Grade 10: Grade 10 Social Studies: A Canadian Hero of Compassion (part 1)

Objectives

It is expected that the student will:

  • Relate the status of ethnic minorities in Canada to the societal attitudes of the time
  • Evaluate the influence of immigration on Canadian society from 1815 to 1914
  • Develop critical thinking skills by evaluating materials
  • Develop research skills by searching for archival and present-day online materials

Materials

  • Multicultural Canada archival collection
  • Computers
  • Access to Internet

Activities

Introduction:
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” – The 14th Dalai Lama
Read the following quotation giving time for students to silently reflect:
Have students compose a short journal entry about the quotation and offer these prompts:

  • How do you feel about this quote?
  • What would a world without compassion look like? Could this world survive?
  • Where do you see compassion in your world?
  • Where have you practiced or received compassion?

Conduct a class discussion on what students think of when hearing “hero of compassion.” Ask students if they can name a hero of compassion; for example, the Dalai Lama or Bishop Desmond Tutu. Remind students that these are significant examples; a hero of compassion does not have to be as accomplished as these two men.

Study:
Ask students to look through The New Canadian Newspaper to identify a particular struggle for the second generation Japanese Canadian community and/or read or listen to the transcription of an oral history from a south Asian immigrant to Canada. A struggle can be experiencing internment for the Japanese, discrimination at the workplace etc. Students will be asked to find one article or transcription which exemplifies a struggle of Japanese-Canadian and Indo-Canadians. After identifying a struggle, students will be asked to research a compassionate hero of Canada who helped ease the struggle. The hero can be of the past or present.

Once students have found a compassionate hero, they will be asked to share the information they collected with the class in an innovative manner (e.g., PowerPoint, skit, interview, monologue, debate, etc.) focusing on how they feel the hero they found is a hero of compassion.

Conclusion:
Ask students to share what they know about Bishop Desmond Tutu. Add to what they say so that it is clear to students who he is. Display this quote:
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

  1. Ask students to reflect on this quote and how it relates to the hero they researched.
  2. Ask students to think of a time they wish they could have been a hero of compassion but remained neutral. Ask them to describe how they felt, why they acted how they did, and what they wish they had done instead. Ask students to then visualize how the situation could have been different if they had been a hero of compassion.

Assessment

Students will be assessed on: how they critically they think about past struggles of oppressed groups in Canada. They will be asked to find a Canadian hero of compassion, and be able to justify why he or she qualifies as such. See rubric on critical thinking.

Extension

Students find a local person who they think exemplifies a hero of compassion, this may be a volunteer worker, etc. Students interview their hero of compassion and present their findings to the class. While presenting students address, among other things, why they chose that specific person as well how he or she acts in a way that is compassionate in the community.

Students find examples of people/non-profit organizations which aid new immigrants in their city, province or country.

AttachmentSize
Critical Thinking Assessment Rubric.pdf59.78 KB