Class in the Graveyard? Spooky but true. … and 24 More Great Teaching Ideas

Canada’s National History Society today announced the 25 finalists for the 2005 Governor General’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History – the nation’s top teaching prize. Now in its 10th year, the award honours teachers who excel at bringing history to life for their students. Of the twenty-five finalists, six will be chosen to receive the award at the Governor General’s residence at Rideau Hall in November.

“These exceptional teachers have a way of “doing” history, rather than reading it. They inspire their students to take an interest in Canada’s past, and they help them develop a sense of place,” said Deborah Morrison, CEO of Canada’s National History Society. “Teachers are often the front line when it comes to protecting and promoting Canada’s heritage, and the History Society is proud to honour them with this distinction.”

Highlights from winning classrooms include:

– A Manitoba high school student who researches unmarked graves and
lobbies the province for markers
– A grade 4 student who looks back on the day police banned tobogganing
in Edmonton
– Archaeological digs in Alberta, where students unearth hundreds of
thousands of years of local history
– A grade 7 class that writes “A Moron’s Guide to Canadian History”
– A Kingfisher Lake student whose teacher inspires her to finally “feel
proud as a Native person”
– A Quebec teacher that develops a new way to look at history – through
– Quilting, scavenger hunts, visits with veterans, talks with Arctic

explorers … and more!

The 2005 Finalists are:

Graeme Stacey – Kelowna, BC
Craig Findlay – Lethbridge, AB
Jennifer Johnson-George – Calgary, AB
Jean-Fran̤ois B̩langer РCalgary, AB
Linda-Rae J. Carson – Edmonton, AB
Catherine Suen – Edmonton, AB
Team of: Loretta Stabler & Patti Thorne – Millarville, AB
Team of Kim Chagnon & Mary Scott – Regina, SK
Elgin Wyatt – North Battleford, SK
James Kostuchuk – Portage La Prairie, MB
Dr. Jack Lipinsky – Toronto, ON
Marcia Mack – Campbellford, ON
Trisha Masaro-Susi – Ancaster, ON
Elizabeth Polihronidis – Scarborough, ON
Robert W.C. Burgar – Richmond Hill, ON
Harry Stegenga – Orillia, ON
Paul Gifford – Toronto, ON
Team of: Sheila Hetherington & Jerry Berridge – Markham, ON
J.D.M. Stewart – Toronto, ON
Stéphane Côté – L’Isle Bizard, QC
Luce Leclerc – Sabrevois, QC
Team of: Val̩rie Rivard & Caroline Ricard РMontreal, QC
Team of: Hélène Dion, Véronique Roy, and Suzanne Guilbault – Saint-Pierre ile-d’Orleans, QC
Jim Rideout – Yarmouth, NS
Dawne McLean – Hopewell Cape, NB

“Inspiring students to explore Canadian history, fostering their connection to the people and places that shaped our country – now that’s educational excellence,” added Ian Wilson, National Librarian and Archivist. “We’re proud to continue our strong partnership with the History Society and to help acknowledge the important work these outstanding teachers are doing every day. Library and Archives Canada looks forward to hosting them in Ottawa
again this year.”

In addition to the Awards events in Ottawa, which include a gala dinner and insider’s tour of Library and Archives Canada’s Gatineau Preservation Centre, Canada’s National History Society also shares the teachers’ ideas through publication of their Canadian History Lesson Plans online. The complete ten-year collection of lesson plans from past GG finalists and recipients are available at