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M is for Maple Teacher's Guide : Student - Book Guides

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M is for Maple

A Teacher's Guide for Grades 2 - 6.

Activity Ideas from A to Z

Written by Lovenia A. Gorman, M.A in Child Study and Education, O.I.S.E.


1. Read Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

a) Reflect and respond to chapters.

b) Sequence events; do a story map of beginning, middle and end.

c) Do character profiles of Anne and other characters in the book.

d) Focus on the main idea of the novel.

e) Describe the setting-compare it to other settings in novels you have read as a class.

f) Write and draw about your favourite part of the book.

g) Draw a picture of the setting.

2. Do a comparison of Anne to yourself. Show your comparisons on a Venn diagram.

3. Research Prince Edward Island.

a) Find its location and show it on a map of Canada.

b) Locate Anne of Green Gables' home and show it on the same map.

c) Learn about its industry, population, activities, capital city, etc.

d) Potatoes grow in P.E.I. Bring in P.E.I. potatoes. Collect different potato recipes. Divide the class into small groups. Have each group make one of the recipes under the guidance of a teacher or parent volunteer. The class can sample each of the potato dishes. Graph your favourite potato recipes.

e) Make potato people. Use toothpicks, wool, googly eyes, plasticene, etc. Give your potato person a name.

4. Compare P.E.I to your province.


1. Research diabetes. Interview someone who has diabetes. Find out about Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

2. Find out more about insulin- how does it help those with diabetes?

3. Find out what an endocrinologist does. Write to one or invite one for a visit.

5. As a class, find out about other Canadian medical discoveries.

6. Write to the Canadian Diabetes Association for information. Have someone visit the classroom.



1. Research more about Roberta Bondar and write a report or list facts about her as a class. Write the facts onto spaceship shapes and display them in the classroom (hang from ceiling).

2. Find out names of other women who flew in space. What country are they from, what year did they fly, what was the name of the shuttle they were on?

3. Narrative writing- Imagine you are an astronaut. Write a story using information you have learned about Roberta Bondar and your imagination. Build a model of the spaceship you would fly on.

4. In small groups, write letters to Roberta Bondar.

5. Write NASA for information on the space programme.

6. Decorate the classroom with space related posters and pictures. Build a spaceship. Dress up as astronauts. Invite other classes and parents to see your display.


1. Learn more about Kim Campbell and the responsibilities of being Canada's Prime Minister.

2. Write a letter to our current Prime Minister as a class or as individuals. Think of some interesting questions to ask him/her.

3. Who was the first Prime Minister of Canada? Construct a time line including all of Canada's Prime Ministers starting with the earliest and ending with the most current. Include illustrations and/or photographs of each Prime Minister.

4. Each student learns about one prime minister. Make a "Did you know..." booklet based on Canada's prime ministers. Illustrate each page.

5. Learn about the structure of Canada's federal government.

6. Compare Canada's form of government with another country.

7. Draw a picture of our current prime minister. Write a paragraph describing his or her responsibilities


1. Use the internet to find out more about the Dionne Quintuplets. Write a brief report and present it to the class.

2. Write cinquains about the Dionne Quintuplets. A cinquain is an unrhymed poem made up of five lines. Each line follows a specific rule. Use the outline below to help you.

Line 1- one word that names the subject

Line 2- two words that describe the subject

Line 3- three verbs that describe actions related to the subject

Line 4- four words that express a feeling about the subject

Line 5- one word that refers to or is a synonym for the subject

3. Do you think it was proper for the Dionne Quints to live in a theme park for nine years? Write about your opinion in paragraph form. Be sure to justify your position.

4. Interview someone who is a twin. Think of some interesting questions to ask him or her.

5. Narrative writing: Write a short story about what you think it would be like to have four other brothers and sisters who are the same age as you.

E - "EH"

1. As a class, list other Canadian habits and sayings.

2. Find out more about what is Canadian (e.g. inventions, sports, activities, cities, food, drinks, animals, etc.)


1. Locate Edmonton, Alberta on a map. Where is Edmonton in relation to the city or town you live in?

2. Compare Edmonton to the city or town you live in. Show your comparisons on a Venn diagram.

3. Divide the class into small groups. Have each group learn more about one area of interest related to Edmonton (e.g. hockey team, industry, tourism, land forms, cultures, etc.).

4. As a class, build a miniature amusement park. Use found objects, recycled materials, toothpicks, Popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, plasticene, and clay, etc Name your amusement park. Make posters advertising your park. Invite others to view your creation.


1. Use the internet to research Terry Fox. Plot Terry's run on a map of Canada. Show where he began and ended his "Marathon of Hope". Did he make it as far as he wished to go?

2. Organize a Terry Fox Run for your school and raise money for cancer research.

3. Do you consider Terry Fox a hero? Why or why not? Write a paragraph stating your opinion. Be sure to justify your opinion.

4. Gather facts about Terry Fox. Write the facts onto running shoe shapes. Display them on a bulletin board or "walk" them around the classroom walls.

5. Write to the Canadian Cancer Society. Invite someone to talk to the class. Make a list of questions to ask your visitor.


1. To where does Canada export grain? Show the locations on a world map.

2. Where does grain grow in Canada? On a map of Canada, colour in the prairie provinces. Use a legend to show the types of grains grown on the prairies.

3. Graph the types of grain grown in Canada.

4. Discuss the physical characteristics of the prairies. Why are they suitable for growing grains?

5. List different uses of grains grown in Canada as a class.

6. Bake or purchase three different types of bread (e.g. whole wheat, sourdough, rye). Have the class taste test the bread. Survey the students to see which type of bread is their favourite. Graph the results. Have students make up questions to ask each other based on the data presented on the graph.

7. As a family, think of the many ways grains are used at home. Make a list and share it with the class.

8. Divide the class into small groups. Discuss how prairies and forests are the same and different. Chart your comparisons and share your findings with the class. Illustrate prairies and forests.


1. Learn more about the responsibilities of the governor general. Find out who is Canada's current governor general.

2. Compare the responsibilities of the governor general to those of the prime minister.

3. Explain the differences between the governor general and the lieutenant governor.


1. Brainstorm a list of NHL players as a class. In small groups, research one of these NHL players and present a short report to the class. Include props, costumes, illustrations or photographs in your group presentation.

2. Read, research and write trivia about the NHL and players. Make a class NHL trivia book that includes facts and questions (provide answers at the back of the book).

3. List other winter sports played across Canada. Students survey each other in small groups finding out favourite winter sports of their classmates. Collect data and present it on a graph.

4. Play a game of floor hockey or ice hockey as a class.

5. Hang posters of different NHL players in the classroom.

6. Have students bring in collections of hockey cards. Compare collections in small groups.

7. Current events: Bring in newspaper clippings related to your local hockey team.


1. Research different islands in Canada and locate on a map. Compare two islands.

2. Define "what is an island?".

3. Write stories about what you think it would be like to live on an island. How would it be different from where you live now?

4. Create a drawing or map of an imaginary island from bird's eye view. Do this on the computer using a program such as "Kid Pix". What would you need to survive on your island? Include symbols on your island representing the things you need for survival. Use a legend showing what each of the symbols represents on your island.

5. If you could visit an island anywhere in the world, which one would it be? Tell why. Draw a picture of your island.

6. Narrative writing: Imagine that you and a friend have become stranded on an island. Write a short story about your adventure.

7. Build an island out of plasticene and cardboard.


1. Learn more about Iqaluit and Nunavut. When did Nunavut become one of Canada's territories?

2. Learn more about the Innu people and their way of life.


1. Use the internet or an encyclopaedia to find out the original name of the RCMP. Learn how the roles of the RCMP have changed since it was formed in 1873 to the present. Write a report stating your findings or show the changing roles on a time line.

2. Describe the role played by the North West Mounted Police (now the RCMP) in the opening of the West.

3. Make a bulletin board display of the RCMP. Write facts onto horse shapes. Include drawings and pictures.


1. Find the location of the Klondike in Canada. Map the route the prospectors took to the Klondike.

2. What was the effect of the discovery of gold on the economy of the early Canadian West?

3. Learn the technique of panning. Over a sand box, swirl sand, pebbles and coins in a pan (a wok-like pan would be best) by rotating pan in a clockwise, circular motion. Try to discard the sand and pebbles into the box so that you are only left with coins in the pan.

4. Narrative writing- Imagine that you were playing in the sand at the beach and you found a buried treasure. Write a story about the surprise you found in the sand.

5. Illustrate prospectors panning for gold. 


1. In what province would you find Louisbourg? Show its location on a map.

2. Build dioramas of a fort mimicking that found at Louisbourg. Use shoeboxes, plasticene, pebbles, twigs, aluminum foil, tissue paper, paper tubes, etc.

3. If you visited Louisbourg today, what would you see?

4. Visit a fort in your city or town.

5. Build a fort out of Lego blocks.


1. Collect maple leaves and other types. Sort the leaves in various ways: according to size, shape, colour. Graph the results. Have children write questions that can be answered by using the data on the graph.

2. Study different types of maple trees. Compare them to each other.

3. Have each student bring a maple leaf to school. Sketch the leaf using different types of pencils, charcoal. Discuss shading.

4. Do different art activities with leaves- leaf prints, rubbings, collage, leaf creatures, leaf bursts (trace around the edge of a leaf with a crayon in a zigzag motion; do this several times to fill a page).

5. Measure length and width of leaves. Compare the measurements.

6. Visit a maple sugar farm. Find out more about tapping.

7. Write poems about maple trees.

8. Have a pancake breakfast with maple syrup.

9. Read Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert (primary). Find out why maple leaves change colours.

10. Find a maple tree in your community or adopt a tree for your playground. Study the bark, leaves, and tree shape. Visit the tree throughout the seasons. Sketch the tree each season and compare its appearance. Do rubbings of the bark and leaves.


1. Learn more about Montreal. Show its location on a map and write a report on the city. Include information on: industry, cultural background, tourism, professional sports teams, and special features.

2. Talk about Montreal as a major seaport. What is the significance of the St. Lawrence River to Montreal?

3. Compare Montreal to your city or town. Show your comparisons on a Venn diagram.

4. Discuss Expo 67, the world's fair in Montreal, which became the highlight of Canada's Centennial Year.

5. On a map of Canada colour Quebec and show Montreal’s location.

6. As a class, find out more about the Biodome and other tourist attractions in Montreal. Draw pictures and write sentences describing your drawings.


1. Create a water-colour wash of what the Northern Lights look like.

2. Find out why the Northern Lights happen scientifically.

3. For thousands of years, many stories and myths have been told about the Northern Lights. Find out about some of these tales told by people living in the Northern hemisphere and in other parts of the world. How did people in medieval times react to the Northern Lights?

4. If you knew nothing about the Northern Lights, imagine how you would feel seeing them for the first time. What would you believe them to be?

5. Use crayons and paints, glitter glue and sequins to create pictures of the night sky.


1. Find out how thoroughbred racehorses are bred and trained.

2. Draw pictures of racehorses. Experiment with different techniques to show movement in your drawings.


1. Research different tribes native to Canada. Where did they live, what did they trade, etc.?

2. Compare the Ojibwa tribe to one other tribe. Do this in small groups. Show your comparisons on a Venn diagram. Include illustrations to show your comparisons.

3. Create models of birch bark canoes out of paper.

4. Divide the class into small groups. Using boxes, paper tubes, construction paper, bristol board and other materials have the students create totem poles.

5. Compare the Ojibwa tribe’s way of life to Canadian’s lives today (e.g. food, shelter, transportation). Make a "Then and Now…" chart to show your comparisons.


1. Locate Ottawa on a map.

2. Find out more about Ottawa's parliament buildings, the Rideau Canal and Winterlude. Build models using found materials, clay or plasticene.

3. Make a class book about Ottawa. In small groups, research different topics: people, recreation, history, tourism, etc.

4. Display posters and pictures of Ottawa in the classroom. Make an "Ottawa is…" display using the posters/pictures and words to describe our capital city.

5. Build a city building out of Lego blocks.


1. Listen to the jazz music performed by Oscar Peterson. Have students write reflections expressing their thoughts and feelings about Peterson's music. Next, have them draw how the music makes them feel.

2. As a class or in small groups, compare jazz music to other types of music (e.g. pop, rock and roll, classical).

3. Discuss the mood created in Peterson's music. What elements of music are combined to create different moods?

4. In addition to the piano, make a list of other jazz instruments. Draw pictures of these instruments.

5. Brainstorm names of other jazz musicians.


1. Locate Peggy's Cove on a map of Canada. In which of the ten provinces is Peggy's Cove found?

2. What is a cove? Find other coves in Canada.

3. Why do people visit Peggy's Cove today?


1. Locate Quebec on a class map and/or individually.

2. Learn about the French culture of Quebec. Compare Quebec to your province. Display similarities and differences on a Venn diagram.

3. Brainstorm a list of adjectives that describe Quebec. Make a list of verbs too. Use these adjectives and verbs to write poems about Quebec. Illustrate your poems and display them in the classroom or make them into a class book.

4. Make a list of English nouns. Match each with its French word.

5. Find out more about skiing in Quebec. Where else in Canada do people ski?


1. Why do you think Maurice Richard was nick named "Rocket Richard"?

2. Write couplets (pairs of lines that rhyme) or quatrains (4 line poems that rhyme) based on Rocket Richard.

3. How did nicknames originate? Do you have a nickname or do you use a nickname for someone else?

4. Besides the Montreal Canadiens, brainstorm names of other NHL teams. Challenge yourself to match a player with each team.

5. When was Maurice Richard born and when did he die?


1. What was the original name of the Calgary Stampede and when was the stampede first held?

2. Find out more about the events that take place at the Calgary Stampede.

3. Write limericks about the Calgary Stampede.

4. Make dioramas of a Calgary Stampede event using shoeboxes, paper rolls, plasticene, etc.


1. List as many cities as you can find in Canada that begin with the letter "s".

2. With what letter does your city or town begin? List special features of your city or town. Write a descriptive paragraph about your city or town. Tell why someone would like to visit your city or town.


1. Read the book Round Trip by Ann Jonas. Make a cityscape of Toronto's skyline. Have the students do a wash of yellows, reds and blues using water-colours on large white paper. Using black construction paper cut out shapes of buildings, including those of the CN Tower and SkyDome. Cut windows out of skyscrapers. Glue onto the colour wash once it is dry. Overlap the building shapes on the paper.

2. Locate Toronto on a map. How far away is Toronto from your city or town? Work out the distance in kilometers.

3. Compare Toronto to your city or town. Chart your comparisons. Illustrate your city and Toronto.

4. Write Haiku poems about Toronto. Haiku poems are made up of three lines, none that rhyme, and 17 syllables. The first and third lines have 5 syllables each and the second line has seven.

5. Research the CN Tower.

a) Compare it to other towers around the world like the Eiffel Tower, Leaning Tower of Pisa.

b) Construct towers using lightweight cardboard or newspaper and tape. Make towers as tall as possible without having it fall over. Make it a freestanding tower using only the materials provided. Have students think about how they can fold the paper to make the tallest structure possible.

c) Build simple towers using paper rolls, construction paper and tape.

6. Find out more about Ontario Place, Casa Loma, and Centre Island. In small groups, create models of these tourist attractions using found objects, plasticene or clay.

7. Casa Loma: As a class, research parts of a castle. Make castles out of boxes, paper cups and rolls, string, cardboard, etc…Paint and decorate the castles. Display them in the classroom for others to view.

8. Find out the name of Toronto’s professional sports teams. Of these sports, which is your favourite? Why?


1. Find out more about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

2. Discuss what made Pierre Trudeau such a famous and memorable prime minister.

3. As a class, create a time line of Pierre Trudeau's life.

4. Find out when Pierre Trudeau was born and when he died.


1. Learn more about how the Underground Railroad helped American slaves find safety and freedom in Canada.

2. Why do you think the railroad was referred to as "The Underground Railroad"?

3. Draw routes American slaves took into Canada on a map. Why did the slaves want to flee from America?

4. Read more about the Underground Railroad as a class.


1. Locate on a map of Canada the cities where Ukrainians settled.

2. Look at examples of Ukrainian eggs. Create papier mache eggs. Decorate them as Ukrainian eggs.

3. Find out where other Canadian immigrants came from and where they settled in Canada.

4. What is your family's origin? Students find out where their ancestors came from and where they settled in Canada. Use a map of the world. With push pins, have students show the locations and connect them to their hometowns.

5. Have students bring in samples of traditional family foods. The class can taste the traditional dishes.

6. Discuss family customs, traditions and celebrations.


1. On a map of Canada show the provinces and territories and their capitals. Include the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River and Hudson Bay. Include a legend with your map.

2. Create a class book on Canada's provinces and territories. In small groups, write reports on one of the capital cities. Include information on location, land forms, population, tourism, industries, special features, etc.

3. Make a Canada quilt representing each of the provinces and territories. Find a symbol (flower, animal, plant, etc.) to represent each. Draw onto paper or cloth. Sew or tape together and display.

4. Use symbols, colour and directions on a map to locate and describe the physical regions of Canada.

5. Find out more about your province. Divide students into small groups. Have each group report on one of the following: industries, recreation, tourism, sports teams, special features, etc.

6. Sing or listen to This Land is Our Land. Discuss the meaning of the lyrics. Find the places mentioned in the song on a map of Canada.

7. Bring in magazines and travel brochures. Cut out pictures of Canadian places and objects. Create Canadian collages.


1. Learn more about the Black Blizzard, Break-up winds, Chinooks and Wreckhouses. Compare. How are these winds a hazard to the environment?

2. Compare your provinces' overall weather patterns to those of the prairies.

3. Challenge: List the 70 names for wind used in Canada.

4. List words associated with wind. Write simple poems about wind. Include some of the words from your list in your poems.


1. Do a time line showing the start and finish of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Learn about the many challenges and find out whose development of efforts led to the railway's completion.

2. Draw the CPR's route on a map of Canada.

3. Research what the Canadian Pacific Railway carried and how it changed Canada.

4. Hang a paper train in the classroom. Write facts about the CPR on the train.

5. Research different types of trains.

6. Build a train as a class using boxes, recycled materials, etc…Measure the length of your train using non-standard units.


1. Discuss a national park in your province. Compare it to Yoho National Park. Chart your comparisons.

2. Look at samples of the artwork of the Group of Seven who painted many scenes of Algonquin Park, Ontario. Apply the techniques used by these artists to your own work of art depicting a national park vision.

3. Find out about the activities available at Yoho Park.

4. Learn about the wildlife, both animals and plants that lives in your province's national park. Compare the wildlife to that found in Yoho Park. Illustrate the wildlife.

5. Create dioramas of a national park using shoe boxes, twigs, leaves, sand, pebbles, bark, plasticene, foil paper, tissue paper, construction paper, paper tubes, etc.

6. Draw or paint an activity you would like to do in your national park (e.g. canoeing, hiking, camping, swimming, fishing, bird watching, etc.) Create a bulletin board display depicting your favourite activities.

7. Create 3-D cardboard canoes. Fold cardboard in half and draw a side view of a canoe with the bottom of the canoe on the fold. Cut out the canoe and use markers and/or crayons to decorate the canoe. Hot glue gun the ends of the canoe together. Use left over cardboard to make seats for the canoe. Make miniature people for the canoe out of plasticene.

8. Build bird feeders using cardboard milk or juice containers, string and birdseed. Hand the feeders in trees at school. Observe the birds that feed and then chart the different types.

9. Make plaster-cast animal tracks. Bring in samples of different Canadian animal tracks. Using a clay tool and your fingers, copy an animal track into plasticene. Place in bottom of a shallow dish. Pour plaster over track in the dish. Let it set and remove the plaster cast from the dish. Paint the animal track or leave it white.


1. Learn about patents and their importance when inventing.

2. Use the internet to find out about other Canadian inventions. Create a time line of Canadian inventions.

3. Think of other fasteners and make a list. Find out who invented them and where they were invented.

4. Have students create their own inventions. Tell about its function and purpose. Write about it and draw it, or build a 3-D model.

5. As a class, list the many places you find zippers.

6. Write a poem about zippers.

7. Using scraps of material, straws and fasteners build miniature tents. Make sleeping bags and a campfire. Have a campfire sing-a-long in the classroom or school playground.


1. Create your own Canadian Alphabet. Think of what each letter reminds you of in Canada. It might be a special place, animal, food, plant, sport, city or special thing to you that is Canadian.

2. Draw your own map of Canada showing your home town and favourite places. Add places that you would like to visit onto your map. Include a legend.

3. On a map of Canada locate...

a) Anne of Green Gables' home

b) Edmonton

c) The prairie provinces

d) The Thousand Islands

e) Nunavut

f) Ottawa

g) Peggy's Cove

h) Calgary

i) The Great Lakes

j) Yoho National Park

What other places can you identify in Canada? Show them on your map.

4. Draw pictures of any of the following:

1) Your province or territory's coat of arms.

2) Your province or territory's official flower.

3) The Canadian flag.

4) The parliament buildings.

5) Canada's national animal.

6) Canada's national tree.

Teacher’s Guide written by

Lovenia A. Gorman,

M.A. in Child Study and Education, O.I.S.E.

You have the express permission of Sleeping Bear Press Press for portions to be reproduced for use in the classroom