AmblesideOnline in Canada: Years 7-12

Note: clicking the α symbol near a book will bring you to its online version at archive.org. A ($) symbol takes you to amazon.ca.

Introduction

As I collected Canadian upper-years suggestions from the AO Forum plus a folder of scribbled-down school plans (some that we used, some that never got off the paper), I had to fight off the idea of assembling anything truly comprehensive. It would have been easier, in a way, to dump it all into a travel trunk too weighty to drag across the floor, in an attempt to include the treasures of the past while trying to leave space as well for whatever happens next. It has been more of a challenge to cut everything down to something backpack-sized (perhaps suitable for canoe travel).

Savour the suggestions here as the Canadian cranberry-mustard-maple syrup-and-greens component of the Upper Years Salad Bar, while incorporating British, American, and other flavours as you choose.

History

The biggest curriculum changes Canadians make to AO will be in the areas of history, citizenship, and literature. After considering the relative merits of school textbooks (one of my daughters enjoyed Spotlight Canada, which we referred to as "the airplane book"), older adult-level histories, or newer options such as Canadian History for Dummies (which I know some have used), I went with the readily-available A Short History of Canada, Sixth Edition, by Desmond Morton (McClelland & Stewart, 2006), with Robert Bothwell's Penguin History of Canada as an alternative (and to use in Year 9, a period Morton does not cover). If you prefer to use another book or combination of books to cover the same time periods, it should be fairly easy to slot them in. The teachers might find it useful to read Who Killed Canadian History?, by J.L. Granatstein.

Pierre Berton's many books offer a choice of special topics in Canadian history, and they can often be found used. His book The Invasion of Canada is already scheduled for Year 9. Others might include The Last Spike; Marching As to War: Canada's Turbulent Years 1899-1953; Vimy; The Dionne Years: A Thirties Melodrama; 1967: The Last Good Year; and Farewell to the Twentieth Century. Students might also be interested in Berton's Why We Act Like Canadians.

If you live in or near a particular city, county, or geographical area, you will probably want to explore the history of that place. Used bookstores and antique markets often have books such as "Early Settlements in X County" or "The Trail of the (Name the Tree)."

High school students should also have the opportunity to read the most important speeches made throughout our history. Dennis Gruending collected a number of these in Great Canadian Speeches: From John A. Macdonald to Adrienne Clarkson, and more recently he has chosen ten of them to look at in more detail, in Speeches That Changed Canada.

And just for fun: It's Our Game: Celebrating 100 Years of Hockey Canada, by Michael McKinley.

Other specific book titles are listed under their years.

Links:

A Short History of Canada, Sixth Edition ($)

Penguin History of Canada ($)

Who Killed Canadian History? α ($)

The Invasion of Canada α ($) or

The Last Spike, also called The Impossible Railway α

Marching As to War: Canada's Turbulent Years 1899-1953 α

Vimy ($)

The Dionne Years: A Thirties Melodrama α

1967: The Last Good Year α

Farewell to the Twentieth Century α

Why We Act Like Canadians α

Great Canadian Speeches: From John A. Macdonald to Adrienne Clarkson ($)

Speeches That Changed Canada ($)

It's Our Game: Celebrating 100 Years of Hockey Canada, by Michael McKinley ($)

Citizenship, Government, Law, Economics (for any year)

"Citizenship" is often studied as one course in public high schools, but in a homeschooling situation it can be stretched over the course of several years, and/or combined with studies in law and economics.

The first such books that upper-years students will encounter are the "Uncle Eric" series by American libertarian writer Richard Maybury, beginning with Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? A Canadian supplement came out years ago for this book, but to my knowledge it was never updated, so Canadians are just as far ahead to make any necessary adjustments on their own. (We did not find that much change was required.) The "Uncle Eric" books that follow, on justice and then on government (discussing concepts such as fascism, socialism, and democracy), are also useful no matter which country you live in.

More specifically Canadian books that can be covered at any time during the high school years include:

Who Runs This Country Anyway?: A Guide to Canadian Government by Joanne Stanbridge (aimed at kids) ($)

Canada's Constitutional Monarchy: An Introduction to Our Form of Government, by Nathan Tidridge ($)

The Canadian Constitution, by Adam Dodek (one AO Forum user suggests that this be spaced out over the high school years) ($)

Every Canadian's Guide to the Law, by Linda Silver Dranoff (or a similar title) ($)

It is also important to develop an awareness of current events, using your family's preferred choices of newspapers, news magazines, blogs, podcasts, etc.

Biographies and Autobiographies (choose one or two a year to supplement other biographies in the AO curriculum)

These are just a small sampling. Much could be added, particularly in the areas of the fine arts, sports, and science. Parents should preview adult-level biographies for content, especially those written in recent years. Suggestions are also given under specific years. (Note: It may also be useful to look back at biographies recommended for previous years; I have tried not to repeat the same titles here.)

Man from St. Malo: The Story of Jacques Cartier, by Robert D. Ferguson

Mariner of St. Malo (about Jacques Cartier) by Stephen Leacock α (Also available on Librivox)

The Map Maker: The Story of David Thompson, by Kerry Wood

Sources of the River: Tracking David Thompson Across Western North America, by Jack Nisbet α

Epic Wanderer: David Thompson and the Mapping of the Canadian West, by D'Arcy Jenish

The Good Soldier: The Story of Isaac Brock, by D.J. Goodspeed α

Sisters in the Wilderness: The Lives of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill, by Charlotte Gray α

John A. Macdonald, The Young Politician, by Donald Creighton α

John A. Macdonald, The Old Chieftain, by Donald Creightonα

Reluctant Genius: The Passionate Life and Inventive Mind of Alexander Graham Bell, by Charlotte Gray α

Forty years in Canada; reminiscences of the great Northwest, with some account of his service in South Africa, by Sir Samuel Benfield Steele, 1849-1919; Royal Canadian Mounted Police α

Nellie McClung, by Charlotte Gray

William Osler: A Life in Medicine, by Michael Bliss α

The Discovery of Insulin, by Michael Bliss α

Renegade in Power: The Diefenbaker Years, by Peter C. Newman α

Shadow of Heaven: The Life of Lester Pearson, Vol. 1, by John English α

Citizen of the World: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, by John English α

David Suzuki: The Autobiography α

Irving Layton: A Portrait, by Elspeth Cameron α

King of Infinite Space, by Siobhan Roberts, about geometer H.S.M. (Donald) Coxeter, 1907-2003 (some parental previewing recommended) α

Marshall McLuhan: The Medium and the Messenger, by Philip Marchand α

Mavericks: Canadian Rebels, Renegades, and Antiheroes, by Peter C. Newman α

Terry Fox: His Story (Revised), by Leslie Scrivener

Literature

It seems that we discuss history on the forum much more than we do literature! I was tempted to recommend purchasing an anthology of Canadian literature, but it appears that the current in-textbook is probably out of the budget for most of us. You may be able to find something similar (and cheaper) used, or borrow one from a library to help you with planning. As a free alternative, please see this National Post article by David Berry, listing a number of Canadian authors that students should begin to be familiar with during their high school years.

Please note that I said "Begin."

The Many Uses of Magazines

In an era where print magazines are on the wane, it may seem strange to be recommending them as sources; however, anything said here about print versions also applies to online ones, and to their often extensive website enrichments and back-issues archives. Briefly: they are a gift to highschool-level homeschoolers. They are an affordable, current, flexible alternative to massive, expensive, quickly-dated textbooks in areas such as geography and environmental science. They are a source not only of useful articles, but of book and media reviews; and they often provide a variety of viewpoints (and later, sometimes, feedback from readers). One specific example we used ourselves, for all those reasons, was Canadian Geographic (see "How I Taught Grade 9 Geography," below). Most Canadians are also familiar with the weekly news magazine Maclean's. Another, less well known but always interesting, is the Canadian magazine Faith Today (similar to the U.S. Christianity Today). It covers current events from a Christian perspective, and offers not only book reviews, but (a bonus!) introductions in each issue to currently-working visual artists.

How I Taught Grade 9 Geography

When one of our daughters was in Grade 9, I put together a Canadian Geography credit to parallel the one offered in by the public school. We began with a review of previous work, using books we had on hand such as Wow Canada! and the Kids' Book of Canada. We also reviewed some environmental science concepts (e.g. what tundra is). As a major portion of the course, she read and narrated a series of articles in Canadian Geographic Magazine. Based on those articles, she was also assigned some extra work (e.g. after reading an article on man-made disasters, she chose one disaster to research further; after reading the profile of a somewhat controversial figure, she was asked to list the questions she would like to ask him if she had the chance). The final project was as follows:

Choose One of the Following:

      1. "You have just been appointed Minister of the Environment for your province. Using the Ministry website and other resources, write a speech explaining what your priorities will be. What needs to be looked at, cleaned up, or investigated?"

      2. "You have been elected to city council. What local issues do you want to address? They could be problems of the environment, land use, or simply making the city more sustainable and a better/healthier place to live."

There was also a final examination.

Languages, Fine Arts, Health and Life Skills

These areas (along with nature study) are the sometimes-overlooked places where Canadian content can be incorporated without overloading already-busy years such as Year 7. Those who have achieved some fluency in a second language can practice it on materials with Canadian content; those interested in cooking can use Canadian cookbooks; etc.

Details by Year

Year 7

Note: Out of all the upper years, this is probably the one Canadians will change the least. My suggestion, for those who want to incorporate some Canadian content, is to choose one biography in an area of special interest; and/or to choose a naturalist (past or present), or area of natural history to learn more about. Examples from my own area: Southern Ontario Butterflies and Their Natural History, by Jay Cossey (Urban Nature Store); Plants of Southern Ontario, by Richard Dickinson and France Royer. ($) (Did you notice that link to the Urban Nature Store? Check out their extensive list of books and other resources for birders, tree-lovers, and more.)

Devotional/Picture Study Option for Year 7 (or 8): Seeing the Mystery: Exploring Christian Faith Through the Eyes of Artists, by William S. Taylor (1989). α This book is out of print and a bit dated now, but it provides an unusual, Canadian-oriented study of ways that Christian visual expression (for example, portraits of Christ) vary according to time and culture.


Year 8:

History (1485-1688):

The Farfarers: A New History of North America, by Farley Mowat (2002). Thirty-four chapters, plus introductions and postscript. Read more about it here. α ($) Suggested use: Substitute for The Discovery of Muscovy/British Guiana/Kon Tiki.

Week 1

The Farfarers: Why and Wherefores; Chapter One (Beginnings)

Week 2

The Farfarers: Chapter 2: Farfarer

Week 3

The Farfarers: Chapter 3: Tuskers

Week 4

The Farfarers: Chapter 4: Pytheas

Week 5

The Farfarers: Chapter 5: Albans and Celts

Week 6

The Farfarers: Chapter 6: Armorica

Week 7

The Farfarers: Chapter 7: War in the North

Week 8

The Farfarers: Chapter 8: Pictlandia

Week 9

The Farfarers: Chapter 9: Fetlar

Week 10

The Farfarers: Chapter 10: Alba Reborn

Week 11

The Farfarers: Chapter 11: Sons of Death

Week 12

The Farfarers: Chapter 12: Fury of the northmen

Week 13

The Farfarers: Chapter 13: Tilli

Week 14

The Farfarers: Chapter 14: Sanctuary

Week 15:

The Farfarers: Chapter 15: Arctic Eldorado

Week 16

The Farfarers: Chapter 16: Tunit

Week 17

The Farfarers: Chapter 17: The Western Grounds

Week 18

The Farfarers: Chapter 18: Westviking

Week 19

The Farfarers: Chapter 19: Land Taking

Week 20

The Farfarers: Chapter 20: Crona

Week 21

The Farfarers: Chapter 21: Ungava

Week 22

The Farfarers: Chapter 22: Okak

Week 23

The Farfarers: Chapter 23: The Great Island

Week 24

The Farfarers: Chapter 24: A New Jerusalem

Week 25

The Farfarers: Chapter 25: Frik Rauda

Week 26

The Farfarers: Chapter 26: Ari Goes to Albania

Week 27

The Farfarers: Chapter 27: Alba-in-the-West

Week 28

The Farfarers: Chapter 28: Searching for Alba

Week 29

The Farfarers: Chapter 29: Karlsefni and Company

Week 30

The Farfarers: Chapter 30: The Best of Times

Week 31

The Farfarers: Chapter 31: Drogio and Estotiland

Week 32

The Farfarers: Chapter 32: Greenlanders

Week 33

The Farfarers: Chapter 33: Jakatar

Week 34

The Farfarers: Chapter 34: The Country Path

Week 35

The Farfarers: Postscript

Week 36


Year 9: 1688-1815

History:

Penguin History of Canada, by Robert Bothwell (chapters 1-6 this year)

Week 1

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 1 Native Land: First Peoples

Week 2

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 1 Native Land: First Encounters

Week 3

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 2 Land for The Taking: Huronia and the Iroquois Wars

Week 4

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 2 Land for The Taking: The Survival of New France

Week 5

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 2 Land for The Taking: Royal Government

Week 6

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 3 Expansion and Consolidation: Europe in the Making of America

Week 7

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 3 Expansion and Consolidation: Indian Diplomacy

Week 8

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 3 Expansion and Consolidation: The Settlement of New France

Week 9

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 3 Expansion and Consolidation: Acadia

Week 10

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 3 Expansion and Consolidation: Expansion and the Fur Trade

Week 11

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 3 Expansion and Consolidation: The Scent of Empire

Week 12

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 4 The Wars for America (1) Queen Anne's War

Week 13

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 4 The Wars for America (1) An Interval of Peace

Week 14

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 4 The Wars for America (1) The British Challenge

Week 15

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 4 The Wars for America (1) Neither War Nor Peace

Week 16

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 4 The Wars for America (1) The Seven Years' War

Week 17

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 4 The Wars for America (1) Making Peace

Week 18

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 5 The Wars for America (2) Accounting for Empire, 1763-1774

Week 19

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 5 The Wars for America (2) The Progress of the Rebellion

Week 20

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 5 The Wars for America (2) Peace, the Americans, and the Loyalists

Week 21

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 5 The Wars for America (2) Consequences of the War

Week 22

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 6 The Wars for America (3) The Politics of Empire

Week 23

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 6 The Wars for America (3) Government, Land, and the Indian Question

Week 24

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 6 The Wars for America (3) Land and Loyalty

Week 25

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 6 The Wars for America (3) Constituting British North America

Week 26

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 6 The Wars for America (3) War and the Health of the Colonies

Week 27

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 6 The Wars for America (3) Upper Canada

Week 28

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 6 The Wars for America (3) Lower Canada

Week 29

Penguin History of Canada: Chapter 6 The Wars for America (3) The War of 1812

Week 30

History: Use the final weeks of the term for supplementary reading on the War of 1812 period. (Suggested: The Invasion of Canada, by Pierre Berton)

Week 31

History: Use the final weeks of the term for supplementary reading on the War of 1812 period.

Week 32

History: Use the final weeks of the term for supplementary reading on the War of 1812 period.

Week 33

History: Use the final weeks of the term for supplementary reading on the War of 1812 period.

Week 34

History: Use the final weeks of the term for supplementary reading on the War of 1812 period.

Week 35

History: Use the final weeks of the term for supplementary reading.

Week 36

History: Use the final weeks of the term for supplementary reading.


Year 10: 1815-1900

History: A Short History of Canada, Sixth Edition, by Desmond Morton (McClelland & Stewart, 2006)

Or

Penguin History of Canada, by Robert Bothwell (chapters 7-10 this year)

Great Canadian Speeches: From John A. Macdonald to Adrienne Clarkson, by Dennis Gruending

or Speeches That Changed Canada, by Dennis Gruending

Canoe Country: The Making of Canada, by Roy MacGregor (2015). Nine chapters, plus introduction and conclusion. Some language; speculation about the personal life of General George Gordon (which can be argued against).

Week 1

Canoe Country: Introduction

Week 2

Canoe Country: Chapter 1: The Old Ranger's Chestnut (half)

Week 3

Canoe Country: Chapter 1 (half)

Week 4

Canoe Country: Chapter 2: Songs along the Dumoine (half)

Week 5

Canoe Country: Chapter 2 (half)

Week 6

Canoe Country: Chapter 3 (half)

Week 7

Canoe Country: Chapter 3 The Two Icons (half)

Week 8

Canoe Country: Chapter 4 The Nile Expedition (half)

Week 9

Canoe Country: Chapter 4 (half)

Short History of Canada: Part I Chapter 1, New Nation (Setting the stage with a description of Confederation Day); Part I Chapter 2, First Nations (very short chapter)

Or

Penguin History: Chapter 7 Transformations and Connections: Defining and Defending the Border; The Political Economy of Stalemate

Week 10

Canoe Country: Chapter 5 The Mission (half)

Short History of Canada: Part I Chapter 3, Cartier's Quebec (review of pre-confederation French Canada)

Or

Penguin History: Chapter 7 Transformations and Connections: The Canadas; Lower Canada

Week 11

Canoe Country: Chapter 5 (half)

Short History of Canada: Part I Chapter 4 English Canadians (review of pre-Confederation history)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 7 Transformations and Connections: Upper Canada

Week 12

Canoe Country: Chapter 6: "A Place of Power" (half)

Short History of Canada: Part I Chapter 5 United Canadas (Lord Durham; events of 1840's and 1850's)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 7 Transformations and Connections: Lord Durham

Week 13

Canoe Country: Chapter 6 (half)

Short History of Canada: Part I Chapter 6 Lower Provinces (Flashback through history of the Atlantic regions; Joseph Howe)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 8 Colonies into Provinces: Reinventing the Empire; Responsible Government

Week 14

Canoe Country: Chapter 7: The Man Who Measured Canada (half)

Short History of Canada: Part I Chapter 7 The Great Northwest (pre-Confederation history)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 8 Colonies into Provinces: The Uses of Government; Politics and Development

Week 15

Canoe Country: Chapter 7 (half)

Short History of Canada: Part II Chapter 1 Confederation (Charlottetown Conference; Fenian fears)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 8 Colonies into Provinces: The American Civil War

Week 16

Canoe Country: Chapter 8: The Craft (half)

Short History of Canada: Part II Chapter 2 Nation-Building (Establishing government; first Northwest rebellion; CPR scandal; economic lows)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 8 Colonies into Provinces: Confederation

Week 17

Canoe Country: Chapter 8 (half)

Short History of Canada: Part II Chapter 3 National Policy (1880's events; Dr. Emily Stowe; growth of the West; 1885 rebellion)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 9 Expansion and Disappointment: Riel and Railways; Settling and Pacifying the West

Week 18

Canoe Country: Chapter 9: Lost on James Bay (half)

Short History of Canada: Part II Chapter 4 Political Revolution

or

Penguin History: Chapter 9 Expansion and Disappointment: Railways and the National Policy; Trade and Reciprocity

Week 19

Canoe Country: Chapter 9 (half)

Short History of Canada: Part III, Chapter 1 Flourishing (1896-1904, Wilfrid Laurier, Clifford Sifton, railway changes, Boer War) (Last chapter for this year)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 9 Expansion and Disappointment: Religion and Patriotism

Week 20

Canoe Country: Conclusion

Penguin History: Chapter 10 Boom and Bust: Developing Politics; Railways and Overdevelopment

Week 21

Penguin History: Chapter 10 Boom and Bust: The Economic Boom; Organizing Reform

Week 22

Penguin History: Chapter 10 Boom and Bust: Imperial Politics; Cleaning the Slate

Week 23

Penguin History: Chapter 10 Boom and Bust: Our Lady of the Snows

Week 24

Penguin History: Chapter 10 Boom and Bust: Depression and War (last chapter for this year)

(no changes to Term Three)


Year 11: 20th Century

History: A Short History of Canada, Sixth Edition, by Desmond Morton (McClelland & Stewart, 2006)

Or

Penguin History of Canada, by Robert Bothwell (chapters 11-17)

Possible History Supplements:

100 Days That Changed Canada, edited by Mark Reid α

The Secret History of Soldiers: How Canadians Survived the Great War, by Tim Cook

The Necessary War (Volume One): Canadians Fighting the Second World War 1939-1943, by Tim Cook (the sequel is Fight to the Finish)

Great Canadian Speeches: From John A. Macdonald to Adrienne Clarkson, by Dennis Gruending OR Speeches That Changed Canada, by Dennis Gruending (2017)

Geography: Timbit Nation: A Hitchhiker's View of Canada, by John Stackhouse . Ten chapters plus Introduction, Prelude, Epilogue, Conclusion. Some language, some drugs, etc.

Week 1

Timbit Nation: Introduction; Prelude

Short History of Canada: Part III, Chapter 2 Questioning (First decade of the 20th century: Women's rights, labour rights, English-French tensions)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 11 Breaking the Mould: War and Division; Politics, Money and Munitions

Week 2

Timbit Nation: Chapter 1, Tokin' Joe

Short History of Canada: Part III, Chapter 3 National Crisis (WWI; Conscription Crisis)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 11 Breaking the Mould: Strategy and Casualties; Accident and Precedent

Week 3

Timbit Nation: Chapter 2, The Crapaud Women's Institute

Short History of Canada: Part III, Chapter 4 Dead Ends (Post-war labour issues, Winnipeg General Strike, Meighen, Mackenzie King; the 1926 election, to "defeat in his own riding.")

or

Penguin History: Chapter 11 Breaking the Mould: The Results of the War

Week 4

Timbit Nation: Chapter 3, "One Ever-Lastin' Sound of Give, Give, Give"

Short History of Canada: Part III, Chapter 4 Dead Ends (second half, beginning at "In memory, the 1920s would shine as a golden era . . ." )

or

Penguin History: Chapter 11 Breaking the Mould: Politics and the Economy in the Twenties; Diplomacy, Internal and External

Week 5

Timbit Nation: Chapter 4, "The Land that God Gave to Cain"

Short History of Canada: Part III, Chapter 5 The Depression (first half, to "used it to plug holes in their roofs.")

or

Penguin History: Chapter 12 Unfriendly Worlds: Old Nostrums, New Failures

Week 6

Timbit Nation: Chapter 5, René's Children

Short History of Canada: Part III, Chapter 5 The Depression (second half, from "Bennett's bold speeches and dynamic policies provided no adequate answer to the spreading misery.")

or

Penguin History: Chapter 12 Unfriendly Worlds: King and Chaos

Week 7

Timbit Nation: Chapter 6, Colonization Avenue

Short History of Canada: Part IV, Chapter 1 Mr. King's War (first half, to "Boring jobs or military routine had at least lifted people from pre-war ruts." Factors leading to WWII; events 1939-1941)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 12 Unfriendly Worlds: Appeasement; The Second World War Begins

Week 8

Timbit Nation: Chapter 7, Forks in the Road

Short History of Canada: Part IV, Chapter 1 Mr. King's War (second half, from "On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor . . ." Japanese internment; conscription issues; Battle of the Atlantic; Dieppe; D-Day.)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 12 Unfriendly Worlds: The Curse of Conscription; The Third Largest Army

Week 9

Timbit Nation: Chapter 8, Wheat Castles and Wal-Marts

Short History of Canada: Part IV, Chapter 2 Prosperity (first half, to "It took a far more frightening crisis to capture American concern." End of the war; post-war politics and economics.)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 13 A Time of Gifts: The Baby Boom; Reconstruction and Reconversion

Week 10

Timbit Nation: Chapter 9, Life on the Fringe

Short History of Canada: Part IV, Chapter 2 Prosperity (second half, from "Even before the Allied armies met at the Elbe in May 1945 . . ." Rise of the Cold War; Canada's place in the post-war world; Newfoundland becomes a province)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 13 A Time of Gifts: Monsters to Destroy; Canada and the End of Empire

Week 11

Timbit Nation: Chapter 10, The Great Pig Race

Short History of Canada: Part IV, Chapter 3 Recession (first half, to "but not without damaging the Tory regime with the voters." The 1950's; the St. Lawrence Seaway; Diefenbaker)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 13 A Time of Gifts: Energy Policy; Nationalism; The Diefenbaker Phenomenon

Week 12

Timbit Nation: Epilogue

Short History of Canada: Part IV, Chapter 3 Recession (second half, from "Despite Coyne and a substantial ignorance of economic mysteries . . ." The Avro Arrow; death of Duplessis, changes in Quebec)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 13 A Time of Gifts: Culture and Society at the End of the Fifties; Ambivalent Quebec; Diefenbaker's Downfall

Week 13

Penguin History (if using): Chapter 14 Affluence and its Discontents: The Politics of Security

Week 14

Short History of Canada: Part IV, Chapter 4 Confusion (first half, to "Talk of special relationships ended." 1960's, Diefenbaker vs. Lester Pearson, movement of power back to the provinces, conflict with the U.S.)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 14 Affluence and its Discontents: The Terms of Trade

Week 15

Short History of Canada: Part IV, Chapter 4 Confusion (second half, to "Often, in 1965, leading Liberals reviewed opinion polls. . ." Quebec politics; new flag; Centennial and Expo '67; Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism; rise of Pierre Trudeau)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 14 Affluence and its Discontents: The Shadow of Vietnam; Times Out of Joint

Week 16

Penguin History: Chapter 14 Affluence and its Discontents: Changing Canada; Federal-Provincial Horrors

Week 17

Penguin History (if using): Chapter 14 Affluence and its Discontents: Freezing in the Dark

Week 18

Short History of Canada: Part V, Chapter 1 Liberation (first half, to "bitterly chagrined by defeat and by Lévesque's loss of his partly English-speaking constituency." Trudeau as prime minister; concerns of the early 1970's, including social change, rising conflict in Quebec)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 15 Two Nationalisms: Expo 67 and After

Week 19

Short History of Canada: Part V, Chapter 1 Liberation (second half, from "Bourassa's victory was no prize." The FLQ crisis of 1970; move towards constitutional reform)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 15 Two Nationalisms: The October Crisis and After

Week 20

Short History of Canada: Part V, Chapter 2 Affirmation (first half, to "They wanted leadership, too. How badly, they would soon discover." Further events of the 1970's. Election of Joe Clark.)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 15 Two Nationalisms: Bourassa and the PQ; Le Combat des Chefs

Week 21

History: Take the next two weeks for supplementary reading/biographies.

Week 22

History: same as Week 21.

Week 23

Short History of Canada: Part V, Chapter 2 Affirmation (second half, from "Outside Quebec, which now marched to a different political rhythm . . ." Re-election of Pierre Trudeau. 1980 Referendum. Repatriation of the Constitution, 1982.)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 15 Two Nationalisms: Trudeau's Constitution; What Did Trudeau Accomplish?

Week 24

History: Take the next two weeks for supplementary reading/biographies about the 1980's.

Week 25

Same as Week 24.

Week 26

Short History of Canada: Part V, Chapter 3 Individualism (first half, to "Mulroney warned civil servants that all they could expect was 'a pink slip and running shoes.'" Events of the 1980's to the 1984 election.)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 16 Bust and Boom in the Eighties: Mulroney, Politics, and Trade

Week 27

Short History of Canada: Part V, Chapter 3 Individualism (second half, from "In fact, Mulroney was not a right-wing ideologue.")

or

Penguin History: Chapter 16 Bust and Boom in the Eighties: Toxic Federalism

Week 28

Week 29

Short History of Canada: Part V, Chapter 4 Paying the Price (first half, to "Oka was a local distraction from the increasingly brutal struggle to earn a living in a drastically altered world." Meech Lake Accord; Oka; events through the end of the 1980's.)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 16 Bust and Boom in the Eighties: The End of Mulroney

Week 30

Short History of Canada: Part V, Chapter 4 Paying the Price (second half, from "The 1989 collapse of the Berlin Wall . . ." World events at the end of the 1980's; defeat of Mulroney; Kim Campbell; election of Jean Chrétien; issues of Quebec sovereignty)

Week 31

Use the next two weeks for supplementary reading/biographies about the 1990's.

Week 32

Same as Week 31.

Week 33

Short History of Canada: Part V, Chapter 5 New Choices (first half, to ". . . the enormous power of the prime minister in Canada's system of responsible government." 1997 election; Nunavut becomes a territory)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 17 New Millennium: Multiculturalism; Unrest in Quebec

Week 34

Short History of Canada: Part V, Chapter 5 New Choices (second half, from "After the 2000 election, ambitious Liberals thought . . ." Election of Stephen Harper.)

or

Penguin History: Chapter 17 New Millennium: Extreme Politics; Liberal Diplomacy

Week 35

Penguin History: Chapter 17 New Millennium: Old Leader; Eternal Border

Week 36

Penguin History: Chapter 17 New Millennium: Divided Politics; Conclusion


Year 12: Current times, plus ancient thought

Like Year 7, Year 12 is not a year that seems to need much adjusting to make it less U.S.-centric. If one counts the authors represented, it is already quite global, and it can be made more so depending on which reading options are selected. The only very strong U.S. leaning is in the choice of recent speeches to be studied.

Rather than trying to make the year less-anything, it is possible to make it just a bit more Canadian, perhaps by the inclusion (as noted) of significant speeches and news sources. We often assume that "news sources" are largely those dealing with political, military, or economic events. However, as those who remember the year 2020 know, medical news can suddenly take centre stage, as can technology, the environment, and outer space. It is often as useful to follow developments in a special field of interest as it is to read more general news. As suggested in the introduction to the upper years, this might include subscribing to science or geography magazines; or by following thoughtful bloggers or podcasters (who might be found by following rabbit trails from publications such as Faith Today or your own equivalent). Even university or college alumni magazines (again, these are mostly online now) carry interesting news about cutting-edge research and, often, controversies. (Even the field of mathematics has its battles: see the biography King of Infinite Space.) Students in Year 12 may have already decided that they want to move on to further studies or experiences in law, education, the fine arts, agriculture, nutrition: the list is endless, and I have named only a few fields as a reminder that we do not all have to be political-science majors to be aware of our world and its needs. As Charlotte Mason liked to say, everything fits into everything.

One Canadian news commentator and author you might enjoy following: Rex Murphy (YouTube). Murphy is respected by many for his willingness to speak his mind. This is not meant to say that he is always "right," but only that he is often able to give a thoughtful perspective on difficult issues.

Fiction, Drama, Poetry, Creative Non-Fiction

Year 12 students might consider choosing one author per term, or just one in depth for the full year. A Canadian Literature course at the University of New Brunswick suggests the following post-1970 list, and I agree it is a pretty good selection: Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Northrop Frye, Margaret Laurence, Robert Kroetsch, Alice Munro, Leonard Cohen, Rudy Wiebe, Maria Campbell, Rohinton Mistry, M. NourbeSe Philip, Thomas King, Miriam Toews, Joseph Boyden. I would also add Nino Ricci, Joy Kogawa, and (although she predates 1970) the poet Margaret Avison.

Three Books to Include

The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America, by Thomas King (2012). Includes discussion guide. ($) Also available as audiobook. This book is snarky, sarcastic, and sees Christianity as a weapon of the Europeans. However, it should be considered important reading for those trying to make sense of current events.

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, by Chris Hadfield. ($). Also available in French and as an audiobook.

The Educated Imagination, by Northrop Frye α or ($)

Week 1

The Inconvenient Indian: Prologue. See Discussion Questions 1, 2. (Refer back to other discussion questions as you read the book.)

Week 2

The Inconvenient Indian: Chapter 1, Forget ColumbusTimbit Nation

Week 3

The Inconvenient Indian: Chapter 2, The End of the Trail

Week 4

The Inconvenient Indian: Chapter 3, Too Heavy to Lift

Week 5

The Inconvenient Indian: Chapter 4, One Name to Rule Them All

Week 6

The Inconvenient Indian: Chapter 5, We Are Sorry

Week 7

The Inconvenient Indian: Chapter 6, Like Cowboys and Indians

Week 8

The Inconvenient Indian: Chapter 7, Forget About It

Week 9

The Inconvenient Indian: Chapter 8, What Indians Want

Week 10

The Inconvenient Indian: Chapter 9, As Long as the Grass is Green

Week 11

The Inconvenient Indian: Chapter 10, Happy Ever After

Week 12

The Inconvenient Indian: A Conversation Between Shelagh Rogers and Thomas King

Week 13

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: Introduction: Mission Impossible

Week 14

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: Chapter 1: The Trip Takes a Lifetime

Week 15

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: Chapter 2: Have an Attitude

Week 16

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: Chapter 3: The Power of Negative Thinking

Week 17

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: Chapter 4: Sweat the Small Stuff

Week 18

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: Chapter 5: The Last People in the World

Week 19

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: Chapter 6: What's the Next Thing That Could Kill Me?

Week 20

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: Chapter 7: Tranquility Base: Kazakhstan

Week 21

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: Chapter 8: How to Get Blasted (and Feel Good the Next Day)

Week 22

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: Chapter 9: Aim to Be a Zero

Week 23

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: Chapter 10: Life Off Earth

Week 24

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: Chapter 11: Square Astronaut, Round Hole

Week 25

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: Chapter 12: Soft Landings

Week 26

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: Chapter 13: Climbing Down the Ladder (end)

Week 27

The Educated Imagination: The Motive for Metaphor

Week 28

The Educated Imagination: The Singing School

Week 29

The Educated Imagination: Giants in Time

Week 30

The Educated Imagination: The Keys to Dreamland

Week 31

The Educated Imagination: Verticals of Adam

Week 32

The Educated Imagination: The Vocation of Eloquence

Week 33

Week 34

Week 35

Week 36

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