T e a c h e r  C r e a t e d  L e s s o n

Now and Then: Pioneer Times and Today’s Canada

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Davenport Centre, Round Lake, Ontario

Pioneer time vs. Life as we know it today
We know that life for the early settlers of Canada was very different than life in our present-day times.

In this activity, you will discover just how different - in terms of daily life, food, tools and more!

First, your teacher will assign you with one of the topic questions below.
Several of your classmates will have the same topic, so that when you are finished on computer, you will gather with them in group to complete the activity.
Topic Questions:
1) Make a detailed list of what you, as a settler coming to Canada from Europe in the 1800's, would bring with you.
Consider animals, personal belongings, tools, equipment to cook, set up a house, preserve food and grow food in field and garden, equipment to repair tools and personal belongings, light, entertainment and more. (Keep in mind that there was only so much room on the ship and on the wagons to your future farm, and that some items were available to buy in Canada, if you had the money.)
2) Describe a day in the life of a settler, then describe a typical Canadian’s day in your area. Start from waking up, and end with going to bed. Now, compare the two in as many ways as possible.
3) Compare a typical house today with a Canadian pioneer home. Consider lighting and ‘power’, layout of house, size of house and rooms, rooms for what purposes, construction materials, method of heating, decorations, entertainment, typical kitchen, comfort level, etc.
More Topic Questions
4) How does food differ between early Canada and now? List 20 typical foods eaten today and 20 typical pioneer foods, and then consider the general differences in diet now and then in terms of:
- amount of variety and choice
- how much of our own preserved food we eat
- where food comes from
- how much of food eaten is pre-made vs. from scratch
- how much of the entire animal is eaten
- how much food is eaten from hunting and fishing
- amount of spices and flavours
5) Name some settler tools and technologies and compare/contrast them with technologies today. For example, what have the following been replaced by and why?
- cook stove/oven that is heated with wood
- mixing rapidly by spoon
- cat, dogs or scarecrow
- quill
- candles and lanterns
- horse and buggy/sleigh
- handmade wooden toys and dolls
- music instruments for home entertainment
- root house and ice house
- five more of your own


Instructions:
Address your topic question by taking notes as you look at the images and complete the two quizzes (see below).
When you are finished on computer, gather with your group and share ideas from your notes.
Using all group members' material, prepare and present your topic to the rest of your class.


Image 1: Stove
Photo of parts of a cast-iron stove: leg, door and grate wrench.

Pieces of a cast-iron cookstove. The large door is hinged and ornately embossed. The curved leg (left) fit into a slot in the base of the stove and is decorated with an animal foot with four toes. The gate wrench was used to shake down coals in the stove.



Betty Biesenthal


ega-03a, 003. bob-clus-metal, mci-clus-metal

© 2007, Davenport Centre - Heritage Hall. All Rights Reserved.
View the complete media file

Learning Object: Traditions of the Table
Image 2: Utensils
Utensils associated with meal preparation at Lafleur homestead.

This collection contains utensils associated with meals at the Lafleur homestead. The whetstone (left) could have been used to sharpen a carving knife; the knife and teaspoon were everyday cutlery; the inexpensive stamped larger spoon was used for serving; and the corkscrew for opening beverages. The handle fragment would have been affixed to a tang of a knife.



Betty Biesenthal


lfh-01a-001, lfh-clus-household

© 2007, Davenport Centre - Heritage Hall. All Rights Reserved.
View the complete media file

Learning Object: Traditions of the Table
Image 3: Plate
This white ironstone dinner plate has been partially reconstructed. It is representative of the most w

This white ironstone dinner plate (shown front and back) has been partially reconstructed. It is representative of the most widely used inexpensive dishes of the era.This example bears a mark with the Royal Arms and the description Imperial Ironstone China. It also indicates that it was made by W. & E. Corn, Burslem, Staffordshire, England. The raised leaves and fruit are features of the Grape pattern. The inclusion of the country of origin indicates that it was made post-1891.



Betty Biesenthal


bob-clus-plate

© 2007, Davenport Centre - Heritage Hall. All Rights Reserved.
View the complete media file

Learning Object: Traditions of the Table
Interactive Quiz: Bare Bones in the Backwoods
Early settlers who brought domesticated animals from Europe did so to ensure a ready supply of food. Once settled in Canada they hunted wild mammals and birds, and fished in nearby waterways to expand their food supply. This interactive quiz comprises multiple-choice questions and images based on animal bones recovered by archaeologists at farm sites along the Little Bonnechere River. Studying these artifacts will help students interpret food habits and diets, seasonal patterns in raising livestock, hunting and fishing activities, and environment changes circa 1800 to 1950.
Suzanne Needs, Treena Hein, Rory MacKay, Betty Biesenthal
© 2007, Davenport Centre - Heritage Hall. All Rights Reserved.
Play the Flash File

Interactive Quiz: Gifts of the Land
The production and preservation of food is critical in any era. In this activity, you will discover how early settlers in Eastern Ontario grew, raised and preserved food in contrast to modern methods.
Treena Hein, Betty Biesenthal, Jeff Fox
© 2007, Davenport Centre - Heritage Hall. All Rights Reserved.
Play the Flash File

Learning Object: Gifts of the Land

Learning Objectives

Students will examine primary and secondary sources to analyze the differences between present-day Canada and pioneer times.

Specific Expectations from the Ontario Curriculum – Social Studies Grade 3:
-collect information and draw conclusions about human and environmental interactions
during the early settlement period
– use media works, oral presentations, written notes and descriptions, and drawings to communicate research findings
– compare and contrast aspects of life in early settler in Upper Canada and in their own community today
- compare and contrast tools and technologies used by early settlers with present-day tools
and technologies