article?
  6. What do you think about the issue in this article? Did you know about it before you read this article?

Using Your Memory!

Traditionally First Nations, Métis and Inuit stories were told orally (out loud), and passed from person to person - it was very important to remember them because there was no alphabet to write things down.

Let's test your memory: answer the following questions the best you can from what you remember. Answer the same questions for each story.

  1. What was the story called? What culture was it from?
  2. Who were the people and animals in the story?
  3. Why is this story important? (Did it teach a lesson? Did it explain how something was made or born? Did it give helpful advice? Did it teach important spiritual beliefs?)

Appendix A: Resource List

The following books are resources that may be helpful for your students in completing their challenges:

  1. The Kids Book of Aboriginal Peoples of Canada
    By Diane Silvey
  2. Canadian Aboriginal Art and Culture Series
    By Jennifer Nault
  3. Jason's New Dugout Canoe
    by Joe Barber-Starkey
  4. The Inuit Thought of It
    by Alootook Ipellie and David Macdonald
  5. Houses of Snow, Skin and Bones
    By Bonnie Shemie
  6. Carving a Totem Pole
    By Vickie Jensen

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