Saturday, April 15, 2017

Canadian History: What We're Doing in Form 1

Since our main curriculum guide is Ambleside Online, which is American, I have had to figure out for myself what I would use for Canadian History. SA(8) is in Year 3, and JJ(6) is in Year 1. In our homeschool, I combine some subjects and do some separately. Canadian History is one we combine right now. With SA, I simply followed AO as written until near the end of grade 2, beginning our studies with British history and starting a separate stream of Canadian history when European explorers began to arrive in the New World. With JJ, I have reluctantly departed from the British history (I do love it, but there is only so much time and energy to work with) in order to begin with Canadian history in his Year 1.

This was my process:

1. I determined the time periods we would study each term by aligning them with Ambleside Online's history study. I then wrote a list of people and topics to study each term.

End of Year 2:
Christopher Columbus
John Cabot

Year 3, Term 1: 1509-1598
Jacques Cartier
First Nations
Marguerite de Roberval
Humphrey Gilbert
Martin Frobisher

Year 3, Term 2: 1598-1685
Sieur de Monts
Port Royal
Samuel Champlain
Etienne Brule
Settlement of Acadia
Charles and Marie de la Tour
Jean de Breboeuf
Jesuit Missions
Founding of Montreal
Jeanne Mance
Marie de la Peltrie
Heroes of Long Sault
Bishop Laval
Intendant Jean Talon
Les Filles du Roi
Fur Trade
Coureurs de Bois
Hudson Bay Company

Year 3, Term 3: 1685-1759
La Salle
Madeleine de Vercheres
La Verendrye
Eunice Williams
Noel LeVasseur
Acadian Explusion
Seven Years' War
Battle on the Plains of Abraham

2. I gathered my resources.

The Story of Canada by Edith Louise Marsh (published 1913)
The Story of Canada by George W. Brown, Eleanor Harman, and Marsh Jeanneret (pub. 1950)
Great Canadian Lives by Karen Ford, Janet MacLean, and Barry Wansbrough (pub. 1985)
Other Living Books: 
Cartier Sails the St. Lawrence by Esther Averill
The Dreamers by Thomas Head Raddall (for the short story "The Dreamers")
Madeleine Takes Command by Ethel C. Brill
Evangeline and the Acadians by Robert Tallant
Drummer Boy for Montcalm by Wilma Pitchford Hays

3. I read the spines and decided what I'd use for each topic.
If this sounds unnecessarily complicated, that may be the truth especially since this is only elementary school! The problem is, none of the spines I've found so far are "perfect." Marsh's Story of Canada is unquestionably a living book, by one author, well-written, full of interesting details to bring history to life in the imagination. But so many things are left out of the story! Does this matter? I really can't answer that. Maybe time and experience will tell, neither of which I have yet. Also, I have really been trying to determine if I prefer Marsh or Brown, Harman and Jeanneret, and part of my process has just been using parts of both and seeing how narrations go, etc. It may be that with future children I will just choose one. I also realize the path I've taken is only usable because I'm reading it aloud to accommodate my Year 1 student. If I only had the Year 3 student, I suspect I would give him Marsh to read on his own, supplemented by a few stories from Great Canadian Lives.

Brown, Harman, and Jeanneret's Story of Canada is much more comprehensive than Marsh. I was very optimistic about it as I began the year, but I have been finding its style a bit uneven (possibly because of the multiple authors?). It has lovely narrative sections, but also some fairly dry sections. Altogether, it is more driven by the important facts and doesn't have all the lively details that Marsh includes. Still, I like comprehensiveness, and when I compare this book and Marsh side by side, I often find myself choosing this one because it tells me more.

Great Canadian Lives is another book that suffers from multiple authors, but I am finding it invaluable. Using only the biographies that are well-written (sadly, there are several that are not), I have been able to include people that the older spines leave out, particularly women and First Nations people.

4. Each term, I made a weekly plan. 
(Marsh=The Story of Canada by E.L. Marsh; BHJ=The Story of Canada by Brown, Harman and Jeanneret, GCL=Great Canadian Lives)

Year 2, Term 3 (beginning when AO begins American history)
Christopher Columbus: Marsh p. 7-13
John Cabot: Marsh p. 13-18, BHJ 5-11 (There was surprisingly little overlap between the two.)

Year 3, Term 1: 1509-1598
Weeks 1-12
We simply read and narrated Cartier Sails the St. Lawrence (click the link for my review and the schedule we used). We did not bother with the spines, partly because this wonderful book took all the time we had allotted to Canadian history (and possibly a bit more), and partly because we hardly needed to add anything else. The additional topics I had planned to cover in Term 1 got pushed to Term 2. (First Nations, Marguerite de Roberval, Henry Hudson, Martin Frobisher)

Year 3, Term 2: 1598-1685
Here's where it gets messy. I'm just recording it here as what I did, not necessarily as what I recommend. Having said that, it was a good term, and I was learning as much as the children were. In general, I substituted specific tribe names or "First Nations" for "Indian" as I read, and we discussed any issues that came up after reading and narration.

Week 13 First Nations
The Mound-Builders: Marsh p. 24
First Nations of the Plains and of Eastern Canada: BHJ p. 23-27
Reference: BHJ p. 34 for a map of First Nations tribes

Week 14 First Nations, continued
Pacific First Nations: BHJ p. 28-29
First Nation Inventions: BHJ p. 29-32

Week 15 First Nations, continued
Effects of White Colonization: BHJ p. 33-36
First Nations Beliefs and Legends: Marsh p. 27-30
Note: BHJ talks about the Residential Schools on p. 37. Obviously, since it's such an old book, it doesn't have the knowledge and perspective about them that we have now. This may be an appropriate place to add some discussion of this issue. If anyone knows of a living book suitable for children on this subject, please let me know!

Week 16 First Nations, continued
Dekanawida and Hiawatha: GCL p. 10-11
Inuit: BHJ 38-42

Week 17 Explorers and Sea Dogs
Marguerite de Roberval: GCL p. 22-23
The Sea Dogs: GCL p. 24
Martin Frobisher: GCL p. 26-27
Henry Hudson: GCL p. 30-31
Note: We chose "Frobisher Bay" by James Gordon as one of our folk songs this term in honour of Martin Frobisher.

Week 18 Sieur de Monts, Port Royal, Samuel Champlain
BHJ 44-46 (...pound)
Marsh 32 (During the summer...)-33
Champlain: BHJ 48-52
Note: I also read "The Dreamers," a short story from Thomas Head Raddall's collection The Dreamers as a free read to supplement this week's lessons. Raddall (1903-1994) was a writer of Atlantic Canadian historical fiction worth keeping an eye out for. Though the short story I used was perfect for my elementary-aged boys, most of Raddall's work is probably more suitable for high school.

Week 19 Champlain, continued
Champlain: BHJ 48-52
Etienne Brule: GCL 46-47, BHJ 53 (In 1615...)-55

Week 20 Acadia, Poutrincourt, LaTour
BHJ 69-74, GCL 64-65, GCL 60-61

Week 21 Brebeuf and Jesuit Missions
Father Le Caron and the Recollets: BHJ 56-57
Brebeuf: Marsh 39-44
Annaotaha: GCL 55

Week 22 Ville Marie
Maisonneuve: BHJ 61-63
Jeanne Mance: GCL 54
Marie de la Peltrie GCL 58
Heroes of Long Sault: Marsh 45-47

Week 23 Laval, Talon, Coureurs de Bois
Bishop Laval: Marsh 47-48
Coureurs de Bois: BHJ 82-84
Jean Talon, Filles du Roi: GCL 70-71

Week 24 Quebec, Radisson & Grosilliers
A Visit to Quebec: BHJ 87-92 (Free Read)
Radisson & Grosilliers: BHJ 93-100

Note: We also read Evangeline and the Acadians as our bedtime free read during Term 2, although the Acadian explusion fell outside the time period we were studying. This was to prepare ourselves for a planned field trip to a local Acadian museum in early April. It was a wonderful living book, and I was surprised at how deeply all of my boys (aged 4-8) were interested in it. Normally, our bedtime free reads have been fiction, but non-fiction is clearly just as popular here! As a result, we will probably spend a little less time on the Acadian explusion in Term 3 than we might otherwise have done. Please also note that this is by a Louisiana author and the last half of the book focuses more on the settlement in Louisiana than the Acadians who returned to Atlantic Canada. This is not a huge issue (the two are very connected), but if you use this book, you will probably want to learn more about the Acadians in Canada today.

Year 3, Term 3 (1685-1759)
We are just beginning this term, so this is not tested. Along with this plan, I am also planning to read Madeleine Takes Command by Ethel C. Brill (substituting for The Landing of the Pilgrims in the Ambleside Online Year 3 curriculum).  For this reason, this schedule omits Madeleine de Vercheres. I will not be scheduling Madeleine Takes Command strictly, as it is a long book (longer than the one I'm substituting it for). I will use it as a school book for the term, scheduling weekly readings and narration, and then finish it off as a free read when the term is over.

Week 25-26 Iberville
BHJ 101-107

Week 27-28 Frontenac
GCL 80-81
Marsh 55-62

Week 29-30 La Salle
BHJ 113-121

Week 31 La Verendrye
BHJ 124-127

Week 32 
Thanadelthur: GCL 90
Eunice Williams: GCL 94
Noel LeVasseur: GCL 95

Week 33 The Acadian Explusion, Boishebert
The Acadian Explusion: Marsh 67-69
Boishebert: GCL 98-99

Week 34-36 Seven Years War, Wolfe and Montcalm
GCL 101
Marsh 70-78
Note: I also have a living book about the Battle on the Plains of Abraham called Drummer Boy .for Montcalm by Wilma Pitchford Hays. I will probably read it as a free read to supplement these lessons. It is historical fiction, but based on the life of the author's own great-great-great-grandfather.

I have written out my plans here in great detail partly as a record for myself that I can refer to when my younger children reach this stage. I hope some of it is helpful for you, too! What are you doing for Canadian history in Form 1 (Grades 1-3)? Please share in the comments.