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Teacher Newsmagazine   Volume 16, Number 4, March 2004  

British Columbia teachers honoured at Rideau Hall

Susan Anderson, a teacher at Beach Grove Elementary School, Delta, and her former colleague, Susan Earles, a newly retired teacher, collaborated for several years to produce an integrated history resource that led to their winning one of the six Governor General’s Awards for excellence in Teaching Canadian History. In November, the two teachers, along with the five other winners from across Canada, received their gold medals in a formal ceremony at Rideau Hall and were hosted by the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul at a private luncheon. During the weekend in Ottawa, the recipients enjoyed a tour of the National Archives of Canada collection and a dinner and reception at the Canadian Aviation museum. Among the prizes was a $1,000 donation to each recipient’s school.

Anderson and Earles developed two major units of study in local history for the intermediate level: Tsawwassen and the Settlement of Ladner and Early Pioneers of Delta. The units include prehistory lessons on the geography of the area, a simulated archaeological dig conducted by the students, and excursions to local museums. When engaging in the local pioneer study, students design quilts and examine primary documents from England to understand the role of the founding Ladner family. The studies are integrated with other curriculum areas and incorporate a variety of hands-on activities and field trips.

The Governor General’s Award recognizes teachers’ invaluable contributions to the teaching of Canadian history. Excellence in the social studies classroom ignites young Canadians’ interest in their history and inspires them to explore Canada’s story and appreciate past circumstances.

Lesson plans from past and current participants are available through the history society web site: www.historysociety.ca/edu.asp.

Note: The above URL changed since the 2004 publication date. It is www.canadashistory.ca/Awards.aspx.

– Paule Desgroseilliers 

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