#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 throughout 2021.

Thank you for bringing #OurStoriesOurVoices into your classroom. Before you get started, take a moment to read the #OurStoriesOurVoices Welcome Letter and Educator’s Guide.

Educator's 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)

Lessons on historical significance and primary source evidence have helped orient the “what” of your project. Now, here’s how to figure out the “how.”


Did you complete an #OurStoriesOurVoices activity?

Canadian Heritage and Canada's National History Society want your feedback! Your views are important to us as they will shape the future of the program.


Get Ready for #OurStoriesOurVoices

#OurStoriesOurVoices Online

Have the chance to win one of twelve $500 cash prizes for your classroom by using the #OurStoriesOurVoices hashtag on Instagram or Twitter! Using your school, classroom, or personal/professional account, share moments from your classroom of how you or your students are engaging with any of the materials in the #OurStoriesOurVoices pre-contest package.

Learn more

#OurStoriesOurVoices National Contest

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 (500-600 words)
  • Photo essay (at least 5 images with captions)
  • Illustration
  • Poem
  • Song
  • Radio broadcast

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: May 7, 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.

Check out the contest rules and how to submit an entry.

Inspiring #OurStoriesOurVoices

On April 22, 2021, Canada’s National History Society is hosting a virtual event to inspire students to turn their curiosity into inquiry and to use their voices to share the histories that matter to them through the #OurStoriesOurVoices program. 

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