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Grade 4: How did the First Nations display compassion for the European Settlers? (part 1)

This lesson can be integrated into a unit on understanding and showing compassion. Students will explore the ways in which the Aboriginal peoples showed compassion towards the early European explorers.


It is expected that student will:

  • Students will identify effects of early contact between Aboriginal societies and European explorers and settlers
  • Students will analyze factors that influenced early European exploration of North America
  • Describe Aboriginal peoples’ relationship with the land and natural resources


  • Grade 4 Socials Studies textbook- Our Beginnings Outlooks 4


Step 1: Have the students work in small groups to brainstorm the idea of compassion. What is it? How are they compassionate to others? How are other compassionate to them? How would life be different if people did not display this very important characteristic?

Step 2: As a class, read “A Second Voyage” pg. 141 in Our Beginnings, the Grade 4 Social Studies textbook aloud. Have a class discussion about scurvy and the role the First Nations and how their knowledge of their land and resources helped the survival of many European explorers and settlers.


Look for evidence of:

  • Student willingness to openly participate in group and class discussions
  • Student’s ability to understand and identify positive impacts the First Nations had on European explorers and settlers.
  • Student’s ability to display knowledge of Aboriginal people’s relationship with the land and resources.


  • Create a Venn diagram that displays compassion and caring shown by the First Nations and European Settlers. The middle of the diagram will illustrate common acts of compassion between both parties.