I was looking for an easy no prep way to teach Canadian history to my 6th grade homeschooler.
Let me share with you what we are using this year. So far it’s been working really well.
It’s a documentary video series from CBC called “A People’s History”.
A People’s History
There’s 17 episodes. Each episode is about 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Initially I had anticipated the videos to be on the dry side, and was just hoping for the best. But honestly, I’ve been extremely surprised at how much we’ve both learned in such a small amount of time.
I searched the internet for online links for each of the episodes. I’ll share them with you below:
- “When the World Began“
- “Adventurers & Mystics“
- “Claiming the Wilderness“
- “Battle for a Continent
- “A Question of Loyalties“
- “The Pathfinders“
- “Rebellion & Reform“
- “The Great Enterprise“
- “From Sea to Sea“
- “Taking the West“
- “The Great Transformation“
- “Ordeal by Fire“
- “Hard Times“
- “The Crucible“
- “Comfort & Fear“
- “Years of Hope & Anger“
- “In An Uncertain World“
Here’s a series guide if you want to preview what is learned in each episode.
How We Schedule History
Our school year has 36 weeks. With 17 episodes, I originally scheduled us to go through one episode every other week.
However, we have been quite enjoying the series, and have been finding it very easy to finish an episode.
Every morning my daughter and I have a hot chocolate together. We’ve been putting it on for 15 minutes in the morning while we drink our hot chocolate. And we’ll put it on again as a little break in the afternoon or while we eat lunch. An episode is done in no time.
So now I’m thinking we’ll just do an episode per week until we’re done.
In my opinion, the series would be best for 6th grade to adult.
How We Use The Videos for History
At first I was thinking this would be a good opportunity for my daughter to learn some note taking skills. I initially had her write down important dates and any important people mentioned in the video. I would pause the video whenever she needed to write.
But now we just discuss things as we learn them. Since I am watching the videos alongside my daughter I am able to ask her some questions to gage her understanding. I will ask questions like: “So who was Jacques Cartier?” “How did Canada get its name?”
We have used Google to learn more about certain topics and we have frequently referred to maps in our discussions.
So far I am happy with our Canadian history lesson plan for the year.