Activity Overview

Starting a unit or lesson with the key terms aids in overall comprehension and retention. In this activity, students will create a storyboard that defines and illustrates key terms related to Canadian History. It is helpful for students to preview vocabulary and important terms when studying history to help give them context. Students will create a Spider map of 3-5 terms at the teachers discretion. Each cell will contain a term, its definition or description and an appropriate illustration.

Examples of Terms related to Canadian History

French Canadian: A Canadian descended from early French settlers and whose native language is French.

Canada: The second-largest country in the world, covering the entire northern half of North America with the exception of Alaska. Official languages: English and French. Capital: Ottawa.

aboriginal: Having existed from the beginning.

bilingualism: Bilingual means to speak two languages fluently. Bilingualism is the idea that Canada should be a country where French and English are equal in status and equally used.

Métis: People of mixed First Nations and European ancestry who identify themselves as Métis people. They are distinct from First Nations, Inuit, and non-Aboriginal peoples. Métis are descendants of the children of First Nations women and European fur trappers and traders.

First Nations: Aboriginal peoples of Canada who are not Métis or Inuit. There are more than 600 First Nations across Canada.

Inuit: Native people of arctic Canada.

Vikings: Vikings were any of the Scandinavian seafaring pirates and traders who raided and settled in many parts of northwestern Europe in the 8th–11th centuries. Viking explorers are believed to be the first Europeans to visit North America and establish L’Anse aux Meadows settlement on the island of Newfoundland.

The Fur Trade: The fur trade in Canada began in the 1600s and lasted for 250 years. Europeans traded with Indigenous people for beaver pelts. The popularity of European felt hats drove the business and the fur trade was a main driver for European colonization Canada.

Federation: A union of provinces to form a single nation.

French and Indian War (Seven Years War): A war between France and Great Britain fought in what is now known as Canada and the United States from 1754-1763. At the end of the war, France conceded much of its territory in North America to Great Britain.

Commonwealth of Nations: An association of countries including the United Kingdom and many former British colonies that share a heritage of British law and government.

Quebec: Canada's French speaking province.

Nor’Westers: A North West Company employee. The North West Company was a fur trading business headquartered in Montreal from 1779 to 1821. It competed with increasing success against the Hudson's Bay Company in what is present-day Western Canada and Northwestern Ontario.

Hudson's Bay Company: The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) was chartered in England in 1670 for the purpose of fur trading with First Nations in North America. They are the oldest incorporated joint-stock merchandising company in the English-speaking world. HBC was a fur trading business for most of its history and its past is entwined with the colonization with British North America and the development of Canada.

Migrated: Movement of people within a country.

Rupert’s Land: A vast territory named after Prince Rupert, the first head of the Hudson’s Bay Company, consisting of most of what is now Western and Northern Canada.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a storyboard that defines and illustrates key terms relating to the History of Canada.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the title boxes, identify the terms you have chosen.
  3. In the description boxes, write the definition or description of the term.
  4. Create an illustration for each term using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.

Requirements: Must have 3 terms, correct definitions or descriptions, and appropriate illustrations for each that demonstrate your understanding of the words.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/L/9-10/3] Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening
  • [ELA-Literacy/L/9-10/4] Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 9-10 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies
  • [ELA-Literacy/L/9-10/6] Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Define and illustrate each of the key terms.
7 Points
4 Points
1 Points
The vocabulary words are correctly defined.
The meaning of the vocabulary words can be understood but it is somewhat unclear.
The vocabulary word is not clearly defined
The storyboard illustrations clearly depict the meaning of the vocabulary words.
The illustrations relate to the meaning of the vocabulary words but it they are difficult to understand.
The illustrations do not clearly relate to the meaning of the vocabulary words.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.

More Storyboard That Activities

Canadian History

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