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Biographies for Elementary Webquest

Plourde Family (Family 4)

It is September 1948. You are the Plourde family. You live in a one-and-a -half-storey wooden house on a small farm near the village of Notre-Dame-du-Lac in the valley of Temiscouata, Quebec, near the New Brunswick border. Notre-Dame-du-Lac has a population of 1200 and you travel by horse and buggy to the train station there to pick up your catalogue order. You have about $25 to spend on a catalogue order, one of two you will make this year.

Alice (Mother)


My name is Alice Plourde. I am 37 years old and manage the house and children.

It is my task to prepare all the jams and jellies to eat during the winter. I take the children with me to help me pick berries.

I would love to have a pretty new dress but we have little money to spend and practical shoes are more important. We also need a new preserving kettle, because my old one has a hole in it.

We don't have a telephone or electricity, and I must mail my order to Monsieur Eaton and wait two weeks before the parcel arrives.

Go to these catalogue pages and choose a few things to order:

  • Dress (Pages 49 or 63)
  • Shoes (Pages 212 and 217)
  • Preserving kettle (Page 552)

Joseph (Father)


My name is Joseph Plourde. I am 38 years old and work hard on my farm to support my wife and children.

I grow wheat and oats, and raise cows, pigs, and chickens. In addition to our farm, I will spend some of my winter away from my family working as a lumberjack and at a lumber mill. When I'm away, my brothers help take care of the animals.

I would like a warm winter coat, wool socks, and work boots.

Go to these catalogue pages and choose a few things to order:

  • Winter coat (Page 257)
  • Wool socks (Page 107)
  • Work boots (Page 240)

Gemma (Child 1)


My name is Gemma and I am 11 years old and hearing impaired.

I did go to school for a short while with my sister Madeleine, but the teacher did not have enough time to spend with me so I left school and stayed at home to help my mother. This is where the priest and doctor said I would be most useful.

I would like to have a pair of figure skates and a new dress and I need a winter jacket.

Here are my favourite catalogue pages:

  • Figure skates (Pages 490 and 491)
  • Dress (Page 175)
  • Winter jacket (Page 69)

Madeleine (Child 2)


My name is Madeleine and I am 10 years old.

I walk a mile to attend Grade 5 at the local school.

I help out at home with chores and help my mother pick berries for our winter preserves. I am also learning how to iron clothes and keep house.

I wish for a doll and high chair and a toy purse of my own.

Here are my favourite catalogue pages:

  • Doll (Pages 508 and 509)
  • Toy high chair (Page 518)
  • Toy purse (Page 505)

Maurice (Child 3)


My name is Maurice and I am 7 years old and walk to school with my sister Madeleine.

I go with my dad around the farm when he takes care of the animals and other farm work and help out a little, but I am still learning.

I would like to have a bicycle and a toy tractor to play with and mother says I need new mittens.

Here are my favourite catalogue pages:

  • Bicycle (Page 518)
  • Toy tractor (Page 512)
  • Mittens (Page 112)


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