Picturing the Past
Teacher Section

The "Teachers Section" was constructed to offer curriculum-based lessons and study guides to assist both the teacher and student in the use of the stories and images offered here, on the "Picturing the Past" web-site, for the study of Canadian history.

Dear Ellie:
Letters from the West
This story focuses on the development of Western Canadian tourism in Saskatchewan and Alberta during the 1930's. Through the letters and postcards of a young man writing home to his fiancé during his journey across the Prairies in 1937, the reader will learn about the large hotels constructed to attract people to the provincial parks in Alberta (Jasper and Banff) and the role of the railway in bringing Eastern Canadians to the west for recreational pursuits. The story also touches on the Great Depression, the extensive prairie drought, and their impact on Canadian history. Although this story is fictitious, it is based on historical facts. The story is aimed at grades 8 – 10.
The Guest Children
This story was written to discuss "Canada at War" and the Canadian homefront during World War II. Told through the eyes of two fictitious characters,English school children sent to Canada to escape the German "blitz" in 1940, the story follows them as they make their way across Canada by rail from their landing point at Halifax, Nova Scotia to their destination in Vancouver, British Columbia. Topics discussed include: as Canada at War, Atlantic convoys, Canadian war effort, the rise of women in the work place, war rationing, and the British Commonwealth Training Program. The story is aimed at Grades 5 – 6.
Searching for the Sublime
Searching for the Sublime is one story in the Picturing the Past website. It has five key themes: The City, The Searchers, Algonquin Park, The Great Escape and Being There. These lesson plans have been developed for teachers of social studies, Canadian history, Canadian studies, geography and tourism classes at the high-school level. The lessons correlate directly to provincially mandated curriculum objectives. Students will gain an understanding of the experience of Canadian industrialization and urbanization, and some reactions to it. They will learn about philosophies of outdoor education, gender issues and outdoor recreation; the role of the railways in facilitating tourism; and the relationship between landscape and the Canadian identity.