Jacqueline’s historical presentations will be of particular interest to Canadian Studies students in Grades Four through Seven as she brings the fur trade, buffalo hunts and life on the prairies in 1885 alive for her audience. The fun and highly interactive presentation has students dressing up as voyageurs and paddling to the nearest Hudson Bay Fur Trading Post with a canoe full of beaver pelts. The topics covered work in a tandem teaching approach with the Social Studies curriculum, reinforcing classroom instruction and is highly effective for both reluctant readers and visual learners.
The Presentation is a mix of literacy, history and culture illustrating Canada ’s wonderful past and the fascinating era of the Fur Trade. It is appropriate for Grades Four through Seven as the vocabulary, content and complexness is adjusted for the level of the audience. As this colourful time in our past is covered in depth in several grades, including four and seven, it acts as a complimentary teaching aid, reinforcing the classroom curriculum. The presentation is a full hour covering many pertinent topics such as: the major fur trading companies,traditional buffalo hunts, Red River Carts, First Nation’s tools including buffalo horn sewing needles, bone fishing hooks and many other actual artifacts to ensure the audience is both intrigued and engaged.
An interactive segment sees a willing (?) audience member volunteering to be transformed into a hearty Voyageur, (let’s see your muscles, Mighty Pierre!). While dressed in costume, we endeavor to paddle down the river to the Hudson ’s Bay trading post with our beaver pelts but unfortunately, experience a myriad of problems which can only be remedied by the use of our trusty Métis sashes. Both fun and educational, it exemplifies the resourcefulness of our forefathers as they toiled to make their living in harsh conditions.
Literacy is a key element throughout the presentation with the constant reinforcement in Jacqueline’s belief that success in the future is ensured through better literacy today.
Jacqueline opens with an introduction of herself as a Métis author. She explains how she became a writer and briefly review her novels, leaving the audience with ‘teasers’ to get them to pick up the books and read for themselves. She illustrates how being an author is exciting and rewarding and that the best way to prepare for their own literary careers is by reading today. Describing the story behind the novel Belle of Batoche, Jacqueline likens the book to a time machine capable of whisking us all back to early Canada: 1885, Louis Riel, the North West Rebellion, cannons, Gatling guns and the Métis people…
The presentation carries a high Métis cultural component as well as tie-ins to First Nations and early prairie life. Wearing a traditional sash, Jacqueline explains who and what the Métis people are and their connections with Canada ‘s history, including the Voyageurs and the Hudson ‘s Bay and North West Companies. She explains what the colours and designs in the sash mean in both European and First Nations’ mythology. The association of cultures is also explained. The importance of the buffalo, (and the buffalo’s BRAIN!), is incorporated in the talk as Jacqueline show various artifacts such as buffalo teeth, bone fishing hooks and horn sewing needles. Toys from different cultures, including Métis, First Nations, Inuit and European demonstrate how we are all different, but essentially the same. Actual pelts help explain the importance of the beaver as the foundation of the fur trade in Canada . A volunteer from the audience keeps interest levels high as he and Jacqueline dress in costume and paddle to the trading post in their voyageur canoe, experiencing mishap after disaster that requires our intrepid explorers to fall back on their Métis sashes to save the day. A high humour factor makes for lots of laughter and learning. The pace is fast with many additional aspects including examples of fiddling music, birch bark biting and caribou tufting, ensuring continued interest. The presentation is an extremely effective teaching tool especially with visual learners and reluctant readers.
An emphasis on the importance of reading is impressed on students. Choosing an age appropriate novel, Jacqueline reads a particularly exciting passage, and then leaves student’s hanging! Access to her books through the school or public libraries makes lack of funding an easily dismissed excuse for not continuing to read the book themselves. Such diverse subjects as sibling rivalry, grizzly bear poaching, the Great Depression and even comic book superheroes means there is something for every reader.
Students are encouraged to hold fast to their dreams and assured they can come true. Writing was Jacqueline’s dream and, with hard work, it became her reality! Connections including teachers as mentors and librarians as dynamite search engines, allows students to understand that we all want them to succeed and are here to help.
The entire presentation takes a FULL 60 minutes. The pace is fast and the interest level high. Students absorb both Canadian history and, hopefully, an appreciation for the diversity of our combined cultures.
For more information, or to arrange a History and Culture Presentation from Jacqueline, please e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grades 3-9, 60-Minutes
Jam-packed hour ﬁlled with Literacy, History and Metis Culture with a direct tie-in to Grade 4, 5 and 7 Social Studies. Highly visual and student interactive with over ﬁfty actual artefacts to engage, entertain and educate. History steps off the page and onto the stage!
Curriculum Connections: Social Studies and Language Arts.
Requirements For Presentation
All that is needed are four long rectangular tables, with room in front for an interactive play with students. Students can be in chairs or seated on the floor. This is a full sixty-minute session. Allowing time to switch out classes is needed as well as re-setting the tables after each session.
Set-up time is forty-five minutes which means Jacqueline will arrive one hour early. If the tables were already in place, that would help with set-up. Please allow thirty minutes for tear-down.
History Questions Quick Quiz for Students to Answer After Presentation