Explanation of the Project
When Two Cultures Meet was a project revolving around Alberta Grade
5 Social Studies Topic B. This project not only looked at the early
exploration and settlement of Canada, but also delved into the deeper
issues of the reasons and consequences of one culture coming across
another. Whether for exploration or settlement, a group or culture decides
to venture into new locations for varied reasons. Understanding these
motivating factors may provide insight into the hopes of a group/culture
when it arrives on the shore of a new country and encounters the already
The main topics of our project were:
1. When cultures meet, change is inevitable and transcends time.
2. Change can involve conflict, competition and cooperation.
3. History teaches us about the past, present and future.
4. Canada is a unique country.
Using Canadian history (European exploration) as an example, students
engaged in discussion, research and representation.
Once the concrete example of European exploration had been addressed,
students from three Grade 5 classes were involved in choosing a period
in Canadian immigration history where a significant influx of another
culture had occurred. These periods were labeled:
Early Settlers (1760s 1800s)
The Great Migration (1815 1860)
The Second Great Wave (1870 1900)
Banga & Bust (1901 1939)
The Third Wave (1945 1956)
Modern Era (1960 2000)
The students were open to choose whatever particular culture interested
them from the time period. Using the guiding concepts and questions
mentioned above, the students applied the same research, critical thought
and representation towards their chosen emigrating culture. The students
from the three classes who choose similar time periods were mixed together.
From these representations, students summarized their findings and used
them as content for the website designed to address the essential issues
in this project as well as to celebrate the effort and depth of the
Near the latter part of their research, where the question How
will you choose to meet a new culture in the future? was addressed,
students were involved in a telecollaborative project with a First Nations
school in the American state of New Mexico. This school is the largest
Navajo boarding school in the state, but also includes other Nations
such as the Lakota and the Hopi. This telecollaborative project revolved
around the issue of symbols, their deeper meanings, and how misconceptions
may arise when a new culture is introduced to them. As symbols reflect
the stories and beliefs of a culture, students introduced to the symbols
of an unfamiliar culture will be in a unique position of meeting
a new culture. How they interpret these symbols (or misinterpret) may
provide some insight into the dangers of assumption and cultural bias.
This is particularly important because these assumptions and biases
usually are the foundation of how one culture decides to treat another.
From their collective experiences throughout the project large groups
from each of the three Grade 5 classes collaboratively synthesized and
answer the questions, "What have you learned when two cultures
meet?" and How will you choose to meet a new culture?
Parameters of the Project
This project involved the collaboration of three Grade Five classrooms
in Canada (90 students) and approximately 45 students ranging from Grades
7-12 at Ft. Wingate High School in New Mexico.
Duration of the Project
Initial planning for the project began in November/December 2001 and
is expected to be completed by the end of May 2002.
Grade 5 Social Studies Topic B
The students will demonstrate an understanding of how exploration and
settlement causes groups to have influence on each other, resulting
in changes in the way people live.
1. Contact between people in Canadas early history prior to
and during exploration and settlement brought changes to their lives.
2. Contact between people in Canadas early history frequently
resulted in competition, cooperation and conflict.
Grade 5 Social Studies Topic C
The students will demonstrate an understanding that the links established
through interaction with other countries will influence the way Canadians
1. Interaction between Canada and other countries influences our
way of life.
2. There are advantages and disadvantages to interaction with other
Grade 5 Language Arts General Outcomes
1. Explore thoughts, ideas, feelings and experiences.
2. Comprehend and respond personally and critically to oral, print
and other media texts.
3. Manage ideas and information.
4. Enhance the clarity and artistry of communication.
5. Respect, support and collaborate with others.
ICT General Outcomes
Communicating, Inquiring, Decision Making and Problem Solving
1. Students will access, use and communicate information from a variety
2. Students will seek alternative viewpoints, using information technologies.
3. Students will critically assess information accessed through the
use of a variety of technologies.
4. Students will use organizational processes and tools to manage
5. Students will use technology to aid collaboration during inquiry.
6. Students will use technology to investigate and or solve problems.
7. Students will use electronic research techniques to construct personal
knowledge and meaning.
Foundational Operations, Knowledge and Concepts
1. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the nature of technology.
2. Students will demonstrate a moral and ethical approach to the use
3. Students will become discerning consumers of mass media and electronic
4. Students will practice the concepts of ergonomics and safety when
5. Students will demonstrate a basic understanding of the operational
skills required in a variety of technologies.
Processes for Productivity
1. Students will compose, revise and edit text.
2. Students will organize and manipulate data.
3. Students will communicate through multimedia.
4. Students will integrate various applications.
5. Students will navigate and create hyperlinked resources.
6. Students will use communication technology to interact with others.