Image of a young boy looking out onto a sunflower field

A map of the routes taken by the Underground Railroad will lead to a discussion of immigration to Canada in the 19th century.

Royal Canadian Geographical Society
Royal Canadian Geographical Society
c. 2013
© 2013, Royal Canadian Geographical Society. All Rights Reserved.


Fleeing the Slave States map

Lesson overview

A map of the Underground Railroad routes will lead to a discussion about immigration to Canada in the 1800s. Students will learn about immigration policies, reasons for immigration to Canada and the social effects of immigration on both Canadian identity and immigrants themselves.

Grade level

British Columbia, Grade 10 Social Studies

Time required

Two 75 minutes periods

Curriculum connection (Province/Territory and course)

British Columbia, Grade 10 Social Studies

Students will:
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Fleeing the Slave States map

Lesson overview

A map of the Underground Railroad routes will lead to a discussion about immigration to Canada in the 1800s. Students will learn about immigration policies, reasons for immigration to Canada and the social effects of immigration on both Canadian identity and immigrants themselves.

Grade level

British Columbia, Grade 10 Social Studies

Time required

Two 75 minutes periods

Curriculum connection (Province/Territory and course)

British Columbia, Grade 10 Social Studies

Students will:

A1 apply critical thinking skills

A2 demonstrate effective research skills

A3 demonstrate effective written, oral, and graphic communication skills, individually and collaboratively

B1 analyze Canadian society from 1815 to 1914 in terms of gender roles, ethnicity, daily life and the arts

B3 evaluate the influence of immigration on Canadian society from 1815 to 1914

B4 describe the factors that contributed to a changing national identity from 1815 to 1914

Additional resources, materials and equipment required

*Underground Railroad video: http://www.blackhistorycanada.ca/events.php?themeid=21&id=6
*Information on immigration policies and profiles of immigrants can be found at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/publications/legacy/index.asp
*Texts and/or computer and internet access for student research
*Diary entry assignment handout

Main objective

The main objective of this lesson is for students to understand how immigration affected, and continues to affect, Canada’s national identity. Students will research historical facts about immigration policy and reasons for emigration, while considering the social implications from the perspective of the established Canadian and the immigrant.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:
*compare and contrast the reasons different ethnic groups immigrated to Canada
*examine Canadian immigration policies
*describe reasons for immigration to Canada and the struggles and hopes immigrants face when building a life in a new land
*demonstrate an understanding of the social implications of immigration

Introduction

I
ntroduce Learning Object and ask students what they notice about the geographical areas shown on the map. Ask why certain areas would or would not attract the use of slaves. (eg. closeness to West Indies, plantations, close to Atlantic for shipping routes, etc).

Ask students what ‘abet’ means. Why was that word used to describe the actions of the Quakers?

Show the video of the Underground Railroad. Discuss how escaped slaves would feel upon arrival in a Northern city. How do you think they were received by the white residents of these areas?

Students will examine the Learning Object and share what they notice or think is important. Using previous knowledge, they will think of why slavery was legal in some geographical areas.

Students will understand the seriousness of helping slaves escape.

Students will contribute to discussion of how slaves would feel after escaping. Were they truly free? What hardships did they still have to face? How were they accepted into society?

Lesson development

Part 1 – Immigration Policy

Review immigration policies from the 1800s until World War I, including revisions and policies put in place by Clifford Sifton. What attitudes did the government and society have regarding immigrants?

Explore factors that affect immigration and the profiles of immigrants. Consider where immigrants came from, their ethnic heritage, push and pull factors, where they settled in Canada, jobs they held in Canada, how they kept their culture and traditions alive, etc.

Part 2 – Life as an Immigrant

Students will write a diary entry (handout included) from the perspective of an immigrant. The entry must occur between 1815 and 1914. It should refer to historical facts in a way that describes the hardships, joys, daily life and emotional perspective of an immigrant.

Students will take notes on immigration policies, government opinions on immigration, the needs of immigrants in Canada, and social views of immigrants.

Students will take notes on factors affecting immigration including the need for more people in Canada, global events that increased immigration to Canada, the roles of immigrants in Canada and the daily life of an immigrant.

Students will ask questions or raise topics that they find interesting.

Write a diary entry from the perspective of an immigrant during the period of 1815 to 1914. Include historical facts while describing the challenges and joys of life in a new land.

Conclusion

Looking back at the Learning Object, we realize it was not just people that moved along those arrows, but language, culture, art, food and traditions. These were people who struggled for a better life. Ask students if they have a better understanding of what life would be like as an immigrant or refugee.

Some students in the class may have relatives who are immigrants or refugees, or they may be new to Canada themselves. If they are comfortable, invite them to share their stories.

Students will hand in diary entries. Some students may wish to share theirs with the class.

Students will better understanding their situations, struggles and hopes of immigrants to Canada. Additionally, they will understand how immigrants have shaped the culture and identity of our country.

Students will learn about the process of immigration from a peer. Recognize that education leads to acceptance.

Lesson extension

*Compare Canadian immigration policies, ethnicities of immigrants and social attitudes towards immigration with those of the United States since the 1800s.
*Investigate how immigration policies, treatment of immigrants and social views of immigration in Canada has changed since World War I.
*Research Canada’s current policies on multiculturalism and refugees.

Assessment of student learning

Students can be assessed on participation and quality of contributions to discussions. Notes taken on immigration policies and profiles of immigrant groups can be used for later assessment, such as on the end of unit test. Diary entries can be evaluated based on inclusion of historically accurate information and the creative application of this information into a fictional recollection of the life of an immigrant.

Further reading

The Canadian Atlas Online
http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/atlas/themes.aspx?id=settling&lang=En

Citizenship and Immigration Canada
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/backgrounders/2011/2011-06-27.asp

Canadian Council for Refugees
http://ccrweb.ca/en/hundred-years-immigration-canada-1900-1999

Link to Canadian National Standards for Geography

Geographic Skills:


*Systematically locate and gather geographic information from a variety of primary and secondary sources.
*Make inferences and draw conclusions from maps and other geographic representations.

Six essential elements:

1) The World in Spatial terms

*Map, globe and atlas use

2) Places and Regions

* Physical and human processes shape places and regions
*The importance of places and regions to individual and social identity
*Changes in places and regions over time
* Political and historical characteristics of regions
*Critical issues and problems of places and regions
*Regional analysis of geographic issues and questions

3) Physical Systems
* N/A

4) Human Systems

*Population characteristics by world regions, country and regions within countries
* Demographic transition
* Impact of human migration
*Changes in human settlement patterns over time
*Convergence and divergence of cultures

5) Environment and Society
* N/A

6) The Uses of Geography
* N/A

© 2013, Royal Canadian Geographical Society. All Rights Reserved.


Land of Opportunity:

Diary Entry


Name: ________________________ Date: _____________________

In this assignment, you will select a date between 1815 and 1914 and take on the role of an immigrant living in Canada at that time. You may choose which country you emigrated from, which ethnic group you belong to and what your job is. Options include, but are not limited to: Chinese or Japanese railway worker, Sikh logger, Eastern European farmer, Irish famine refugee or African-American slavery refugee.

Your diary entry should include historically accurate information while relaying the social impact and emotional effects of life as an immigrant. You are encouraged to be creative in your writing, while addressing the following questions:

- What led you to immigrate to Canada? Were you recruited? If there was a significant event, describe it.

- How was your experience of immigrating to Canada?

- Have you been socially accepted by Canadians? How do you think you are viewed by settled Canadians and other immigrant groups?

- How do you contribute to the developmen Read More

Land of Opportunity:

Diary Entry


Name: ________________________ Date: _____________________

In this assignment, you will select a date between 1815 and 1914 and take on the role of an immigrant living in Canada at that time. You may choose which country you emigrated from, which ethnic group you belong to and what your job is. Options include, but are not limited to: Chinese or Japanese railway worker, Sikh logger, Eastern European farmer, Irish famine refugee or African-American slavery refugee.

Your diary entry should include historically accurate information while relaying the social impact and emotional effects of life as an immigrant. You are encouraged to be creative in your writing, while addressing the following questions:

- What led you to immigrate to Canada? Were you recruited? If there was a significant event, describe it.

- How was your experience of immigrating to Canada?

- Have you been socially accepted by Canadians? How do you think you are viewed by settled Canadians and other immigrant groups?

- How do you contribute to the development of Canada? What is your job?

- How do you maintain your cultures and traditions in a new country?

- How would you describe life in Canada to someone who wants to immigrate?_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

© 2013, Royal Canadian Geographical Society. All Rights Reserved.

Map of Canadian stations on the underground railroad

Map of the passage, called the Underground Railroad, taken by fleeing American slaves to Canada in the 1800s.

Canadian Geographic Education

© 2013, Royal Canadian Geographical Society. All Rights Reserved.


Fleeing the slave states   Known as the “peculiar institut Read More

Fleeing the slave states

 

Known as the “peculiar institution,” slavery was opposed on moral grounds by Quakers who began to abet escaping slaves in the early 1800s. Their efforts grew into the “Underground Railroad,” a covert network of activists and empathizers who concealed their true purpose behind railroad terms: “conductors” led slaves to “stockholders” who hid them in “stations”; “terminals” were northern cities.


© 2013, Royal Canadian Geographical Society. All Rights Reserved.

Learning Objectives

A map of the Underground Railroad routes will lead to a discussion about immigration to Canada in the 1800s. Students will learn about immigration policies, reasons for immigration to Canada and the social effects of immigration on both Canadian identity and immigrants themselves.


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