Lesson activities to accompany the vignette "Won Alexander Cumyow" from the acclaimed Knowledge Network series; Working People: A History of Labour in British Columbia produced by Landrock Entertainment. The vignette explores the prejudices and racism experienced by Chinese Canadians in the late 19th-early 20th century. Trained as a lawyer but unable to practice law, Won Alexander Cumyow becomes an advocate for the rights of Chinese immigrants in British Columbia. This material can also be used as a background resource for the topic of the Head Tax and the Asiatic Exclusion laws in early 20th Century Canada found in the Social Studies 11 course. This is a unit created by the Labour History Project, a group of retired and current British Columbia teachers collaborating to develop a series of lesson plans, activities, and workshops focused on labour studies and labour history. See: https://www.labourheritagecentre.ca/educate/
The materials address aspects of the key learning standards of the current social studies 10 curriculum. Critical thinking skills are applied throughout as well as research and writing skills as described in the “skills and processes of social studies”. Aspects of “Identity, Society and Culture” are addressed in the materials including gender roles, ethnicity and daily life of Chinese immigrants in early British Columbia. Additionally the limitations and advancements in democratic principles are explored in this lesson.
In Social Studies 11 for the Politics and Government learning outcome, students can examine how Canadians can effect change at the federal and provincial levels. Under the society and Identity learning outcome students will also be able to assess the development and impact of Canadian social policies and programs related to immigration and minority rights.
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