The Ultimate Guide To Canadian Teaching Resources

Whether you’re Canadian or not, there are a ton of helpful resources for all teachers available at CanTeach. It’s a simple-to-use website that has lesson plans, links, and other resources for nearly any topic. It differentiates itself by placing a big emphasis on all things Canada. Despite this emphasis, it’s still chock full of resources for all teachers, not just those in Canada.

Here’s a bit more from the founders of CanTeach, Iram and James:

CanTeach was created in 1997/98 to assist teachers in finding and using resources online. Although this site has resources which all educators will find useful, we attempted to place emphasis on lesson plans, resources, & links which have a Canadian focus since there was a need for such materials on the web.

The resources are broken up into two categories. There is a section of Elementary Resources which consists of lesson plans and resources, as well as a section of annotated Links. With your input these sections will grow to reflect the needs of all educators.

The Links section does not intentionally reflect any of our views, although we have tried to avoid overtly commercial sites when possible. CanTeach looks forward to providing educators with a valuable, extensive resources base. We rely on your help to share lesson plans, link suggestions, and other resources which will aid educators around the world.

Don’t just take my word (or Iram and James) for it, take a look at some of these fantastic lesson plans and resources that will likely find a home in your classroom.

“Come to Canada!” Poster

(This poster creation idea could instead be used for any other country as well!)
Suggested Grades: 4+
Objective: Students will examine the positive aspects of Canada (eg. diversity, natural resources, scenery) while they design a poster attracting people to come to Canada (travel or immigrate).
Materials:

  • poster paper
  • magazines (pref. with Canadian/multi-cultural focus)
  • paints & brushes
  • markers
  • if possible, travel/promotional posters/brochures for Canada as examples

Method:

  • Show students examples of posters, pointing out the colours and the type of phrasing used to attract people.
  • Students focus on an aspect of Canada they see as worth coming here for.
  • Students design and create their posters, focussing on their ‘angle’.
  • Display posters and have class discussion on techniques and content used.
  • Variation: You may want to try doing this with another time period (eg. pre-confederation).

“Who Am I?” Game

Suggested Grades: 4+
Objective: Students will identify important things in various subjects by analyzing their characteristics.
Materials: index cards and tape
Method:  Before doing this lesson, label the index cards according to whatever subject you are using them for:
Socials- historical figures, time-periods, places, geography terms and features, places,
Science- scientists, inventors, chemicals, rocks, planets, plants, animals,
Language Arts- authors, parts of speech, punctuation marks,
Fine Arts- artists, musicians, instruments, works of art,

  • The point of the game is for students to figure out who/what they are, based on answers to questions they pose to their classmates.
  • Tape a different card on each student’s back.
  • Students wander around asking classmates yes/no questions about who/what they are.
  • Whoever guesses who/what they are first, wins.

What Can I do to Celebrate Birthdays in the Classroom?

Have a Happy Unbirthday Party
Choose a day at the beginning of the year, before anyone has a birthday and plan a party for the afternoon. Buy a cake or cupcakes, play party games, and sing happy unbirthday to the whole class. Encourage parents not to bring treats through the rest of the year for birthdays. Just a simple “happy birthday” to each student will do for the rest of the year.

Make a Happy Birthday Book
On piece of paper have each student write out “For your birthday, I would like to give you _________.”, and then draw a picture to go with it. Or you can ask them to write out “Happy Birthday _________. My wish for you is ___________________.” Staple all the pages together, add a title page and give it to the birthday person as a special present from the class.

Birthday Certificate
Make a birthday certificate on the computer, “Happy Seventh Birthday________! Have a super day!” You can also buy them at many teacher supply stores. Then sign it, add some stickers to it, and laminate it.

V.I.P for the Day
The most popular way to celebrate birthday! Have the birthday person perform duties to help the class out and give them special privileges.

Birthday Box
(idea by Lisa Schmidman)
Cover a good size shoe box with bright children’s wrapping paper so the lid can be removed. Inside put a cupcake (you can bake them ahead of time and freeze them), can of frosting, sprinkles, a plastic knife, a birthday napkin, sticker, card, a class birthday book (pictures/good wishes that the class draws on half sheets of paper and bound with yarn), and a small gift. The box is kept in a visible location and then on the morning of a birthday it is moved to the birthday child’s desk (remember to thaw the cupcake the day before). At a designated time, the class sings, the child skips around the room, and gets to open the box.

Birthday Mobile
On a coathanger put the child’s name and a picture of the child. On small pieces of paper in the shape of birthday cakes ask each student in the class to write out “For your birthday, I would like to give you ______.” In the meantime, ask birthday person to write out their birthday wishes on pieces of paper in the shape of candles. The number of wishes they get corresponds to the age that they just turned. Tie these cakes and candles with string to the coat hanger.

Alternative Snowflakes

Suggested Grades: K-2
Objective: Children will discover how snowflakes in nature are really formed, and recreate this process with paper and glue
Materials:  White paper, Scissors, Glue
Method:

  • Explain that snowflakes are created by water vapours bumping into tiny dust particles, which changes the vapour into an ice-crystal (“sublimation”). This ice crystal then grows by bumping into other vapour molecules. When it becomes heavy enough, it falls to the ground as a snowflake.
  • Play “Snowflake Game”: Split children into two groups- water vapour and dust particles. Children drift around slowly and quietly, and when they bump into the opposite (w.vapour or dust particle) they join hands. Once this occurs, these pairs drift and the process repeats itself until the whole class is joined to form a snowflake. (Note: I made the mistake of playing this in the classroom- Noisy! and lack of space.)
  • Making snowflakes: Children first cut out a circle from white paper (water vapour), then rip and/or cut tiny pieces of paper (dust particles) to be glued onto the circle.
  • You may want to have all the snowflakes join to display as one BIG snowflake!

Additional Resources: Snow, John Bianchi and Frank B. Edwards, Pub. Bungalow Books, 1992, ISBN: 0-921285-09-4, $7.95

“I’m Done, Now What?”: A List of Things One Can Do After Seat Work

1. Check your work for errors. Can I make it better?
2. Read a book.
3. Write in your journal.
4. Write a story.
5. Help someone else.
6. Tidy up your desk/table.
7. Tidy up the class room.
8. Catch up on some home work.
9. Ask to go and help out in another class.
10. Study for a test.
11. Write notes to someone else who also is done.
12. Go to the library and sign out a book.
13. Work on the computer.
14. Read a book to/with someone else who also is done.
15. Take a nap at your desk/table.
16. Ask the teacher if there is anything else you can do.

A List of Bulletin Board Ideas

Our Apple Orchard
-Cut an apple for each child to glue a photo of themselves on and put on the bulletin board.

“A Bushel of Fun!”
-Draw a large basket with apples in it, and once again, have each child’s name on an apple.

We are a Great Bunch!
-Apples on a tree with each child’s name on an apple.

We’re a or Grape Bunch! or Best Bunch of ___ Graders!
-A bunch of grapes with student’s names on each grape.

Welcome to Our Bear-y Wonderful Class! or Beary Special _____st Graders.
-Write out each child’s name on a picture of a bear or teddy bear.

Welcome to school!
May this school year bring
You happiness galore,
And may you enjoy it
Right to the core!

-Drawing of a huge apple core with everyone’s names on it.

Summer Holiday Preserves
-Make a tracer that is in the basic shape of a canning jar. Have each student trace and cut out their own canning jar. Ask students to think about their best summer holiday memory and draw the scene on the canning jar. When displaying them on your bulletin board write out each student’s name on a strip of paper and place them on their canning jar so it looks like a lid.

Fall into Reading!
or
The leaves are falling
One by one.
Summer’s over
School’s begun.

-Large tree with colorful leaves withe each child’s name on a leaf.
-Have the children paint different color leaves to put on the tree and falling down towards the bottom of the board.

A Tree for All Seasons
-Make a large tree on the classroom wall by crumpling up some brown paper (butcher paper). Leave it up all year and decorate it accordingly as the seasons/holidays change. For example, in September, cut out red, orange, brown, and yellow leaves for it.

The sunflower children
Nod to the sun.
Summer is over,
Fall has begun!

-Have each student make a sunflower. Cut out a circle out of brown construction paper. Cut out strips out of yellow paper. Glue one end of each strip to the back of the brown circle. Wait until the glue dries a bit then pull the other edge of the paper strip and glue it down on the circle. Cut leaves and stem out of green paper and glue on. In the middle of the sunflower write the child’s name out and around it glue a few sunflower seeds down. Display the sunflowers on the bulletin board and in the middle place the above poem.

From Tiny Acorns, Mighty Oaks Grow
-Make an oak tree out of paper with leaves and have children’s photos on acorns.

A Great New Line-up!
-First, cut out enough paper T-shirt shapes for each student. Have the students print their names in the middle of the T-shirt on a line (or print it for them). Have the students colour the T-shirts, or draw pictures on them. Alternately, you could send the unfinished Ts home, requesting that parents assist their child gluing magazine pictures or photos onto the T-shirt representative of their likes/dislikes/favourite colour/pets, etc. in the form of a collage. Then hang three horizontal lines of string across the bulletin board which act as ‘clotheslines’. Fasten the completed T-shirts on to the ‘clotheslines’ with colourful plastic clothes pins.

This could be the start of something BIG
-A picture of a large elephant.

Grade ____ is Popping With Excitement!
or
Popping into Grade ____.
-A giant bag of popcorn with drawn faces or photographs of each child on a piece of popcorn.

We’re a Colourful Class
-Paint buckets with paint brushes and student’s names on different colors of construction paper cut to look like paint spills.

___ Grade is Hopping With Excitement!
or
Hop Into ___ Grade!
or
Leap into Learning!
or
Welcome to Our Pad
-A giant lily pad with pictures of frongs. Each frog could have a different child’s name on it.

We’re Nuts About School
-Drawing of Squirrels and acorns.

Swinging into Grade ___
-Have each child draw themselves with their arms outstretched. Then ask them to make swings out of a piece of cardboard that is as wide as their outstretched arms. Attach two pieces of string on each end of the string, place it on the bulletin board, then staple the drawing of the student as though they are about to sit on the swing.

A Galaxy of Stars
or
_____ Grade! Now Starring…
or
Future Stars in ___ Grade
or
Welcome to My Bright Stars
-On a dark blue background put up stars with students’ names on them as well as a photograph or a drawing of themselves. You can also add asteroids, planets, shooting stars, etc.

Blast off into Grade ___
-Draw a rocket with each child’s face peeking out a window. Have a black background with stars and planets.

Start Your Engines
-Ask each child to draw themselves in their dream sports car. Then draw a race track on your bulletin board and place the cars racing around it.

We Love This School
or
Swimming into Grade ____
or
School’s In!
-Ask each child to draw their face with a fish body or a fish with their name on the body. Use a blue paper back ground with waves, bubbles and other sea creatures drawn on.

Let’s Kick Off a Great Year
-Ask each child to draw the running shoes that they are wearing and on a seperate piece of paper draw their head. Staple each running shoe on the bulletin board with each respective head peaking out.

Everybody Fits in Here
or
We Fit Together Perfectly
-Draw a large jigsaw puzzle out of different coloured paper, put students’ names on individual puzzle pieces.

Our Class Comes In ___ Flavours
-Cut a cone out of brown butcher paper, then add a coloured construction paper scoop of ice cream on top. Add a picture of the child on the ice cream scoop and put the child’s name on the cone.

Hats Off to ___’s Class!
-Place a variety of drawn hats with each child’s name written on them.

Give a Hand
or
Lend a Hand
-Have each child trace their hands, cut them out, and put their names on each.