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ARCHIVED - " Without Fear, Favour or Affection:" The Men of the North West Mounted Police
An Educational Resource Based on "Without Fear, Favour or Affection:" Men of the North West Mounted Police for Grades 7-9
This educational resource explores the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) from 1870 to 1920. It contains three critical challenges and one culminating challenge targeted for students in grades 7-9 history, social studies or Canadian studies courses. The culminating challenge asks students to synthesize their understanding of the experiences, trials and achievements of the North West Mounted Police from 1870 to 1920 by creating a powerful metaphor. Although each challenge can be used separately, completing all three challenges and the culminating activity below will maximize student comprehension.
Expected Learning Outcomes
Critical Challenge A
|Role/Responsibility of the NWMP||Success (What would success look like in the eyes of the NWMP?)||Barriers to Success (What could prevent the success of the NWMP?)|
Criteria for determining a significant barrier:
Instructions: Use the following scale to rate the significance of the barriers to the NWMP's success.
1-very significant 2-somewhat significant 3-somewhat insignificant 4-very insignificant
|Barrier||Level of Significance||Justification|
|1 2 3 4|
|1 2 3 4|
|1 2 3 4|
|1 2 3 4|
|1 2 3 4|
|1 2 3 4|
|1 2 3 4|
|1 2 3 4|
|1 2 3 4|
|1 2 3 4|
|1 2 3 4|
|1 2 3 4|
|1 2 3 4|
|1 2 3 4|
|Understanding of roles and barriers||The patrol report clearly displays understanding of the roles of the NWMP and the barriers to their success.||The patrol report adequately displays understanding of the roles of the NWMP and the barriers to their success.||Understanding is not clearly evident in the patrol report. Successes and barriers are not clearly identified.|
|Respect for authentic voice||The patrol report is written with a sensitive respect for the authentic voice of the NWMP.||The patrol report is inconsistent in that the authentic voice is sometimes apparent, but there is evidence of other voices or perspectives as well.||The patrol report either does not respect the authentic voice of the NWMP, or does so only rarely. Other voices or perspectives are dominant.|
|Level of detail||The patrol report is well developed and detailed.||The patrol report is adequately developed and includes moderate detail.||The patrol report is poorly developed and lacks detail.|
Students first explore the history of the NWMP from 1870 to 1920 to determine which are the five most significant events, and then create a commemorative stamp collection.
Divide students into pairs or small groups. Assign a span of years to each group to research. Students then consult a variety of resources to investigate NWMP history during the assigned years.
Ask: "Is getting a new pencil significant?" "Is getting a new baby sister or brother significant?" Have students explore the differences between these two scenarios. Lead a discussion to determine the criteria for a significant event. Student responses might include: duration and intensity of impact (e.g., legacy, tragedy or glory), scope of effect (e.g., affecting a large number of people), creation of lasting or monumental change, etc.
Next, students develop a concise timeline of the events that occur in the assigned years. Students should record each event on a small card, including a brief description, but leaving a space for written work described later in this section. Place each card on an 11x17 in. sheet of paper organized similarly to the following diagram:
Using the criteria for significance, students place highly significant events above the dateline (highlights) and less significant events (lowlights) below the dateline. In the space remaining on each card, students justify their judgment about significance and support their assessment with evidence.
In chronological order, students present their timelines orally, describing each event and explaining their justification for the level of significance they have assigned. Join each section of the timeline together to create one large class timeline to which all students can then refer. If appropriate, students can choose to change the position of their cards in light of elements that arise during class presentations.
Note: Students should only move a card if new evidence suggests that the event is more or less significant than the events in their own set of assigned years. They should not compare it to other years' events at this time.
Using the criteria established, and the class-developed timeline, students select the five most significant events in the history of the NWMP. Partner each group with another group. While one group presents their choices and justifications, the other group can assess their work using handout B1. Alternatively, teachers may also complete this formative assessment to improve student comprehension.
Discuss what powerful and effective visual elements look like. Students might offer the following descriptions: "clear," "informative," "communicating message or facts," "paying attention to detail," etc. While stamps are a form of visual element, their size and use necessitate a tweaking of the criteria. Show samples of stamps on an overhead or projector or circulate actual stamps throughout the class. Discuss what adjustments might be made to the criteria to address the specific qualities of powerful stamps. For example: the detail cannot be too small or it will not be seen; too much information is not effective and may detract from the effectiveness of the message; since a stamp travels across the country, it should be a symbol of Canada and should represent all or most Canadians; a stamp needs to include appropriate information such as country, date, cost of stamp, etc.
Invite students to adjust the criteria. Student responses might include: providing an appropriate amount of detail, communicating information clearly, respecting perspective, providing information, paying attention to elements of appeal, etc.
Show students the "NWMP-March West" stamp. In small groups, have students practise using the criteria to determine whether this stamp is powerful. Groups will be asked to present their judgments, so they must be prepared to provide a justification for their decisions.
In small groups, students create a collection of stamps that commemorate the five most significant events in the history of the NWMP from 1870 to 1920. Student work must reflect understanding of each event, using the criteria for a powerful and effective stamp. Each stamp should bear a title and date. Also, instruct students to include brief justifications for each of their final selections.
Note: If, in the previous step, students have judged the March West stamp as one of the five most significant, they can include it in their commemorative collection. However, in this case students must expand the collection to include the six most significant events. If students deem that the stamp itself does not meet the criteria, or that it only meets some of the criteria, yet they deem that the March West should be included in the most significant events, they can include it in their collection, but must redraw the stamp to reflect the changes they think it requires.
Assess student work using handout B2.
|Evidence for support||Evidence is specific and clearly supports the judgment.||Evidence is adequately supportive though some items are unclear.||Evidence either does not support, or only minimally supports the judgment.|
|Criteria for significance||The criteria were carefully considered.||The criteria were moderately well considered.||The criteria were either not considered or were used ineffectively.|
|Justification||Justification is clear, concise and well developed.||Justification is discernable, somewhat clear and adequately developed.||Justification is weak, unclear and inadequately developed.|
|Justification for significant events||Choices are well supported with clear and effective justification.||Choices are adequately developed with identifiable and somewhat appropriate justification.||Choices are only minimally supported (or totally unsupported) with justification that is sometimes unclear or weak.|
|Authenticity (respects perspectives involved)||Language and sketches are appropriate and sensitive to the various perspectives involved.||Language and sketches are adequate and consider the perspectives involved.||Language and sketches are unclear and do not effectively consider the perspectives involved.|
|Communication||Language and sketches are very carefully crafted, clear and informative.||Language and sketches are adequately crafted and somewhat informative, but a few important details have been omitted or information has been added.||Language and sketches are poorly crafted and unclear; essential details have frequently been omitted, or unnecessary information has been added.|
Students investigate the cultural differences and challenges experienced as recruits and Aboriginal peoples met in the West between 1870 and 1920. Students create and photograph five tableaux that effectively exemplify the relationship between NWMP members and First Nations and Métis peoples.
Also, distribute copies of handout C1. Instruct students to read the excerpt and to look for phrases describing events or issues relating to NWMP interaction with Métis or First Nations. Students record the issue or event in the first column, and then describe in the second column what is said or what they infer about the interaction between these groups. For example:
|Issues and Events Identified||Relationship Between NWMP and Métis or First Nations|
As a class or in small groups, share and discuss the completed handout C1. Through discussion, identify the qualities inherent in any good relationship, such as trust, communication, assistance, sense of security, open-mindedness, care, concern, sharing, etc. In groups, determine how well the NWMP and First Nations and Métis fared in each of these categories. Students can organize their ideas using handout C2.
For the purpose of this exercise, a tableau can be described as a live portrait where people physically create a scene using their bodies and very few, if any, props. Facial expression, body stance and physical arrangement are very important in communicating the message in tableaux, as there are no words or movements to give explanation to the audience.
Students are surrounded with visual messages in their everyday lives but may not necessarily know how to create an effective one of their own. Show students a variety of pictures (candid shots, newspaper photos, etc.). In a class discussion, have students identify which pictures they think are effective and which are not. (This discussion may begin with "Which ones did you like or dislike?") Next, discuss why some of the pictures were more appealing or effective than others. Focus on the construction of the image and the message it portrays rather than the subject matter itself. Discuss the use of the foreground and background, white space, distracting elements, communication, purpose, etc.
Through the discussion, guide students in the identification of the criteria for effective tableaux. Criteria might include effective use of space, minimal distractions, clear communication of message, purposefulness, etc. Since students are unlikely to have frequently used tableaux as a manner of representing learning, it might be important for the teacher to consider and share the hints provided in handout C3.
Divide the class into groups of five to seven students. Instruct each group to create four or five tableaux that effectively show the relationship that the NWMP had with Métis and First Nations. Suggest to students that they begin by selecting one of the issues or events from handout C1. Then, they can use the relationship descriptions from that page and the ratings from handout C2 to flesh out their tableaux. For example, students might have one or two peers exemplify the remnants of the Cypress Hills Massacre in the background while in the foreground other students show the NWMP arriving to protect the Native people. Encourage students to use facial expression and body language to communicate the relationship as clearly as possible. Each tableau should be photographed a few times so that students will have several photos from which to choose the best for their final product. (Digital cameras work best for this exercise as photos do not need to be printed to be viewed). Students should use the criteria for effective tableaux to guide their decisions about which five tableau photos will be included in their final product.
Assess student work using handout C4.
|Issues and Events Identified||Relationship Between NWMP and Métis or Indigenous Peoples|
Using the rating scale below, give a score to the relationship between the NWMP and Métis and First Nations. Be sure to support your rating with description and evidence.
1-excellent 2-good 3-weak 4-poor
|Qualities of Relationships||How did they fare?|
|Trust||1 2 3 4
|Communication||1 2 3 4
|Assistance|| 1 2 3 4
|Security||1 2 3 4
|Open-mindedness||1 2 3 4
|Care and concern||1 2 3 4
|Sharing||1 2 3 4
|1 2 3 4
The following are guidelines that may be helpful for students and teachers in this activity:
|Effective communication||Elements included are purposeful and highly informative.||Some elements included are purposeful, while others are disjointed or extraneous. Tableau is moderately informative.||Details are often disjointed or included haphazardly. Intentions are unclear and the meaning of tableau is difficult to discern.|
|Identification of qualities of NWMP relationship with Aboriginal peoples||Exemplifies comprehension and includes various elements of the relationship.||Shows adequate comprehension and only addresses some elements of the relationship.||Shows lack of comprehension regarding the elements of the relationship.|
Students synthesize their understanding from previous challenges by creating a powerful metaphor that represents the NWMP.
Share and discuss a variety of well-known metaphors or similes. Ask students what is meant by the phrase "Life is like a box of chocolates?"
Ask students to think about how the following statements are like the one discussed above. Ask them to determine what is common to all of the statements. Students' answers should include: "they are comparing things" "both things are nouns" "the things are actually not alike at all" etc.
All the world's a stage.
He is a wizard.
Her eyes are like diamonds.
Your bedroom is a pigsty!
She turned white as a ghost!
Next, ask students to determine why the following items have not been included in the first list. Student responses might include: "they are just describing things" "both things are not nouns" "they are simple statements" etc.
He has beautiful blue eyes!
My car has a fancy paint job!
I will give you a penny for your thoughts.
He is just like his brother.
She laughed so hard she almost cried!
Finally, to check for understanding, provide students with the following testers:
Eating the sandwich was like having a rainbow of flavours in one bite.
I love you as much as I love chocolate!
She is the apple of my eye.
Her aunt is a loose cannon.
The flowers were glorious!
Introduce to the class a familiar topic such as "Our School" or "Summer Vacation." Invite students to brainstorm ideas about what might represent the topic. For example, they might suggest that their school be compared to a star, a mall, a fair, etc. For summer vacation, they might suggest the wind, a roller coaster, a house, an adventure novel, etc. Divide the class into pairs or groups of three. Have each group choose one of the metaphors and explain how it is representative of the topic. Instruct students to record their thoughts on the chart on handout D1. Invite students to share their metaphors aloud.
Ask students "What makes a powerful metaphor? What elements set strong metaphors apart from weak ones?" Responses might include: "They evoke a clear mental image" "They provide a suitable fit with important facts" "They are engaging" etc. In a discussion, lead the students to develop a set of criteria for powerful metaphors.
Instruct student groups to apply the class-generated set of criteria for powerful metaphors to the metaphor they created for the familiar topic. Distribute a copy of handout D2 and direct student groups to evaluate another group's metaphor to see how or whether it meets the set of criteria. In areas where the metaphor is deficient, instruct students to suggest adjustments. If they think that the metaphor cannot be salvaged, have students write a short paragraph explaining why it does not meet the criteria and suggesting one or two alternative metaphor ideas.
Have student groups create a powerful metaphor to represent the NWMP. Metaphors should include: reference to the relationships between NWMP and settlers and First Nations; the hardships faced by NWMP in preserving the peace in the West; the challenges of living in untamed lands; the multitude and variety of duties of the NWMP; etc. Students' written work should be approximately two pages in length. Alternatively, student work could be submitted in a poster format including a picture of the metaphor and descriptive labelling for each of the elements.
Use handout D3 to evaluate student work.
|Key elements of the topic||Representation -- how the element is represented within the metaphor|
|Evokes a clear mental image|
|Suitable fit with important facts|
|Overall, as a metaphor, it is|
|very powerful||fairly powerful||fairly weak||very weak|
|because . . .|
|Metaphor evokes a clear mental image||Easy to get mental image. There are few unclear points.||Somewhat clear despite some enigmatic areas.||Image not clear, very confusing.|
|Logical||The metaphor is a clear fit that is well described and reasonable.||The metaphor is adequate and includes only a few instances of over-exaggeration or lack of clarity.||The metaphor is stretched to fit. The comparison is poorly described and unreasonable.|
|Engaging||The metaphor is creative and original. It is insightful and thought provoking.||The metaphor is somewhat creative and original. It is interesting.||The metaphor lacks creativity and originality. It is uninteresting.|
This page from the Fort Whoop-up website provides another look at NWMP history from one of the key forts of the day.
Galt Museum's NWMP: A Tradition in Scarlet is a wonderful interactive site for learning about the NWMP and the early days of the Canadian West.
This page from the Fort Macleod website provides a concise history of the NWMP from 1874 to 1904.
This submission to the "Our Heritage" website traces the path of one NWMP member James Colvin and includes some of the official documents from his service days.
This page from the "Our Heritage" website is a digital version of artist Henri Julien's diary and sketches which he completed on the March West.
This is Parks Canada's "Fort Walsh" page, which provides information about this important early NWMP fort.
This links to the RCMP website "Origins of the RCMP" page where students can find a great deal of information on the NWMP.
This page from the RCMP site is a digital version of the original diary of Commissioner George Arthur French which he completed on the "March West".