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This lesson idea focuses on what it means to be an American (or Canadian, etc.)


Language Arts  


6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – What is a Canadian/American?
By – Kate Woods
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects –
Grade Level – Junior High / High School
I posted this lesson plan / culminating task on another site earlier this year. Originally, I used it at the end of a unit in Grade 12 English Media on “Representation in Media,” After the terrorism of Sept 11th, a teacher from Pennsylvania emailed me to let me know she was going to adapt it to “help my students define what it means to be American.”

Timeline for activity: One week (or five hour-long periods).

** A rubric is also available. Email me if you’d like a WordPerfect copy of it. Also, let me know how your experience turns out with this activity. My students really enjoyed it!

God bless.


What is Canadian / American?
(Due in class: March 23rd)

Your task is to create a collage that reflects both the media’s representation of Canada/Canadians / America/Americans and your own. You will do this by assembling a collage (on a regular-sized sheet of bristol board) in the image of the Canadian/American flag. The left half of the flag will consist of representations from the media. The right half will consist of images from your own Canadian/American experience. For this task, I will provide you with one sheet of Bristol board. Use it wisely.

(In this space I drew a pic of what their flag would look like.)

In addition to the visual images, each half of the flag must have at least five written quotations addressing “Canadianess”/”Americaness.” The “media side” must have quotations taken from the media — TV, film, internet, magazines, commercials, etc. The “personal side” must have quotations from you, your friends, your relatives, etc.

– No two quotations may come from the same source.
– Every quotation must site its source (even if it is a person) directly below.
– Each quotation must be represented by at least one image in your collage.

Every collage will be presented (and explained) in front of the class.

You may work independently or in groups of two. If you plan on working with someone else, choose your partner carefully! YOU are responsible for your own work. Having your partner not show up for presentation day, or having them leave your work at their house is NO EXCUSE.

What is Canadian/American? Schedule:

Monday – Plan out collage process in class (Find possible partner, assign tasks, think of possible resources, etc.) Sign up for Friday’s presentation schedule.
Tuesday – Work on finding resources (quotations, images) for homework.
Wednesday – Same as Tuesday.
Thursday – Entire class period to work on collage. (Bring your resources to class!)
Friday – Present finished collage to the class.

E-Mail Kate Woods !

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