T’was the night before confederation and all through the country, every creature was stirring, even the housewives.
Wait, washing the floors? What? No I meant they were actually pretty agitated.
That’s more like it.
Oh, and then there are the politicians of course.
Amongst, I mean, the beavers, and the bears, and the moose, and all the other truly Canadian animals who were probably going about their usual 19th century business of finding a comfortable place to sleep at night, without being disturbed by any rebellions of course.
Leading up to Confederation, there was a lot of action, and I had a lot of action in my learning as well, like the former action, not the latter, animal nap, “don’t bug me”, type of action.
To start off, I began my pursuit of social studies learning at the start of the year. The earliest specific piece of evidence for an achievement of a Prescribed Learning Outcome was my slam poetry performance in class, however, I am sure that I have been learning and developing social studies skills the entire year and really my entire life. This presentation represents the outcome A3 in the first section of the suggested achievements of the curriculum. This covers my ability to demonstrate effective oral communication skills individually. Below is a picture of me presenting my piece to the class.
Additionally, to further advance my learning in that outcome, I completed my grade 9 eminent address(speech draft here) and, most recently, my final address as Laura Secord in our Confederation roleplay(speech text can be found here). Pictures of both of these can be found below.
In terms of communicating from a group standpoint, “collaboratively”, I covered this in the Confederation conference roleplay. It was in this discussion, I had the opportunity to change identity in the hope of having more power and influence than what I did as a woman, in Laura Secord.
No, I’m just kidding! I chose to change characters to represent a second politician and personality from the Atlantic Provinces in our mock Confederation conferences as they were in dire need of additional members and I am very interested in the Maritimes, especially as I have been there before and thoroughly enjoyed it. Nonetheless, it was in this setting that I had the opportunity to collaborate with my fellow east-coasters to prepare and present our position and position paper to the other provinces. A picture can be found above, at the beginning of this post showing my participation in the Confederation conference as I present our opening statement on behalf of Atlantic Canada.
I also demonstrated effective written communication skills(part of A3) through my in character blog posts. Here is the first and second blog posts I composed in character as Laura Secord. Through the process of writing these, I found myself develop an attachment to my character and empathize with her through my writing. I feel that this contributed to my ability to present her feelings and my skills of effective written communication.
As a second learning outcome that I feel I was strong in completing, I chose A1 for reflection, Going back to my roleplay as Laura Secord and our in-class discussions and debates, this is where I feel I accomplished this outcome. The curriculum describes this outcome as applying critical thinking skills through many different forms including defending a position which is the form that I feel I particularly completed during our first class debate. Unfortunately video footage of my rousing improv speech was lost to the unkindly politicians of the Upper Canadian reformers, however a picture can be found above a the top of this post that took its place(otherwise known in the modern age as “the ipad storage ran out”). In this roleplay debate I defended my position as Laura Secord of remaining a colony to Britain and expressed my thoughts on how the Americans would be waiting with arms should we detach to become an independent nation. Might I add, that I also completed the sub sections of this PLO “questioning” and “comparing” in this debate, as I made my point of throwing stones at the rising Upper Canadian Government and also comparing the risks of independence to other options.
Furthermore, I worked at a more in-depth position of this “critical thinking” skill when throughout this semester I have pursued the topics further in various ways. I took notes on some class discussions and mind maps, had discussions, or should I say, at times debates, with my dad about current events, and posted some thoughts about empires and other areas of study on Facebook and Twitter. Here is some evidence of my critical thinking and analysis(part of A1). As my Facebook is private, I’ve screenshot my thinking posts for you to see.
humanity questions and thinking for blog post??? #TalonsSS what is the process we live in? Is it changing? What's next? What meaning is past
— Laura Secord (@imagannefy) February 25, 2015
For one to lose, one has to win. Or is everyone losing we just don't realize it #talonsss
— Laura Secord (@imagannefy) February 26, 2015
Sorry for the blurriness, you can double click on the screenshots to view a more clear version.
Finally, a third PLO that I feel I accomplished in a highly sufficient manner this semester, was C2. This outcome asks students to analyse political, economic, social, and geographic factors that led to Confederation. I accomplished the various aspects of this outcome through multiple different tasks throughout our classroom journey to to Confederation.
I compared the positions of the various provinces prior to confederation in my review and preparation for our mock Confederation conference, as well as during the conference itself. Below is a picture of my notes for the class debate as well as the different position papers.
I also thoroughly researched and read about the three main conferences leading to Confederation using the resources provided in class as well as some resources from home and online.
Additionally, I gained significant knowledge on the threat of annexation by the Americans from my position as Laura Secord, and a brief background knowledge on the Fenian raids through my research in consideration of different characters(Thomas D’Arcy McGee).
Areas for Improvement
Okay, they might not want improvement. I think they were happy just sleeping in peace instead of having a new nation, that would run over their homes, formed. Some people were like that too, like Laura Secord, the Loyalists.
Anyways, there are some areas that could use some improvement in my social studies learning, or should I say, could use a little more development of knowledge.
The first area learning outcome that I feel I could further expand in is B3. This outcome is the evaluation of influence on Canada caused by immigration. Though Laura Secod immigrated to Canada herself, and so in a sense I had a first hand experience, I only learned of one form of immigration and its effects, and not in great depth. I would love to learn more about the Canadian immigration and how the immigrants were treated as well as how they affected Canada. Some events I am somewhat uneducated in are the Great Migration, and the Irish potato famine. However, I did obtain some knowledge regarding the underground railroad through my CRAAP testing article about “Black History” in Canada, and my analysis of the timeline in my resource blog post.
Another area of learning that I feel I could improve on is learning outcome B1. Again, although I had some experience with a portion of this topic in my role as Laura Secord, I don’t feel that I have fully reached a level of strong understanding for the multiple aspects. Outcome B1 is the analysis of Canadian society in terms of gender roles, ethnicity, daily life, and the arts. As you may conclude, I gained some background in the gender roles and daily life sections of this PLO, however Laura Secord only gave me one outlook on these happenings and I was not entirely exposed to some of the daily activities for women and men respectively. I also have a large amount of room to grow in my knowledge of the 19th century Canada areas of the arts, and ethnicity. Upon thinking about these topics, I am unsure as to how the arts world was impacted by, or effected, the Confederation of Canada. I am also a little hazy as to what were some of the minority groups within Canada and how they were affected by the changes.
As a final area for improvement, out of many of course as you can always get better at anything, I hope to grow on my ability to fulfill learning outcome C4, “describe the evolution of responsible government in Canada…”. Although I have certainly been exposed to the governmental structure at the federal level during this time period(1815-1914), I am interested in learning more about the provincial and municipal governments and their rights and responsibilities in the governmental hierarchy.One could assume that it is the same as today, but I would be interested in learning about individual influence and more in-depth on how one might get involved in politics during the given time period, as people then were very passionate about their opinions.
Overall, I have very much enjoyed my look at Confederation from different character perspectives and I feel I’ve gained many new viewpoints, opinions, and much new knowledge of the various events involved. I guess that’s it for confederation for now…
But I heard John A. exclaim as he rode into parliament, happy Confederation to all, and to all a Good Future!