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Description, Impact and Revealing. “The great themes of Canadian history are as follows: Keeping the Americans out, keeping the French in, and trying to get the Natives to somehow disappear.” - Will Ferguson. Description. Describe the person/place/ event in appropriate detail

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Description, Impact and Revealing

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Description, Impact and Revealing


“The great themes of Canadian history are as follows: Keeping the Americans out, keeping the French in, and trying to get the Natives to somehow disappear.”- Will Ferguson


Description

  • Describe the person/place/ event in appropriate detail

  • Answering “Who What Where When” questions


Impact

  • How might we be different today, if this persons/place event never happened?

  • How has our understanding of (science, sports or medicine etc) changed by knowing this?


Revealing

  • Why should we care about this topic?

  • How is this person/place/event like others?

  • How did researching this topic make you feel or think about how Canadians should be acting or doing relative to other topics?


How do you get there?Ask Many Questions

  • Focus on the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ questions


First question

  • Why was the railroad built?

    TOO BROAD!!!

    • Look at some of your own answers to this question through your preliminary research

      • It was important to connect East and West, British Columbia needed it to be a part of Canada, military purposes, the United States already had one and was prospering, economically it would bring money… etc.


Narrow down, ask more ‘whys’

  • Why did British Columbia need the railroad built?

    Again… TOO BROAD!!

    • What do we know about British Columbia and the railroad?

      • British Columbia was cut off from the rest of Canada

      • Relations were better with the US than the rest of Canada – some saw this as a threat…


Asking the ‘How’ questions.

  • How did the railroad get built?

    Again… too broad.

  • Many different ways to go with this…

    • How did the engineers come to their decision to lay the track where they did?

    • What role did corruption play in building the railroad?

    • What is the story behind the immigrants that built the railroads?

      But these are still broad questions


Take one aspect…

  • Example.

    What is the story behind the immigrants that built the railroads?

    • Ask more questions:

      • Who were they?

      • How did they live their lives?

      • How were they treated?

      • How did they their impact Canadian society?


Consider all elements

  • Try and add all elements

    • Description (what you are talking about)

    • Impact (how is this relevant today)

    • Revealing (why should we care)

      So looking at the railroad…


The immigrants who built the railroads?

  • Description: immigrants were treated badly, poor living conditions, pay, and laws worked against them.

  • Impact: treatment of these immigrants lead to the laws that exist today with regard to the treatment of immigrants

  • Revealing: Why should we care? Racism is very destructive.


Tips

  • - Try starting with either “How has” or “Why has”

  • - Try to include your hypothetical impact of you topic

  • - Look for a powerful theme within your topic eg. racism, heroism, struggle against adversity, multiculturalism, discovery, French-English tensions, First Nations tensions, freedom


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