Lessons Integrating Information and Communication Technology within a Curriculum Area


Patrick Mather (HRSB)


The Gigantic Book of Famous Canadians

Grade Level


Subject Area

Social Studies and English Language Arts

Overview of unit/lessons/activities (assumptions of prior knowledge/learning)

This unit provides an opportunity for students to develop an appreciation for Canadian individuals who have made a significant impact or influence on culture and society on local, national, and international scales. In this project, students will be expected to research a famous Canadian, gather information and other resources about the individual's life and impact, and to produce an informative presentation according to guidelines. The work of all students will then be assembled together to form a collective product. Although this unit was originally designed to create a "Gigantic Book of Famous Canadians" with the pages being designed on Bristol Board, it can be adapted to create a virtual book using PowerPoint or to create a website featuring famous Canadians. In all options, numerous ICT, Social Studies, and English outcomes will be covered. See appended sections for more information.

Correlations to ICT and curriculum outcomes

There are definite correlations to outcomes in each subject area as well as ICT. There are also numerous possible correlations to outcomes at various grade levels if one was to choose a specific focus for the unit. (i.e. Empowerment of Women - SS 7 ) Below are the general outcomes that are correlated at the grade 8 level.

Information and Communication Technology (by the end of Grade 9)

SEHI 9.2 identify and demonstrate the values and techniques of mass media, popular culture, and electronic information environments, and evaluate the effects of these techniques

SEHI 9.3 understand, model, and assume personal responsibility for the acceptable use of copyrighted and other information resources

SEHI 9.4 demonstrate an understanding of, and a commitment to, accuracy, and ethical behaviour, and personal privacy and safety as they create and distribute information about themselves, others, and curriculum topics under study

SEHI 9.6 follow the Internet Access and Use Policy

PTS 9.1 use software to brainstorm, develop a thought web, outline, and map ideas under study with independence

PTS 9.3 explore the curriculum through a wide range of print and electronic forms; accessing and processing information by means of the specialized techniques associated with the technology they select

PTS 9.4 create and manipulate sound, images and video, using digital equipment and computer-based editing, to represent their learning for particular audiences and purposes, independently with teacher supervision

PTS 9.5 develop multimedia presentations, based on sound principles of design, with increasing confidence, efficiency and independence

CT 9.1 use language, in a range of aural, print, media and electronic forms to explore and express their perceptions, feelings, ideas and attitudes; refine their thinking; and interact, negotiate and collaborate with others in order to build their understanding

CT 9.2 design and build intranet or Internet websites of student-produced pages about a curriculum topic, in small groups with teacher supervision

CT 9.3 critically evaluate how style, form, source, and medium influence the accessibility, validity and meaning of information with independence

RPSD 9.2 create and use electronic charts, maps, tables, graphs, spread sheets and databases to collect, analyse and display data independently

RPSD 9.3 write and represent their research using the structures, features, conventions, and techniques of specialized publication and presentation formats with growing fluency

RPSD 9.4 assess the quality, comprehensiveness, biases, and perspectives of print, media and electronic resources for use in their curricular studies, with teacher guidance

RPSD 9.5 critically evaluate how style, form, source, and medium influence the accessibility, validity, and meaning of information independently

RPSD 9.6 select and refine a research topic, according to teacher-provided criteria, to fulfill a curriculum requirement, with teacher assistance

RPSD 9.7 assess the strengths and limitations of different approaches to research, then select those approaches which more efficiently meet their learning needs, with teacher assistance

RPSD 9.9 accurately and independently cite information sources

Social Studies 8

  1. research how artistic and literary expression reflects the following aspects of Canadian identity: landscape, climate, people-citizenship, history, challenges, and opportunities
  2. demonstrate an understanding of how citizenship has evolved over time.
  3. portray and celebrate their understanding of Canadian identity

English Language Arts 8

  1. Reading and Viewing (4.1) (4.4) (5.1) (5.2) (5.3) (7.1)
  2. Writing and Other Ways of Representing (8.3) (9.1) (9.2) (9.4) (10.1) (10.2) (10.3) (10.4) (10.5)

Projected timeline for preparation and for carrying out activities

Projected preparation time: 2-5 hours

Approximately 15 hours of class time. The projected time is difficult to estimate because it is dependent on the learning styles of the students, the project format chosen, background knowledge, availability of computer use, and internet access. Generally, you will need to provide benchmarks for completion of tasks throughout the project as appropriate. (Example: All research completed in 2 weeks)

Equipment Requirements: (computers, software, etc)

  1. Computer Access
  2. Internet Access
  3. MS Office (Word/PowerPoint/FrontPage) or equivalent
  4. Data projector for possible display of multimedia products or resources

Teaching materials provided (Blacklines, worksheets, templates, teacher materials)

Teacher instructions about the structure and outline of the project (Word format)

The Greatest Canadian Teacher Guide at http://www.cbc.ca/greatest/teachers/Guide_and_worksheets.pdf

Resources available for teacher/student use (websites, references, etc)

Helpful internet resources

CBC.ca – The Greatest Canadian http://www.cbc.ca/greatest/
CBC Archives http://www.cbc.ca/archives
Historica http://www.histori.ca/
Famous Canadians http://www.canadians.ca/
Famous Canadians theme Page http://www.cln.org/themes/famous.html
The Greatest Canadian – Wikipedia-the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Greatest_Canadian

Image Sources (with copyright clearance):

Library and Archives of Canada http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca -- many images on this site are old enough that they are in the public domain

Wikipedia (photos are cleared through Creative Commons licencing) http://www.wikipedia.com

Detailed instructions for each activity or lesson (teacher notes, activity information, learning strategies, teacher role, student roles)

Teacher instructions about the structure and outline of the project (Word format)

The Greatest Canadian Teacher Guide at http://www.cbc.ca/greatest/teachers/Guide_and_worksheets.pdf

Student products expected

There are many possible products but this should be chosen at the beginning of the unit to create a class product as a whole.

  1. Bristol Board size book – Each student could produce a page for the book. The pages could then be bound to form a "Gigantic Book of Famous Canadians"
  2. PowerPoint Presentation – Each student could create a presentation for their famous Canadian that can be merged with the products of other students to form a large interactive presentation.
  3. Web Page – Each student could create a web page for their famous Canadian that could be merged with other student pages to form a web site.

Samples (include teacher notes, assessment information, student work if available)

Sample presentation - Lord Stanley (PowerPoint presentation)

Logistics (organization, grouping, management issues, access to technology)

  1. computer availability is a concern
  2. could pair up students
  3. provide alternate activities to alleviate computer availability issues
  4. choosing a variety of famous Canadians or selecting a specific focus. (Most students have a tendency to select current individuals, athletes, actors, etc and tend to neglect political figures or humanitarians)
  5. prior knowledge in using appropriate software can be problematic

Assessment information (e.g., rubrics for products and/or process)

Areas to Assess

  1. finished product (accuracy of information, presentation, referencing, etc)
  2. the research process (this is very important)
  3. the organization of information process
  4. commitment and effort
  5. see sample assessment options in the detailed Structure and Outline document

Possible extensions

Other possible extension ideas

  1. Use Inspiration software for brainstorming/mapping of ideas and materials
  2. Create a newsletter or brochure using Microsoft Publisher
  3. Create a virtual scrapbook or flipbook using Flipbook Software (create a digital e-album)
  4. Create a PowerPoint montage of all individuals set to music as an introduction to a presentation
  5. Hold a "Celebration of Honour" banquet where students could dress as their famous Canadian and present their character as a monologue (could be videotaped)

Adaptations for students requiring additional support

In order to provide opportunities for students requiring support, you may choose to give these students some variation on the following suggestions:

  1. additional time may be given
  2. pre-select a subject for the project and provide the student witha template to follow for their presentation.
  3. pre-select a subject for the project and provide the student withmost of the research information.
  4. Provide opportunities for alternate research methods (books, magazines, videos, etc.)

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