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FNSS Curriculum Integration Project Click here to download this lesson.
Andrea Nikkel (MS-Word format.)

Grade: 5 - 7
Lesson 2: Reviewing History Critically
Time: 65 minutes

Topic: Examining Text Books to Look at Portrayals of First Nations People

Rationale: Students will develop a critical eye as they examine the bias in recorded history. They will begin to understand why this has occurred and how it has affected the historical portrayal of First Nations people.

Materials and Resources

  • Grade 5 or 6 Social Studies Textbook
  • Shuswap History: The First 100 Years of Contact, by: J. Coffey, E. Goldstrom, G. Gottfriedson, R. Matthew, and P. Walton
  • Handouts (chart) or large chart paper and felt pens

Main Concept
Thinking critically about how history portrays First Nations people and events involving them.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify and clarify a problem, issue, or inquiry
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of bias in history, in particular bias involving First Nations People

Planned Learning Activities

  1. (10 minutes) Go over with the class how history has been biased by those who have recorded it and how this affects others, like First Nations people, when they didnít have a written language (see Discussion included in this Lesson Plan).
  2. ( 5 minutes) Have the class split into four groups and go over the expectations for the skits.
  3. (25 minutes) Read a portion of a selected textbook to the class. Pick a section where Europeans and Native people are interacting. You may want to use the grade five or six text as the grade seven text focuses on ancient cultures. Discuss how this story is biased and doesnít show the First Nations peopleís point-of-view. Have the groups of students come up with a skit to represent their groupís point-of-view while retelling the story.
  4. (10 minutes) Have each group present their view of the skit to the rest of the class. Discuss how the story differed when the various groups presented. Use the chart in the Appendix to chart the similarities and differences between groups.
  5. (15 minutes) Have students brainstorm ideas of how we can include more First Nations information in social studies, and what we can do to keep from being biased.


  • Participation
  • Reflection
  • Rubric for assessing the skits


  • Students could find stories, on their own, involving First Nations people and retell them from the First Nations peopleís point-of-view.
  • Examine a passage in your class text involving the interactions between First Nations people and Europeans, and compare it to a passage from Shuswap History: The First 100 Years of Contact. What is the same? What is different? How could you account for these differences?

Integrated Opportunities

  • Look at the art we do in our class and discuss what cultures the art projects are from. Is First Nations culture being represented in our art class?
  • In creative writing, students could rewrite select stories from the text, other books, etc. from a First Nations personís point-of-view.

Resources Used and Other Supplementary Resources Available

  1. Shuswap History: The First 100 Years of Contact, by: J. Coffey, E. Goldstrom, G. Gottfriedson, R. Matthew, and P. Walton


  1. Can anyone give me an idea of who you think writes history, like whatís in our textbooks?
  2. If it is the people who are most powerful and who have the most education that write history, whose stories do you think that they will focus on? Who will get left out?
  3. For a long time, the history that we learn in school has been written by non-First Nations people. Why donít we see a lot of writing from First Nations people? Does that mean that their side of the story shouldnít be learned about?
  4. Letís look in our textbook and see how it portrays First Nations people. Who do you think wrote this account? Pick one of the stories where the Europeans and the Native people meet and see if you can see it from the First Nations peoplesí point-of-view.

Comparison of Groupís Skits

  Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4


In your opinion, why didnít every groupís skit end up being exactly the same?

How did your group co-operate? Did you have any disagreements on how to do the skit? Please describe them.

Why would it be important to include more information from the First Nations point-of-view in our textbooks?

How could we change our textbooks so that we get to hear more of the First Nations Peopleís side of the story?

Rubric for Skits