Thoughtfully Choosing Texts in an English Classroom

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves Canada on May 10, 2021

Choosing a piece of literature for your course is an important decision. Take a moment to reflect on the very small number of books you will have the opportunity to introduce to your students in any given year. Stories have the potential to help students understand different perspectives, question their surroundings, and build empathy in meaningful and communal ways. With such an important role to play, these are some of the questions we encourage you to consider when deciding how to develop a course and which texts to teach:

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Books, English Language Arts, English Classroom, Literature, English

Closing the 2021 School Year by Empowering Student Voice: Videos for Change

Posted by Cora-Lee Conway & Jasmine Wong on April 1, 2021

Knowing that experiences of loss, isolation and disconnection caused by the pandemic have exacerbated the everyday challenges many face, we ask, what could it mean for students if they had an opportunity to tell their story or speak out on an issue that they care about? And what if students could feel heard?  

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Topics: Film, Human Behavior, Upstanders, Video, Upstander, English Classroom, culminating, Digital Learning

“Trust is not just something that you ‘organize’, it’s earned over time”: Approaches to Gathering Trust-based Testimony and Research Methodologies

Posted by Charlotte Schallié and Ilona Shulman Spaar on March 4, 2021

This is the 2nd blog in a 2 part series. Click here to read Part 1 which discusses the project and art as a critical tool of inquiry.

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Topics: Holocaust, Survivor Testimony, Museum Studies, Holocaust Education, Holocaust and Human Behaviour, Graphic novels

When Storytelling Intersects with Holocaust & Human Rights Education: An International Education Project Initiated in Canada

Posted by Charlotte Schallié and Ilona Shulman Spaar on February 25, 2021

This is the 1st blog in a 2 part series. Part 1 discusses the project and art as a critical tool of inquiry. Part 2 explores the process and approaches to putting together testimony and historian research methodologies for educators interested in teaching students what active historian work looks like.

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Topics: Holocaust, Museum Studies, Holocaust Education, Holocaust and Human Behaviour, Inquiry, Graphic novels

Black History Month Resources: Approaches, Identities, Histories, Legacies & Inclusion

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves Canada office staff on January 28, 2021

This blog post outlines resources to use throughout Black History Month in February and beyond. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but a list of resources that can be part of a professional and classroom journey that excites us to learn more, unites us in our common humanity and empowers students to champion a more equitable, compassionate, and informed tomorrow.

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Topics: Canadian History, black history, Equity in Education, anti-racism, Black History Month

Reflecting on “Black Women Educators’ Roundtable on Teaching and Current Events”

Posted by Natalie Steele on January 21, 2021

This blog post is the 3rd in a multi-part series. Natalie Steele, an educator with Peel District School Board in Ontario, shares additional resources and strategies for your classroom on the topics of Black identities, humanizing stories, amplifying missing voices in the curriculum, and correcting the systemic abuses of history in schooling. This particular piece reflects on FacingToday's blog post “Black Women Educators’ Roundtable on Teaching and Current Events”.

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Topics: reflection, race, Equity in Education, Facing Canada, anti-racism

Historical Fiction to Supplement Hidden Figures

Posted by Natalie Steele on January 11, 2021

This blog post is the 2nd in a multi-part series. Natalie Steele, an educator with Peel District School Board in Ontario, will be sharing additional resources and strategies for your classroom over the next few months on the topics of Black identities, humanizing stories, amplifying missing voices in the curriculum, and correcting the systemic abuses of history in schooling.

Why Historical Fiction?

One challenge when studying the history of marginalized peoples is often the histories of these groups have a limited amount of primary source materials available for research to draw from compared to the prolific amount of Eurocentric sources. In your search to find primary sources that help students to connect to the humanity of those held in bondage in an inhumane system, you may encounter many barriers, like language, accessing the actual resource because it's no longer in print and/or digital versions are not available, and/or the only copy available is far away with limited access. 

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Topics: Books, English Language Arts, Reading, English Classroom, English, Reading List, black history

Reflecting on 2020: A Closing Activity

Posted by Erez Zobary on December 14, 2020

Looking for a closing activity before the holiday break?

We have all felt the overwhelming impact of 2020 in our own ways. As stated in a viral tweet made in April by Damian Barr (@Damian_Barr), “We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm. Some are on super-yachts. Some have just the one oar.” Each of us has uniquely been affected by this unprecedented moment in history.

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Topics: English Language Arts, English Classroom, reflection, English, Holiday lesson, pandemic

High Resolves x Videos for Change: An Engaging, Self-Paced, Real-World Assessment

Posted by Cora-Lee Conway on December 7, 2020

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Topics: Identity, Toronto, Video, Canada, Assessment, Using Technology, Equity in Education

Easing Student Anxiety: A Lesson on the History of Epidemics, Pandemics and Vaccines

Posted by Erez Zobary on November 24, 2020

Why a Lesson on the History of Epidemics, Pandemics and Vaccines?: A Response to Hopes and Fears

As a new teacher, hearing I was going to teach the first few weeks of grade 12 World History (CHY4U) was both exciting and terrifying. I had no intention of bringing in the history of epidemics, pandemics and vaccinations into my classroom until after the first day of school when I asked my students to share their hopes and fears for back-to-school and the course. Starting my course with hopes and fears was particularly important this year as I recognized that before engaging in curricular content, students may need to share their experiences and feelings regarding back-to-school. This important opening routine helps me build genuine relationships with my students grounded in trust, honesty and care at the forefront.   

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Topics: facing history pedagogy, pandemic, world history, COVID-19

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