Friday, April 7, 2017

How Heritage Minutes Made my Childhood better

A Part of MY Heritage
When I was growing up in the 90's, Canadian TV had a series of historical minutes ("Heritage Minutes") shared during commercials. Each minute shared a vital part of Canadian History. Ask any kid who grew up in the era to name even one, and they'd name at least ten. They still air I believe, but nowhere as frequently as before.

They taught us about the Halifax Explosion, Laura Secord, the Bluenose, Avro Arrow,  Jackie Robinson and so many other things.

And. we can all quote them.
At any party if someone says, "Doctor, I smell burnt toast," you'll be sure to find people making a mental list of these iconic commercials. I think some of us learned more Canadian history from these commercials than we did in school.

I completely believe it was a combination of the ever present Heritage Minutes and my grandfather's stories that made me LOVE history. His stories made my childhood better and memorable. He often used Heritage Minutes as a jumping off point to teach my sister, cousins, and I a bit of either Canadian or family history. I am a better person because of this.

And every single one ended by saying: "A part of our Heritage".

Did you Know the collection continues to grow?
It's hard to believe they started with 13 short films in 1991 (I was eleven), expanded to more than 70 and now there are more than 85! Most are available online.

 The Most recent was released THIS year.

While I now lean towards teaching Elementary school, I used to think I'd teach high school History, and I thought it would be neat to use these videos in the classroom.

Have you used these in the classroom?
Historica Canada (who owns and creates the films) has a series of lesson plans available for use. There are lessons for Primary to senior years, with only one labelled appropriate for the primary years, but plenty of options the older your students are. Please search around until you find what you are looking for.

I'd like to match up a few books suitable for younger grades with a few of my favourite heritage minutes.

Here are SOME of my FAVOURITE Heritage Minutes
Below each is one book selection I believe would be appropriate for the younger years. (affiliate links)

The Bluenose:

Pamela Pollock's Perilous Adventure: and how she found the Bluenose

FROM THE PUBLISHER (this book is new to me, I haven't had a chance to read it yet!)
Pamela Pollock is a small fish that lives in Nova Scotia. She gets caught in a current and swept away to a place she has never been, where the water is warm, and the fish don't look familiar, and aren't friendly. She wants desperately to go home but doesn't know how until she sees a boat that looks familiar. The Bluenose. Pamela is certain if she stays close to the Bluenose she will find her way home.

Underground Railroad:

Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky

Illus. in full color. Cassie, who flew above New York in Tar Beach, soars into the sky once more. This time, she and her brother Be Be meet a train full of people, and Be Be joins them. But the train departs before Cassie can climb aboard. With Harriet Tubman as her guide, Cassie retraces the steps escaping slaves took on the real Underground Railroad and is finally reunited with her brother at the story's end.

Flanders Fields

A Poppy is to Remember

What books would you match up with any of the over 85 Heritage Minutes?

Do you have an idea for a future post, or are interested in guest blogging or having me write a guest post? Please comment or email me!

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this... had totally forgotten about these...remember watching them on TV too! I did use them when I taught grade 6/7...I had a video with the clips on it and a teacher's guide. Now that I've moved down to grade 3, it's been shelved, but you've made me think of revisiting the clips to see which ones might be appropriate for the gr. 3 curriculum.

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