By John Myers

grade 7

Several issues ago I gave an account of how a small class of Teacher Candidates at OISE tackled the issue of incorporating new curriculum expectations by adding an Indigenous lens to existing curriculum. “Starting from scratch” seemed an appropriate title since we had constraints related to time, busy schedules, lack of detailed understanding of the issues and little access to the quality professional learning being advocated by the proponents of the curriculum changes.

I have been around long enough, been in enough classrooms, and talked to enough teachers to know that these conditions are more the norm. So, we tackled the grade seven curriculum anyways since we wanted to do the right thing. Our standard for integration was James Banks’ four approaches to multicultural education for which we provided an easy-to-read version on slideshare: https://www.slideshare.net/keziamae/multicultural-education-45874904.

Our second article in the series noted what ideas for unit, lesson, and assessment design we agreed upon. The third piece presented two overview lessons we saw as necessary for reviews or at least checks on whether students had some foundational understanding of appropriate vocabulary and the history of contact prior to grade 7. Such an overview is likely necessary for any curricular forays into Indigenous or other studies not part of what we have conventionally done. For example, how much meaning would students get out of the conscription crisis of 1917 without referring back to the history of Anglo-French relations in the previous two centuries?

As you explore the lessons below and in future issues of Rapport think about “entry points” and which level of Banks’ framework was achieved. Given what is reported and from feedback I received, something, however imperfect and incomplete, is better than nothing. I had noted from the outset of this series that for writers the hardest step is the first: putting something on a blank page.

Off to the four lessons for the first unit: New France and British North America, 1713-1800.

Lesson 1: British North America in 1713

Lesson 2: Perspectives on the Seven Years War and the Treaty of Paris

Lesson 3: Society in British North America

Lesson 4: Joseph Brant and the American Revolution