To say that this Canadian Confederation unit has been one of my favourite socials projects would be an understatement. Much like the French Revolution unit, it was a great exercise to take the ideas and thoughts of another character and put them into your own words. Having to pretend to be a person from the era forced us to delve deep in the Confederation, and look at all of the influencing factors that were present so that we may accurately represent our character. Many of the learning outcomes for Socials were met, and although some were missed, I still believe that we achieved a lot through this unit.
Perhaps the most prominent learning outcomes that I met during this unit were A1 and A3, Applying Critical Thinking Skills, and Demonstrating Effective Written/Oral/Communication skills. These two learning outcomes were what I found to be the most useful and also the ones that I worked on the most. Examples relating to A1 would be nearly anything we did in this project. Because we were trying to impersonate a character who has long since passed away, many of our actions had to be based off of assumptions that we could make when looking at our characters previous actions. For example, my character was never explicitly stated as a loyalist for Britain, however you could read about fights that he had based on supporting loyalists, and he had also attempted to put together a loyalist army comprised of freed slaves. My character also died in 1806, because anything truly eventful happened, so all of the thoughts that I portrayed during the rest of the Confederation had to be based on what I thought he would say. To do this, I had to research all of his past actions, and think about how his actions in the past would relate to what he would do in the future. For A3, you could look at our blog posts, tweets, Confederation Conference, and the Final Address. All of these required us to communicate our ideas effectively in some way, and it was a great way to demonstrate our abilities. In blog posts, we had to write clearly and effectively to portray our character’s thoughts and emotions without the actually being there. The tweets that we made had to be written concisely and effectively, to get our ideas across in a powerful manner without going over the tiny word limit. During the Confederation Conference, we had to present clear powerful arguments to sway our opponent’s beliefs and attempt to get them to agree with us. Because every was taking the stance of another character’s values, the arguments that we presented had to be very well done if we wanted a chance to get them to take our side. During the Conference, I was attempting to get the aboriginals to take sides with Canada and merge their land with us. After a long debate, we were not quite able to come to an agreement, however I think that everyone that participated presented their arguments clearly, and all had good points to put on the table.
Another prominent learning outcome that was met was C2, analyzing political, economic, social, and geographical factors that led the Confederation. The best example of this learning outcome was during the Confederation Conference. In the conference, the team that I was sided with had a drawn out discussion with the aboriginals in an attempt to get them to merge their land with ours. Although I only had the opportunity to speak twice, I was able to collaborate with my team so that we could all agree on points to put down. We discussed all of the possible factors that could influence the aboriginal’s opinions so that we could lay down the best possible argument. The biggest factor that we had to look at was how the aboriginals considered their land to be sacred, and that they thought we were stealing it from them. To get around this, we had to look at how we could convince the aboriginals that their land would be preserved, and that they could govern themselves for the most part, with us knowing full well that as a minority they would not be able to keep those rights for very long. We also had to consider what they could bring to the economy. We wanted their land for more resources and trade expansion, however they did not want us to be bringing over that sort of an economy. Our proposed argument was how it could benefit both of us, and that if they joined they could grow and become stronger as well, even if they thought that our trading would be damaging to them.
There were also a few learning outcomes that we weren’t able to discuss in much depth. The one that sticks out the most to me is B3, evaluating the influence of immigration on Canadian society. Each different character would have a small outlook on this, since we all came from different places, however there were not many discussions about this topic. Perhaps in the Confederation Conference, we could have talked more about how immigration would affect the future of Canada.
B1 was another learning outcome that did not get talked about very much. There were a few characters who were fighting for gender rights and ethnicity rights, but there was not any discussion about the arts and our daily lives. It would have been up toe each character to reflect on these topics in their blog posts, but we can’t read all of them so we may not get to see all of the different sides to this topic.
Finally, I believe that we could have talked more about D2, analyzing the influence of resource development and technological innovations on Canada’s economy. E had briefly discussed in class about how Canada needed the Maritimes for their ships, however there was not much further discussion about technology. We also did not talk very much about resource development. There were some debates about it during the Confederation Conference, however we did not talk much about it past that.
However, there were also some learning outcomes that we were not able address at all . One of these that sticks out the most to me is D3, describing the development of British Columbia’s economy from 1815 to 1914. Perhaps some other people may have gotten more information about this due to their characters, but I felt as if there was not much mention of this throughout my part in the Canadian Confederation Unit. British Columbia was mentioned here and there in class, but I feel as if the learning outcome was never fulfilled. I think that during our talks about the trade in central Canada, we could have also discussed BC more since it is, after all, where we live.
E1 was also a learning outcome that was not mentioned at all during this unit. It is understandable why it was never talked about, it seems more like science than it does socials. E1 is asking you to describe the physiographic regions of Canada and the geological processes that formed these regions. The examples given include things such as plate tectonics. I wouldn’t exactly define that as socials. I do recall that at the end of last year we did a project based on plate tectonics and how it would affect cultures living above them, however we did not discuss much about that in Canada specifically. Other than these two learning outcomes, there is not much that I can see which we have not discussed at any point.
Finally, I was not able to see much progress being made on learning outcome E3, evaluate attitudes and practices on resource development in British Columbia. Once again, I feel as if I did not gain much knowledge at all about British Columbia through these time periods. Furthermore, we did not discuss much about resources in any parts of Canada. We discussed trade at length, however we did not talk much about resource developments such as fishing and mining. I still feel as if some other characters would have learned more about it, but my character did not have any part in resources, and he also died before the Confederation had even began.
Although on the surface, the Canadian Confederation project may not seem to have fulfilled all of the learning outcomes, it has actually covered most of the required material. There are only a few learning outcomes that were not talked about, and although not all learning outcomes were talked about in great depth, we have learned about nearly all of them during this Unit. Some people may have gotten more information on certain learning outcomes simply due to the character that they had chosen, however through activities such as the confederation conference and the final address, we have heard information from many different characters and gained insight on nearly all the parts of the Canadian Confederation, and from that we can draw conclusions as to how it has affected our present Canada. This unit was very engaging for me, and I feel as if it was not only a great way to fulfill the social studies requirements, but also a great way to learn how the incredible country that we live in has been shaped throughout the years.