What to do with your kid: COVID-19 – Day 15 – Canadian History

It’s me, Deanna, the teacher with 20+ years experience who, like you, is practicing social distancing at home with my child. I have decided to use my training and experience to develop a daily list of activities for you to do at home with your kids.

Note: I have been doing more to support teachers in my board as they are supporting their own students. This means I have less time to work on these posts. But feel free to look at previous ones for inspiration. I am also going to start slipping in some suggestions for teachers as I know these blog posts are being shared by teachers.

Reminder: The neighbourhood walk is today, March 29th, and the theme is flowers. Make some for your window so families going for walks can see the flowers.

Earlier today, I was listening to an episode on the selection of Ottawa as the capital of Canada from the great podcast, Canadian History Ehx. I enjoyed it so much that it inspired me to gather up some of my favourite Canadian history resources to share with you. So why not spend some time in the next few days with your kids learning about Canada’s history.

We need to start at the great Historica Canada foundation. These are the people who have been producing Heritage Minutes for years.  They have a website full of videos, podcasts and radio spots. Spend some time watching some of the heritage minutes with your kids and then discuss what you learned from them. I feel like “Burnt Toast” is a must for this activity. Well it’s called “Wilder Penfield”, but we all know it as “Burnt Toast”.

The Canadian Museum of History has some lovely virtual exhibits that can provide lots of information on various points of history. Of particular note is the Virtual Museum of New France. I would explore it alongside my kids and discuss what we learned, perhaps on our walk.

Secret Life of Canada was a podcast produced by CBC on social history. Often in history, we hear about the “important” people. This podcast looks at the lives of everyday people in Canada. There are some teaching guides to go with the podcasts, if you want them. (Teachers – there are some great resources here to help deepen your curriculum.)

There is also the Canada’s History magazine Kayak for kids. You can access some of their content digitally on their website

There are also a couple of apps that offer walking tours of cities. GPSMYCity and Driftscape each offer self-guided tours of a variety of places around Ontario and Canada. Many cities also offer audio guides and maps on their website. Check and see if yours does. It might be a nice way to switch up your daily walk with some learning about history.

Finally, there is Canada: A People’s History. Originally broadcast on CBC, it is currently available on Curio.ca, a subscription based service that is FREE during the COVID-19 situation. Settle in and watch the documentary. Or use various scenes to start discussions with your kids.

Deanna Toxopeus is a teacher with 20+ years of experience teaching students from Grade 1 to Grade 8. She is currently an Itinerant Teacher of Assistive Technology with the OCDSB. The opinions she expresses in this blog are wholly her own.

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