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

Grade: 2/3
Lesson 4: First Nations' Newspaper Study (a comparison/contrast)
Time: 2 x 40 minutes

Topic: Using the media to understand the community

Rationale: Students will recognize that all communities have ways of organizing and communicating information. A newspaper study will demonstrate how communities are portrayed and what is important to the community members. Similarities and differences will be identified by students.

Materials and Resources

  • Be selective about the newspaper article which is being used.
  • Offer samples of newsletters/newspapers throughout the region.
  • Include the band newsletter, or another such as the Secwepemc paper, or even clippings from the SFU/SCES newsletter.
  • Include at least one main non-native community newspapers which represents the dominant public.
  • A combination of 12-20 pre-cut articles from the local dominant and band newspapers

Main Concepts

  • An understanding of the community base should be conveyed through the study of the community newspaper, both in the dominant community and in the band community.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Collect and record information from a variety of sources and experiences
  • Draw simple interpretations from personal experiences, oral sources, and visual and written representations
  • Describe ways members of a community meet one another's needs
  • Demonstrate awareness of BC's and Canada's diverse heritage
  • Explain their roles rights and responsibilities within the community
  • Describe ways in which communities are interdependent
  • Describe how technology affects individuals and communities
  • Describe the influence of mass media on their choices as consumers


sources of news and information which we tend to rely on to inform us of the activities which are important in the community
something which pulls our thoughts in a direction without being forceful or obvious

Planned Learning Activities

  • Initially, brainstorm what the children know about what they find in newspapers
  • Discuss what the function of the newspaper is, how it serves the community
    (One would expect to find information about the community: activities, current events)
  • Chart the above ideas with the class
  • Do a group examination of the dominant community newspaper to see if we can find examples of these things
  • Do a group examination of the band paper to see if it meets these preconceived ideas
  • Some of the similarities which should be highlighted, are those of current events, achievements, advertising, classified ads, births, deaths, ......, show examples of these from both papers
  • Some of the differences which should be highlighted, are those pointed out by the elders; issues of language (there are 17 Secwepemc communities, therefore 17 dialects of the language), environmental ties to culture, traditional revival, importance of land base, music, ceremonies (sweats), food, animals, adaptation (break the static and "traditional" notion, that FN people have been frozen in time), explain that different band communities all have their own infrastructure and economy (sawmills, farming-various types, fisheries, logging, trail rides, rodeos, motor cross track), food gathering, hunting and fishing practices
  • Teacher will read sample articles to the class and students will offer similarities and differences in the articles
  • Using a Venn Diagram, the class as a group will decide on similarities or differences and where the article should be "stuck" on the Venn chart
  • Teacher should be aware that there may not be crisp, clear, distinctions for where some of the articles might be placed on the Venn chart.
    (The Venn lesson helps to place a more visible focus for the students and provoke class discussion on similarities and differences between the cultures and communities.)


  • Can they accurately summarizes main and supporting ideas in text or talk?
  • Challenged students who are unable to print explanations should be able to verbally communicate some of the answers to the above questions, as should all other students.

Summative Criteria
Ongoing "naturalistic" assessment will occur throughout this lesson and unit. Observations and discussions with students will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Does the student show an awareness of the meaning of "media" and recognize the role that the newspaper plays in the community?
  • Does the student show an awareness of the unique heritage of the neighbouring aboriginal community?
  • Does the student show interest in the discussion and acknowledge that there are similarities and differences between the two cultures' newspapers and the cultures they represent?
  • Are they able to come up with any other interesting question or extend the discussion beyond the general level of the classroom?

For more advanced students:

  • Students will be exposed to 2 samples of local community newspapers. Rather than turning them "loose" to an entire paper, it would be wise to cut out a variety of preselected (short) articles which would be ready in a zip-lock bag.
  • These articles could be a combination selected from both the larger community newspaper, and some from the FN newspaper.
  • They could then play detective to decide whether the article came out of the FN paper or the regular, dominant community newspaper, or could it have come out of both?
  • They could then make their own Venn diagrams and explain them to the class.

Other Integrated Opportunities

  • Language Arts: students could report on activities which they feel would represent a community.
  • A newspaper editor could be invited in to discuss what he does with the class.

Teacher Preparation

  • Obtain local newspapers from both the larger community and the local aboriginal community. It is wise to use aboriginal and non-aboriginal papers from the same time period for a fair comparison. (June is always an interesting time, summer solstice, graduations, etc.)
  • The teacher should be aware of language dialects and cultural influences which reflect the dialect within the area. In addition, the teacher should be prepared to discuss traditional spiritual issues, since often these are covered in FN newspapers.
  • If the teacher is unfamiliar or uncomfortable with these areas, it would be wise to have a guest speaker or resource teacher assist.
  • The teacher should be aware of different bands' economic ventures in the area.
  • The classroom teacher should make contacts with area First Nations groups if the lesson is to be relevant to the students. It would be extremely beneficial if someone (FN) could discuss the issue of being a part of 2 communities either with the teacher, or with the class. By doing so, the teacher would be well suited to teaching this lesson.
  • The teacher should have consulted local FN Resource teacher for assistance or a contact from the local FN community to be sure that you are presenting an accurate picture of their community. Perhaps they would be more comfortable if they were invited to work on the lesson with the class.
  • Don't assume anything, or rely on outdated text books.

Resources and Contacts

  1. Antoine, Marie et al (ed.). (1994). Sptekwles re qelmucw: Stories of the People. Kamloops, Canada: Secwepemc Cultural Education Society.
  2. Case, Roland and Penny Clark. (1999). The Canadian Anthology of Social Studies. Vancouver, Canada: Pacific Educational Press.
  3. Costello, Robert. (2001). Macmillian Dictionary For Children. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  4. Fleishman, Paul. (2000). Weslandia. USA: Scholastic Publishing.
  5. Haig-Brown, Celia. (1988). Resistance and Renewal Surviving the Indian Residential School. Vancouver, Canada: Tillacum Press.
  6. Jack, Rita and Marie Matthew and Robert Matthew. (1993). Shuswap Community Handbook. Kamloops, Canada: Secwepemc Cultural Education Society.
  7. Kamloops Indian Band. (July 2001). Lex'Yem. Kamloops, Canada: KIB Publishing.
  8. McDiarmid, Tami & Rita Manzo & Trish Musselle. (1999). Critical Challenges For Primary Students. Burnaby, Canada: Simon Fraser University.
  9. Manuel, Kathy (ed.). (2001). Secwepemc News. Kamloops, Canada: Secwepemc Cultural Education Society.
  10. Murphy, Peter & George P. Nicholas & Marianne Ignace (ed). Coyote U: Stories andTeachings of the Secwepemc Education Institute. Penticton, Canada: Theytus Publishing.
  11. Nicholas, George (ed). (2001). Coyote Times: The SCES/SFU University Program Newsletter. Kamloops, Canada: SCES/SFU Campus.
  12. Sawyer, Don. (1988). Donna Meets Coyote. Kamloops, Canada: Secwepemc Cultural Education Society.
  13. Sawyer, Don & Anne Waters. (1988). Donna Meets Coyote Teacher's Guide. Kamloops, Canada: Secwepemc Cultural Education Society.
  14. School District 73. (1989). We Are the Shuswap Teacher's Kit. Kamloops, Canada: Henry Grube Centre.
  15. Secwepemc Cultural Education Society. (1996). Mind, Body and Spirit. (Video) Kamloops: SCES
  16. Siska, Heather Smith. (1988). We Are The Shuswap. Kamloops, Canada: Secwepemc Cultural Education Society.
  17. Steele, Bob. (1998). Draw Me A Story. Winnipeg, Canada: Peguis Publishers.
  18. Sterling, Shirley. (1992). My Name Is Seepeetza. Vancouver, Canada:Douglas & McIntyre

Personal Communications

  1. Gottfriedson, Garry: approval for map and lesson plans on behalf of KIB, Sept-Oct 2001
  2. Ignace, Marianne: personal communication June 2001
  3. Jules,John : personal communication and approval for map and lesson plans on behalf of KIB, Sept-Oct 2001
  4. Jules, Mona: personal communication June 2001
  5. KIB Lands office: personal communication June, July, August 2001
  6. Manuel, Charlotte: personal communication July 2001
  7. Secwepemc Cultural Education Society: personal communication June, July 2001
  8. Spence, Renee: personal communication June 2001


  1. www.mwsolutions.com
  2. www.secwepemc.org
  3. www.yecminme.com

Workshop Materials

  1. Workshop Material from Judi Gelowitz- Primary Social Studies Unit: Judi Gelowitz,...(District 73).
  2. Workshop Material from Mary Campone (District 73).
  3. Workshop Material from Roland Case. Tools For Social Studies Applications.

Phone Numbers

  1. Secwepemc Cultural Education Society: 250-828-9779
  2. Secwepemc Cultural Education Society Museum: 828-9801
  3. Kamloops Indian Band Office: 828-9700
  4. Secwepemc News: 828-9783
  5. Henry Grube Educational Resource Centre (SD #73): 250-376-2266

Summative Criteria

Criteria Ratings Comments
Students has taken part with enthusiasm and respect 4 3 2 1  
Student has offered insightful, well thought-out contributions 4 3 2 1  
Student pushed ahead with further probing questions and discussion 4 3 2 1  
Student understands that that the newspaper plays a role in conveying a message to the people of the community 4 3 2 1  
Student indicates that he/she is able to compare and contrast the differences between the two cultures' newspapers 4 3 2 1  
Student can pick out at least 3 things which makE the FN newspaper unique from the dominant paper 4 3 2 1