#OurStoriesOurVoices in the Classroom

Canada’s National History Society is proud to introduce #OurStoriesOurVoices, a new national youth program that gives students aged 9 to 18 the opportunity to explore a story that is important in their community’s past and to share the people, places, events, and things that illuminate our diverse past.

This program is designed for students who may already be familiar with Heritage Fairs/Young Citizens or are being introduced to historical inquiry for the first time. Students are encouraged to further share, connect, and explore their stories online using the hashtags #OurStoriesOurVoices / #NosHistoiresNosVoix.

Thank you for bringing #OurStoriesOurVoices into your classroom.

Download the Welcome Letter and Educator’s Guide.

NOTE: The national contest has now ended.

EXCERPTS From the Guide

Taking a Step Back (Before Choosing a Topic)

Refer to the #OurStoriesOurVoices 3-poster collection to start a discussion with students.

Designing a Commemorative Coin: Historical Significance in Canadian History

In this lesson students learn to identify and evaluate historical significance by designing a commemorative coin that features a person, place, thing, or event in Canadian history.

Seeking Sources: Creating a Primary Source Database

In this lesson students learn to locate primary sources online to create a class database for future historical inquiry projects.

Starting off on the Right Foot (Choosing a Topic and Creative Response that Work Together)

Projects you’ve already created at home, in school, or for heritage fairs are also eligible!

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The #OurStoriesOurVoices national contest will ask students to select a person, place, event, or thing in their community that other Canadians should know about. Students will share their research and analysis in a creative format of their choosing.

Some suggested formats are:

  • Video (60 seconds maximum)
  • Essay / short story (500-600 words)
  • Photo essay (at least 5 images with captions)
  • Illustration
  • Poem
  • Song
  • Radio broadcast (5-8 minutes)

Students will argue for the historical significance of their topic by connecting their local story to greater moments and movements in Canadian history and explaining why this story matters.

Students will also support their work with primary and secondary sources and evidence of strong historical inquiry.

Additional short answer response questions in the application will ask students to identify their choice of topic and summarize why this story is important to their community and significant to Canadian history.

A panel of judges will review the submissions and select 30 recipients from across the country.

Deadline for submissions: December 17, 2021

*Although students are permitted/encouraged to also be registered for their regional Heritage Fair and/or the Young Citizens program, it is not a requirement.

Questions? Check out the contest FAQ.

Each student in your class who enters a submission to the national contest counts as one entry into a random draw for one of ten $75 CASH PRIZES for your classroom!

PRIZE DETAILS: Submissions will be accepted until 11:59 pm CST on Friday, December 17, 2021. Ten (10) winners will be randomly drawn. The winners will be notified by email. The ten winners will each receive $75 for their classroom. Prizes will be mailed. Contest is open to all residents of Canada.link opens in new windowlink opens in new windowlink opens in new windowlink opens in new windowlink opens in new window