Plains of Abraham Educational Activities - Teachers Acquiring Additional Expertise, Students Experiencing History



    QUEBEC CITY, Feb. 25 /CNW Telbec/ - As a result of comments in recent
days, the National Battlefields Commission (NBC) would like to set the record
straight regarding its group activity program for young people. Since 1992,
more than 180,000 elementary and high school students, along with their
parents and teachers, have explored the history of the battles of 1759 and
1760 through experiential and interactive learning activities in keeping with
the curriculum of the Quebec Department of Education, Recreation and Sports.
Teachers gain additional instructional expertise, while their students
experience history first hand.
    The NBC's educational program has in no way been created or modified for
the 250th anniversary of the Battles of Quebec. It is part of the regular
program, which has been offered for 17 years. In 2008, more than 75,000 young
people and adults took part in at least one of the 36 activities on themes
related to the Plains of Abraham (Archeology, the Martello Towers, the Battles
of Quebec, etc). All activities are subject to teacher evaluation, and the
Commission is proud of its 99.2% satisfaction rate.
    There are three main activities related to the Seven Years' War. There is
no re-enactment of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, and the contribution
of militiamen and Aboriginal people is always addressed. At their request, the
New France Militiamen presentation was proposed to Grade 3 and 4 teachers. It
walks students through the difficult lives of soldiers of the day with
military drills, the loading of a cannon, and a history quiz. The Military (at
the Discovery Pavilion of the Plains of Abraham) and Wolfe and Montcalm (in
class) invite Grade 5, 6 and high school students to experience the battle
context (including shelling and fires on the south slope). Depending on the
grade level, there are military strategies with a wall map, typical period
military manoeuvres, demonstrations of gun and cannon loading, handling of
artifacts, a demonstration of caring for the injured, a history quiz, etc.
    During the military manoeuvre activity for Grade 5 and 6 students,
chaperones, teachers and parents judge the students' efforts and decide which
troops are victorious. The same process is used for both English-speaking and
French-speaking groups. The activities in no way promote war. The objective is
to have students experience history by reliving a historical event.
    All these activities comply with the educational renewal requirements
(Educational Reform) of the Quebec Department of Education, Recreation and
Sports. Activities are optional, and admission fees are charged based on the
number of students and the activity. Teachers from Quebec, Ontario, the United
States and elsewhere can therefore decide whether to add this interactive
activity to their program. A number of federal, provincial and municipal
institutions also offer schools this type of activity, in their own fields of
expertise.
    The NBC advocates experiential learning. This is why students find
themselves at centre stage, playing an active role in the staging of events.
NBC's experienced guides breathe life into the content. Flags, drums, vests
and other historical artifacts are part of the educational aids used to get
students involved.

    The NBC was created in 1908 with the mandate of preserving the great
battlefields of Quebec and promoting our history. This area is one of the most
important historical sites in Canada. One of the fundamental components of the
NBC's mission is to have the public learn the historical facts of this site as
accurately as possible, in addition to gaining an appreciation for it.




For further information:

For further information: Joanne Laurin, Communication Officer, National
Battlefields Commission, (418) 649-6251, joanne.laurin@ccbn-nbc.gc.ca


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