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The Secret Path Senior Years Lesson Plans

Secondary

Description

As part of their ongoing commitment to engage teachers in reconciliation work the Manitoba Teachers' Society recently assembled a group of indigenous and non-Indigenous teachers from across the province to discuss and explore the Secret Path. This was an opportunity for teachers to create lesson and unit plans to support the teaching about Residential schools in Manitoba classrooms. The resource is built on the ideal of promoting understanding for Residential Schools. The lesson plan is based on the story of Chanie Wenjack, a 12 year-old boy who died after running from Residential School in the 1960s. The activities raise awareness of the history and creation of the residential school system, its ongoing legacy, and how it has shaped the country we live in today.

In this lesson plan, some of the activities include:

  • students will have an initial discussion about safety and well-being when looking at sensitive topics
  • establish group norms for discussions and be introduced to Residential schools using a KWLS activity. 
  • read The Secret Path and discuss as a whole class using a Sharing Circle
  • complete the Think and Ink activity based on the video and lyrics
  • Complete an inquiry/research assignment on a topic related to Reconciliation and develop a plan for inquiry and action
  • create a summative presentation of their learning process and final project to share with the class

The lesson plan does suggest enlisting the support of mentors or guides, including Elders, Traditional Knowledge Keepers, Survivors and Intergenerational survivors where appropriate and possible. Suggestions for possible action ideas and learning resources are included in the resource.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

In this resource, students will learn to establish norms, do graffiti art and develop a plan for inquiry and action.

Strengths

  • This lesson is accompanied with black line masters of everything students will need during the lesson.
  • The teacher guide is extensive and provides adequate information to use the lesson plan.
  • The lesson has students doing a multitude of different activities in different formats which lends itself well to different learning styles
  • This resource is available in both official languages
  • This resource is accompanied with learning resources to help teachers with the lesson.
  • A taking action activity is included in this lesson plan
  • Assessment opportunities are included in this resource

Weaknesses

  • This resource does not include adaptations for students with learning difficulties

Recommendation of how and where to use it

When talking about reconciliation, exploring stories and other texts helps us understand ourselves and make connections to others and to the world. This could be addressed as part of those units of study that discuss citizenship education and more particularly the concept of global citizenship. It is also a useful recourse for those units of study dealing with human rights. 

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

  • Step 1Select a province
  • Alberta
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 10-1(Perspectives on Globalization) Legacy of Historical Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Canadian Response to Globalisation?
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Globalisation and Identity?
        • Social Studies 10-4 (Living in a Globalizing World) Globalisation and Identity?
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Aboriginal Studies 20: Legislation, Policies and Cultural Change
        • Aboriginal Studies 20: Schooling and Cultural Change
        • Aboriginal Studies 20: The Metis: Conflict and Cultural Change
        • Aboriginal Studies 20: Treaties and Cultural Change
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 20-1:Perspectives on Nationalism :Nationalism in Canadian Context
        • Social Studies 20-1:Perspectives on Nationalism: Identity, Nation and Nationalism.
        • Social Studies 20-4:Nationalism in Canada & the World -National identity?
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Aboriginal Studies 30: Aboriginal World Issues
  • British Columbia
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    • Grade 9
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • 1750 to 1919: Disparities in power alter the balance of relationships between individuals and between societies.
    • Grade 10
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 10 -Canada and the World: 1914 to the Present : The development of political institutions is influenced by economic, social, ideological, and geographic factors.
        • Social Studies 10 -Canada and the World: 1914 to the Present: Historical and contemporary injustices challenge the narrative and identity of Canada as an inclusive, multicultural society
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Explorations in Social Studies 11: Indigenous peoples are reclaiming mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being despite the continuing effects of colonialism
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Contemporary Indigenous Studies: Indigenous peoples are reclaiming mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being despite the continuing effects of colonialism
        • Contemporary Indigenous Studies: Indigenous peoples continue to advocate and assert rights to self-determination
        • Contemporary Indigenous Studies: Reconciliation requires all colonial societies to work together to foster healing and address injustices
        • Contemporary Indigenous Studies: The identities, worldviews, and languages of indigenous peoples are renewed, sustained, and transformed through their connection to the land.
  • Manitoba
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    • Grade 9
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      • Aboriginal Languages and Cultures
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Specific Aboriginal Culture
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canada in the Contempoary World: Democracy and Governance in Canada
        • Canada in the Contemporary World: Opportunities and Challenges
        • Canada in the Contemporary World:Diversity and Pluralism in Canada
    • Grade 10
    • Grade 11
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      • Aboriginal Languages and Cultures
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Cultural Diversity
      • History
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • History of Canada: Becoming a Sovereign Nation
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Languages and Cultures
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Specific Aboriginal Culture
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Current Topics in First Nations, Métis and Inuit Studies: A profound ambivalence: First nations, Métis, and Inuit relations with Government
        • Current Topics in First Nations, Métis and Inuit Studies: Towards a Just Society
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Citizenship and Sustainability:Area of Inquiry: Indigenous Peoples
        • Global Issues
  • New Brunswick
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Indigenous Studies 120: Indigenous Advocacy
        • Indigenous Studies 120: Relationship of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples
        • Indigenous Studies 120: Worldview
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
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    • Grade 10
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      • History
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian History 1201: Canada at the Turn of the 20th Century (1900 – 1914)
  • Northwest Territories
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    • Grade 10
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      • Civic Studies
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        • Challenges for Canada: The 20th Century and Today
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Module 2: Residential Schools
        • Northern Studies
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Globalisation and Identity?
        • Social Studies 10-4 (Living in a Globalizing World) Canadian Response to Globalization
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 20-1:Perspectives on Nationalism :Nationalism in Canadian Context
        • Social Studies 20-1:Perspectives on Nationalism: Identity, Nation and Nationalism.
        • Social Studies 20-2:Understandings of Nationalism: Nationalism in Canadian Context
        • Social Studies 20-4: Nationalism in Canada & the World- Nation, Identity and Nationalism
        • Social Studies 20-4:Nationalism in Canada & the World -National identity?
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Mi'kmaw Studies 11: Education
        • Mi'kmaw Studies 11: Introductory
        • Mi'kmaw Studies 11:Culture
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Languages and Cultures
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Relationship to People
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 10-1 (Perspectives on Globalization) Globalization & Identity
        • Social Studies 10-1(Perspectives on Globalization) Legacy of Historical Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Canadian Response to Globalisation?
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Globalisation and Identity?
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 20-2:Understandings of Nationalism: Nationalism & Identity
        • Social Studies 20-2:Understandings of Nationalism: Nationalism, ultranationalism and national
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • First Nations, Métis, and Inuit in Canada (Open): 1876 - 1969: Assimilation, Encroachment, and Life in the Industrial Age
        • First Nations, Métis, and Inuit in Canada (Open): 1969 to the Present, Resilience, Determination, and Reconciliation
      • History
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian History Since World War 1 (Academic): Canada, 1914-1929
        • Canadian History Since World War I (Academic): Canada, 1929 -1945
        • Canadian History Since World War I (Academic): Canada, 1945-1982
        • Canadian History Since World War I (Academic): Canada, 1982 to the Present
        • Canadian History Since World War I (Applied): Canada, 1914-1929
        • Canadian History Since World War I (Applied): Canada, 1929 and 1945
        • Canadian History Since World War I (Applied):Canada, 1945-1982
        • Canadian History Since World War I (Applied):Canada, 1982 to the Present
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Contemporary First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Issues and Perspectives (univ./college pre
        • Contemporary First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Issues and Perspectives (univ./college prep) : National and Regional Perspecives
        • Contemporary First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Issues and Perspectives (univ./college prep.) The Global Context
        • English: Understanding Contemporary First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Voices (Univ. Prep.) Media Studies
        • World Views and Aspirations of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Communities in Canada (College prep.): Understanding and Respecting World Views and Cultural Diversity
        • World Views and Aspirations of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Communities in Canada (College prep.):Colonization and Decolonization
        • World Views and Aspirations of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Communities in Canada (College prep.):Reclamation and Reconciliation
        • World Views and Aspirations of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Communities in Canada (Workplace prep.) Understanding and Respecting World Views and Cultural Diversity
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Contemporary Indigenous Issues and Perspectives in a Global Context, (Univ./College prep.): Legal, Political, and Social Action
        • First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Governance in Canada (Univ./College Prep): Support for and Challenges to Indigenous Rights
        • First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Governance in Canada (Univ./College Prep): The Historical Context
      • History
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian History: Identity & Culture (Univ. Prep.) Canada, 1774–1867
        • Canadian History: Identity & Culture (Univ. Prep.) Canada, 1867–1945
        • Canadian History:Identity & Culture (Univ. Prep.) Canada since 1945
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • History
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian History 621A: Goverance
        • Canadian History 621A: Justice
        • Canadian History 621A: Sovereignty
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Native Studies 10: Identity and Worldviews, Aboriginal Perspectives
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Native Studies 20: Development
        • Native Studies 20: Self Determination and Self Government
        • Native Studies 20: Social Justice
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Native Studies 30: Aboriginal and Treaty Rights
        • Native Studies 30: Social Development
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • 1750 to 1919: Disparities in power alter the balance of relationships between individuals and between societies.
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Explorations in Social Studies 11: Indigenous peoples are reclaiming mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being despite the continuing effects of colonialism
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Contemporary Indigenous Studies: Indigenous peoples are reclaiming mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being despite the continuing effects of colonialism
        • Contemporary Indigenous Studies: Indigenous peoples continue to advocate and assert rights to self-determination
        • Contemporary Indigenous Studies: Reconciliation requires all colonial societies to work together to foster healing and address injustices
        • Contemporary Indigenous Studies: The identities, worldviews, and languages of indigenous peoples are renewed, sustained, and transformed through their connection to the land.

Themes Addressed

  • Human Rights (2)

    • Cultural Diversity
    • Social Justice
  • Indigenous Knowledge (1)

    • Rituals, Spirituality and Worldviews

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

Students lead their own research and questioning. Peer to peer discussions and active communications are used to form individual opinions and conclusions about the issue. 

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Satisfactory

Cultural and social barriers are identified, and students have a chance to reflect on the outcome of these barriers and how it can create different problems. 

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good

The resource facilitates respectful consideration of First Nations people and their roles, both contemporary and historical. Ensuring this complexity and part of the students' experience with the resource with this resource will depend on the teacher's planning and preparation. 

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Very Good

Students will complete an inquiry/research assignment on a topic related to Reconciliation (using the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation resources) and a Take Action Piece. 

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Very Good

Most of this resource is centered around discussion where students can clarify their own beliefs and values. 

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Very Good

This resource has a First Nations focus but the framework could also be used for studies of other cultural groups. 

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Poor/Not considered

This is not a focus of this resource.

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Good

This resource is specifically developed for Manitoba School District teachers, but it could also be adapted to other areas. 

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Good

The resource is built on the ideal of promoting understanding for Residential Schools. The resource is based on the story of Chanie Wenjack, a 12 year-old boy who died after running from Residential School in the 1960s and the process of Reconciliation through education. The activities raise awareness of the history and creation of the residential school system, its ongoing legacy, and how it has shaped the country we live in today.

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good

There is guided questioning provided in the lesson plan to help engage students in discussions about the issue that will then lead students towards independent thinking. 

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Good

The purpose of this resource is to raise awareness and understandings about First Nations Peoples and Residential Schools through Social Studies, inquiry, literature, art and ELA activities.

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Good

Students will complete an inquiry/research assignment on a topic related to Reconciliation (using the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation resources). 

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good

This resource has many different activities which will lend itself well to different kind of learners. However, no strategies are included for learners with difficulties. 

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Good

This resource recommends a meeting with First Nations Elders and citizens to share stories with students. 

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory

There are class discussions

Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Good

This resource provides ideas on how to assess students, however rubrics are not included. 

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Satisfactory

Students are asked to create a summative presentation using PREZI or PowerPoint of their learning process and final project outcomes to share with the class.

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Good

This lesson is based on Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire's book which chronicles the story of Chanie Wenjack, a 12 year old boy who died after running away from a Residential school in the 1960s. 

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Satisfactory

Students will choose an action project of their choice.

Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.