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Seeing Stars

WebQuest: Great Young Canadians

WebQuest for Students

Do young Canadians make a difference? You decide! Choose top young Canadians to feature in your own Youth Hall of Fame.


You sit on the development team for a new exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec. The topic of the overall exhibition is "Great Young Canadians". As part of the development team, you are part of a smaller team which is responsible for one section of the exhibition (your specific category). With this smaller team, you must select five young Canadians within your category, and decide how you would like to display their achievements and accomplishments.


First of all, you have to assign roles to each member of your team. It's okay to double-up on some jobs, such as researcher.


  • Curator ("expert"): Head of the team, directs the work, has in-depth knowledge of the topic, oversees the text.
  • Researcher(s): Conducts research into potential candidates, writes the text, finds appropriate photos and artifacts.
  • Designer: Designs the exhibition, formats the final text, makes sure the exhibition looks good and is fully functional.
  • Educator: Makes sure that audience members understand the exhibition, assists the designer and curator in making decisions that affect audiences, evaluates the final exhibition, develops and delivers programs and events to accompany the exhibition.

Initial Exhibition Meeting - As a team, decide on your selection criteria (Living or dead? How old is a "young" Canadian? Should your team take geographical, linguistic and/or ethnic representation into consideration?). Think about the following:

  • What makes a candidate truly outstanding?
  • How did the candidate's accomplishments affect Canada?
  • Will the candidate's accomplishments stand the test of time? Will people still consider the candidate outstanding in 50 years?

Discuss the youth candidates already suggested in the classroom brainstorming activity and narrow the field to five Great Young Canadians (within your team's category).

Initial Research - Your team will conduct Internet and library research on the five chosen Great Young Canadians (everyone helps!). Find some resources here.

Second Exhibition Meeting - Your team will meet to share research results and create a final list of Great Young Canadians (some of the original choices may not have worked out; you may need to rethink your list as a result of your research). Discuss accomplishments and come to an agreement on your final choices.

Second Phase of Research — Researchers conduct detailed research on the chosen candidates, including finding quotations, photographs (or other images), and preparing preliminary texts on each candidate. Preliminary texts should include the following information:

  • Background
  • Education
  • Greatest accomplishments
  • Rationale (why this person deserves to be in the exhibition more than others)

Artifact Selection - The team will meet to decide which artifacts they'd like to include in the exhibition. For example, if Terry Fox is one of your candidates, you might want to include his running shoes. This information is important for the designer to know.

Writing - The curator and the researchers write the exhibition texts. The educator edits the text and makes suggestions for clearer messages.

Design - While research and writing are taking place, the designer and the educator have been talking about what they'd like the exhibition to look like, and how they would like visitors to use the exhibition. Consider the following:

  • Who are the visitors?
  • Do you need spaces for school groups or tour groups?
  • Are there going to be listening booths or other technologies?

Even before the text is ready, the designer and the educator can draw up a preliminary floor plan, and create mock text labels.

When the final text is ready, the designer will create one label per candidate. The educator proposes programs to go along with the exhibition (talks, tours, etc.).

The team, led by the curator, presents its exhibition plan to the rest of the class.

When each group has made its presentation, go to the conclusion for final analysis.


After you have heard your classmates' presentations, consider the following for your own exhibition:

  • How well do the components of your exhibition go together?
  • Will visitors understand the exhibition?
  • Are any Canadians missing? How could you include them?
  • Not everyone can visit your exhibition in person. How else can you get the word out about these accomplished young Canadians?
  • What is a good name for the overall exhibition?
  • What characteristics do these young Canadians share?
  • What factors led them to becoming "great" young Canadians?
PDF download of activities for WebQuest
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