Topic: Five Exemplary Internet Resources for Studying the History of British
(grade five to eight social studies)
1. British Columbia. Archives Amazing Time Machine
This bright colourful Digital Collections' project presents information on British Columbia's
history, by grade. The section on multiculturalism, created for grade five students, is an
excellent source of information for older students as well. Pages are exceptionally kid-
friendly with short, easy to read, paragraphs and plenty of photographs. A sidebar
menu enables students to browse easily through sections of the site.
2. BC Archives Visual Records
This B.C. government site provides public access to a myriad of historical documents,
including over 132,000 photographs. These photos are in the public doman, so can be
used for school projects. Teachers will need to make sure they are familiar with how to
search this site, before introducing it to their classes. Photographs of Chinese, and
Native British Columbians can help students to appreciate the history of these peoples.
This site offers students the opportunity to view primary sources and would be great for
personal response activities.
3. British Columbia Through the Lens of Philip Timms
This collection of 1500 photographs is the second collection of Timms' photographs to be
digitized through a project funded by Industry Canada's Digital Collections and housed in
the Vancouver Public Library's Historical Photographs Collection Database. These photos
provide students with the opportunity to see what life was like in the past and how the
landscape and society have changed since the early twentieth century. These photos
would be good story starters, and would be an interesting starting point for fieldtrips to
some of the places depicted. Students can also read Timms' fascinating biography. Print
is large, and pages are uncluttered.
4. Photo Essay of a Pole Being Carved at Skidegate
This section of a site called "Spruceroots", created by The Gowgaia Institute, and
operated by the registered charity, Earthlife Canada Foundation. It celebrates Haida
culture and the life of the Haida people on Haida Gwai, (the Queen Charlotte Islands),
B.C. It details and illustrates all the steps of an actual carving of a totem pole. The
carvers are introduced, and the techniques and symbolism explained. This is an excellent
site for encouraging appreciation of native culture and history. It's easy to navigate
through and the text is straightforward and minimal.
5, Emily Carr at Home and at Work
This bright, interactive, easy-to-navigate site explores Emily Carr's life, painting and
writing. It includes galleries of her pictures, family photographs, excerpts from her stories
and journals, and a virtual tour of the house she grew up in. Available in French or
English, it is a joint project of the Heritage Branch of British Columbia and Canada's
Digital Collections. It includes practical lesson plans for K-7, as well as essay questions
for secondary students that require them to integrate knowledge gained from the site.
This website encourages a constructivist approach to learning.
I chose these sites because they are excellent sources of information about B.C. history
and are also engaging and age-appropriate for the grades I was targeting. They all
provide some direct instruction, but also encourage students to construct their own
impressions of what they are viewing.