The lesson plans represent one of the main cornerstones of the Telling Stories: Narratives of Nationhood website. To improve ease of access and use, the 400+ lesson plans are grouped into "Integrated Learning Units" with three to five individual lesson plans in each unit. All units follow a standard format: first, there are the common elements (outcomes, grade level, etc.) to unite all the plans in the unit; and then there are the actual lesson plans. The layout of the individual lesson plans should be familiar to all teachers and every effort was made to keep the plans simple yet rich with ideas.
The Integrated Learning Units were produced by an enthusiastic writing team that consisted of 16 teachers and educators from PEI and Nova Scotia - young teachers and those with years of classroom experience; visual arts, social studies, language arts, and elementary classroom teachers; teachers from Acadian, Mi'kmaq, rural, and urban communities. Their challenge was to write lesson plans that would help "unveil" the works in the Harris Collection for students in classrooms across Canada.
These Integrated Learning Units, written with remarkable commitment, link the wonderful paintings, sketches, journals, sketchbooks, letters, and architectural plans in the Harris Collection to curriculum outcomes for Atlantic Canada and to the eight unique Telling Stories themes. The outcomes resonate with those articulated in curriculum guides Canada-wide - in subject areas as varied as social studies, language arts, mathematics, visual arts, and music. They cover a range of grade levels and approaches and identify suggestions for learning activities, materials, assessment, computer options, and ideas for extension and wrap up. All this is shaped within a framework of integrated learning for classrooms from Primary / Kindergarten to Grade 12, with farther reaching possibilities for application in ESL and distance education.
The Integrated Learning Units, then, celebrate the Harris collection, our Canadian mosaic, and the richness of work and play that students and teachers undertake together.
It is hoped that the Integrated Learning units will grow and improve with use. So, should you have any comments or recommendations, please pass them along (Confederation Centre Art Gallery) and they can be used to help others who follow.