Canada's Top Teacher & Students Travels Back in Time to Earn National Recognition

In Janet Thompson's Social Studies 10 course students are scouring atlases to track the climate and geography of the areas north of Lake Erie and Ontario so they can gain a clear understanding of what pioneer life was like centuries ago. She's also 'bringing history to life' by encouraging her students to create their own historical walking tour that explores Vancouver landmarks as part of the Cedar Cottage Historical Walking Tour. 

Thompson's students at Gladstone Secondary School are actively 'becoming historians' by putting the pieces together to discover how Canada today is similar and different from Canada 200 years ago. By transforming her classroom into a real-life historical time machine, Thompson encourages her students to also play the role of representatives from a British North American colony at a hypothetical 1864 Ottawa Conference. Students then decide whether or not to join a proposed Canadian Confederation under the conditions outlined in a draft British North America Act which they help to negotiate.   

These are just some of the various interactive and engaging lesson plans that Janet Thompson is being recognized nationally for by Canada's History as a recipient of the 2012 Governor General's History Awards for Excellence in Teaching.

Now in its 16th year, the Awards honour the exemplary contributions of Canada's history teachers, ranging from elementary grades through to secondary schools.  Deborah Morrison, President & CEO, Canada's History Society emphasized, "We all win if the next generation of Canadians has a better understanding and a greater interest in our past because they had a great history teacher. The teachers recognized through the Governor General's History Awards have exceptional abilities to make the past more relevant and interesting for their students."  Morrison added, "This programme celebrates those achievements, but also creates opportunities to share their knowledge so more teachers and young Canadians will benefit from their expertise."

On Monday, December 10, 2012 at 10 a.m., His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will honour these teachers along with other outstanding Canadians for their achievements and contributions to furthering interest in and understanding of our history and heritage.  

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