Marius Barbeau A glimpse of Canadian Culture (1883-1969)
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Learning Activities

Treasures of Canada Webquest - Lesson Plan

Sculpture, © CMC/MCC, VII-B-1830

Pedagogical Intent

Students learn about various themes in Canadian history, including aboriginal history and cultures, French-Canadian history, and immigration to Canada between 1800 and 2000. Working both independently and in small groups, they assume the roles of museum curators of their choice, search the Canadian Museum of Civilization's database, select artifacts for an exhibition targeting high school students, and make a presentation.

Grade: Grades 9-12; Quebec Secondary Cycle 2

Subjects: Social Studies, Geography, History and Citizenship Education, Language Arts, Arts Education

Themes: Aboriginal peoples in Canada, First Nations, life in aboriginal societies before and after contact, French Canada, customs and traditions in North America, immigration to Canada 1800-2000, diversity and commonality, multiculturalism, Canadian identity, cultural groups in Canada, methods of historical inquiry

Objectives and Competencies: Use information, use information and communication technology, communicate appropriately; observe, describe, summarize, reason, use critical thinking, use creativity, cooperate with others, listen to others, use oral communication, develop research skills, methods of historical inquiry

Duration: 180-240 minutes

Web Resources

Student Handouts

One copy per student:
Treasures of Canada Webquest
Optional: Direct Students to the Treasures of Canada Webquest in the Youth Section to use directly from the web site.

Required Technical Equipment

  • One computer with Internet access for each student; students can work in groups of three if there are not enough computers.

Teacher Preparation

  1. Ensure students have been introduced to one or more of the themes covered by the artifact collections: aboriginal history and cultures, French-Canadian history, and immigration.
  2. Visit the Crossroads of Culture web site. Select the Objects tab, and view the available categories of objects. Select a category from the side menu, and then at the bottom of the page, select "View all items in the collection". A list of objects is displayed. Select the link for an object to display a detailed version. Visit the other two web sites, Marius Barbeau and Gateway to Aboriginal Heritage, which are similarly organized. The Gateway to Aboriginal Heritage site has the added feature of a clickable map of Canada that links to artifacts from aboriginal groups in each region.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the Treasures of Canada Webquest.


  1. Introduce the Treasures of Canada Webquest to your students.

    Explain that they will be searching for objects from the Canadian Museum of Civilization's collection to complete the Webquest.
  2. Introduce the Canadian Museum of Civilization artifact collection.

    Explain that the Canadian Museum of Civilization has thousands of artifacts related to aboriginal history and cultures, French-Canadian history, and immigration to Canada: everything from clothing to furniture to dishes to tools. Many of these artifacts are not on display in the museum; that's because there is not enough space to display all of the museum's artifacts. Fortunately, many of them are available on a database on the museum's web site, and today, students will have the chance to search for objects of interest to them.
  3. Ask students to log onto the Internet and go to the Treasures of Canada Webquest.

    Have students follow the instructions on the Webquest.
  4. Students present their artifacts.
    When students have completed the Webquest, the groups present their artifacts in the format of their choice. Ask them to discuss their impressions of the database, and how they might use it for homework or other purposes.

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