Grade Levels: 3/4, 5/6, 7/8
Subject Area: Social Studies/History/ELA
This lesson plan is inspired by the article “Thanadelthur The Peacemaker” in the Great Canadian Women issue of Kayak: Canada’s History Magazine for Kids.
In this lesson, students will be introduced to Thanadelthur, an Indigenous woman known for her bravery, leadership, and forethought. After reading the graphic novel, “Thanadelthur The Peacemaker,” students will choose the activities they would like to use to express their knowledge and understanding of the content within the graphic story and the historical significance of the main character.
After reading the graphic novel, students will work towards finishing the task on a choice board. The teacher will need to set the tone of time frame required based on levels of their students’ learning and understanding. Some of the choices will take longer to complete and this will need to be considered.
Historical Thinking Concept(s)
- Establish historical significance
- Use primary source evidence
- Analyze cause and consequence
- Take historical perspectives
- Develop an understanding for an initial relationship between Europeans and Indigenous peoples, and also relationships between Indigenous peoples (specifically the Denesuline and Cree peoples).
- Create a piece of learning that shows their historical thinking, ways of knowing, and understanding of the concepts being taught.
- Feel successful in any level of understanding as they make their own choices of ways to explore and share understanding.
“Thanadelthur, the ‘Ambassadress of Peace,’ was instrumental in negotiating peace between the Chipewyan and Cree people. She was a fascinating and courageous woman whose actions had a huge impact on the history of HBC — yet without oral history and mentions of her in James Knight’s journals, we wouldn’t even know her name.” Excerpt from the Hudson’s Bay Company History Foundation.
The Lesson Activity
Activating: How will students be prepared for learning?
- Anticipation guide: This will give students a chance to think about what the story may be about, tackle those hard words to allow for deeper understanding. These words can also be used to create a word wall.
- Make a list of vocabulary words from the graphic novel that your students will need definitions/explanations of.
- Print these words on pieces of paper in large font to place on the white board and the front of the classroom.
- Print the list of words on sheets to be distributed to the students.
- The teacher will read out the words and students will then be asked to reflect quietly on what the words mean or where they have heard them before.
- After a couple of minutes they will then be asked to share their understanding with an elbow partner or table mate
- Five minutes of sharing with a table mate, they will then be asked to share their understanding with a whole group if they feel comfortable. From this, a larger group discussion will occur.
Acquiring: What strategies facilitate learning for groups and individuals?
- Exploring the graphic novel
- Students will be given time to either silent read or buddy the piece of literature with a partner. They will look for those anticipation guide words, see how their meaning is reflected and discuss any questions with partners or some inner reflection.
- When students are done with their reading, a class discussion will take place based on the reading. Small group discussions may also take place depending on the questions students have and level of understanding.
Applying: How will students demonstrate their understanding?
- Create a choice board from which students can choose activities to share their knowledge and understanding.
- Display the choice board on large poster paper at the front of the room.
- Create paper copies of the choice board and distribute to the students.
- A few blank spaces should be left open if students come up with further ideas to add and select from.
- Have a class discussion about each option on the choice board, explaining teacher and students applications for each choice.
- Students will fill in their copy of choice board with the list of materials they will require.
- Large poster board for choice board
- Individual copies of choice board
- Copies of “Thanadelthur The Peacemaker” from the Great Canadian Women issue of Kayak: Canada’s History Magazine for Kids
- Anticipation guide words to be displayed
- Anticipation Guide words on paper for small groups or individuals to discuss
- Students who finish early are encouraged to do another choice. This will be based on teacher choice as they know the levels of their students.
- Students may choose a Canadian woman of their choice and using historical information that they research, create their own graphic novel.
Teachers will make this on their own or with the help of their students.