Telling Stories: Narratives of Nationhood

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Questions of Canada: Politics of Culture and Community

 Related Lesson Plans
Introduction

Jack Shadbolt: Flag Mural

Jane Ash Poitras: Those who share together, stay together

Bradford Naugler: Fathers of Confederation

Most times when we think about politics, we think about government. However, the term politics can apply to many other contexts, including culture. Politics in this sense include any activities that are concerned with relationships of authority, status, or power. Canada is a country in which cultural politics are many-layered and complex. The nation is made up not only of regions, but of many different cultures and communities that have their own stories. Art can be used to show the existence and value of these different cultures and communities, and to make a case for changes in the balance of power among them.

In this section, art is used to try to bring about an awareness of the multicultural, complex nature of Canadian identity and the many stories that are a part of it. This art is also intended to change the way people think about "national unity." The artists put forward different visions of nationalism and national identity, and they ask viewers to consider them.


Integrated Learning Units Related to "Questions of Canada: Politics of Culture and Community"

Traditional Crafts
Grade(s): 11, 12
In this unit students will create art work that examines the role of craft in our culture by discussing artworks; creating papier-mâché sculpture; interviewing craftpersons; and researching the history of crafts in their community.

A Sense of Community
Grade(s): 1
In this unit students will discuss community; create a simple design of community; create their own community square; create a collage; discuss tartan designs; design a tartan; discuss hats; create hats; discuss leisure time and activities; create drawing; create a class play; have a class meal; and reach out to people in the community.

We Are Unique - Yet Also Alike
Grade(s): 6
In this unit students will discuss trees and stories such as legends and myths and storytelling; create stories; read stories; create clay figures; research stories; listen to music from around the world; discuss and share music; perform to music; and create musical accompaniments.

All About Trees
Grade(s): 2
In this unit students will: study artworks; read children?s literature; complete art and computer activities; and explore nature.

Cracking the Mirror of the Past
Grade(s): 11, 12
In this unit students will view artworks, have class discussions, write analysis, and make drawings and collages.

Natural Disasters
Grade(s): 11, 12
In this unit students will view art work, have class and group discussion, make drawings, make a painting, write a poem or short story, produce a display on computer, listen to music, create a soundscape, and research and present a slide show.

The Mystique of the Artist
Grade(s): 11, 12
In this unit students will view art work, create a bag to hold their supplies, conduct internet research, exhibit their work with a written statement, have class discussion, make sketches, floor plans and models, write a character sketch, create a short video, conduct interviews and present findings, and host guest speaker

Women's Role in the Mi'kmaq Community Long Ago
Grade(s): 5
In this unit students will view artwork, have class discussion, make model, design and make Talking Stick, hold a Talking Circle, and write and share diary entries.

We are Reflections of Canada _ Our People, Our Places, and Our Landscape
Grade(s): 6
In this unit students will view artwork, have class and group discussion, read poem, make and decorate outline of feet, display work, conduct internet research, share results with class, write an interpretation, make sketches, compile survey questions, survey seniors, make graphs, develop a newsletter, keep a learning journal, and display their artwork.

Through the Past, Lightly
Grade(s): 7
In this unit students will view art work, write notes, make a drawing or painting, have class discussion, make sketches, present their work, write poetry, write dialogue, write songs, and review fact based writing.

Us and Them
Grade(s): 7, 8, 9
In this unit students will view artwork, write descriptions, have class discussion, create posters, create paintings, create sketches, create collages, write poetry, write journal entries, write stories, compile results, and display their work.

The Importance of Scribbling and Doodling
Grade(s): 9
In this unit students will view artwork and textual material, write journal entries, have class discussion, keep audio journals, keep video journals, read novels, and contribute to their sketchbooks.

To Vote or Not to Vote
Grade(s): 9
In this unit students will view artwork, conduct internet research, have group and class discussion, hold debate or town hall meeting, create collage posters, and create images.

Strange Encounters
Grade(s): 3
In this unit students will view art work, have class discussion, listen to musical theatre or opera recordings, write imaginary musical conversations, present their work (possibly in costume), videotape their work, compile collaborative class book, display their work, present their work to younger students, conduct internet research, visit local cemetery, collect data from gravestones, make graphs, and write findings.

How the Light Bulb Gets Switched On - The Evolution of Ideas
Grade(s): 10, 11, 12
In this unit students will view art work, have group and class discussion, take photos, create photo montages, display their work on school web site, write a character sketch, share their work, conduct internet research, paint old shoes, write artist's statement, display their work, and complete an art work.

The More Things Change...
Grade(s): 7, 8, 9
In this unit students will view art work, have group and class discussion, conduct research, share findings, hold town hall meeting, create online newspaper, read book, analyse story, create story, write and illustrate children's books, keep an environmental journal, make sketches, share their work, make presentations, and write letters.

Harrisification
Grade(s): 7, 8, 9
In this unit students will view artwork, have class discussion, conduct research, write biographical essays, write journal entries or write letters, make a painting, and write a story.

Privilege and Power
Grade(s): 7
In this unit students will view artwork, have group and class discussion, make a Venn diagram, create collages, conduct internet research, write stories, share their stories, and display their work.

Schoolhouses
Grade(s): 5
In this unit students will view art work, have group and class discussion, present results, research and plan a day in a one-room schoolhouse, re-enact the one-room schoolhouse for a day, write journal articles, calculate walking distances, take a kilometre walk, make a collaborative paper crazy quilt wall hanging, display their work, visit a refinished one-room schoolhouse, and host a guest speaker who attended a one-room schoolhouse.

Japan: Traditions and Culture
Grade(s): 4
In this unit students will view art work, have group and class discussion, participate in the re-enactment of a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony, conduct internet research, create their own Mon family crests, read and write Haiku poetry, create banners, and display their work.

One Nation - Many Voices (Themes on Cultural Diversity)
Grade(s): 10, 11, 12
In this unit students will view art work, have group and class discussion, conduct internet research, record their observations, make collages, write artist's statements, present their work, make photomontages, conduct interviews, conduct research, write journal entries, videotape their interviews, and plan a multicultural event.

Totem Poles - Storytellers of Long Ago
Grade(s): 3
In this unit students will view art work, have class discussion, make drawings, conduct research, share their findings, write stories, role play, and design and make totem pole models

Acadians Through the Portrait
Grade(s): 7, 8, 9
In this unit students will view art work, have group and class discussion, make sketches, conduct internet research, improvise dialogue, make time lines, and have a debate

Tools and Methods of Work
Grade(s): 7, 8, 9
In this unit students will view art work, have group and class discussion, share their findings, conduct internet research, invent machines, make drawings or paintings, and prepare an exhibition

To Everything There Is A Season...
Grade(s): Kindergarten/maternelle, 1
In this unit students will view artwork, have class discussion, make charts, present their work, participate in creative movement, make drawings, make a class chart, and make collages.