Museum Classroom – St. Catharines Women in Action

Lesson: Women in St. Catharines History
Topic: Exploring the lives of pioneer women in St. Catharines leading the way
Grade: 4-8

Activity: Journey Timeline Banner

Objectives/Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will make meaningful connections to the narratives of certain women in St. Catharines
  • Students will explore and understand the impact certain women in St. Catharines had on the community
  • Students will demonstrate their learned knowledge by creating a journey timeline banner of specific women

Curriculum Expectations:

  • Social Studies
  • Language
  • Art

Materials Required:

  • Pencil
  • Pencil Crayons

Materials Provided:

  • Isabella Frampton Hawken Banner
  • Lillian Phelps Banner

Pre-Lesson: Discussion of roles and responsibilities
Explain to students that you are going to talk about ways that people are expected to behave. Sometimes how you are expected to act can be different depending on whether you are in school, at home, at the playground, in the library, with your friends or other situations. Ask: “What are some ways that children are expected to behave in school?”

Note to the Teacher: Answers may include: friendly, respectfully, being good listeners, following teacher’s directions, etc.

Then ask: “What are some ways that children are expected to behave outside with their friends?”

Note to the Teacher: Answers may include: running around, using loud outside voices, playing nicely, following playground rules, etc. Thank students for their answers.

Next ask: “Are there some ways that people expect children to behave based on their gender? Explain to students, gender is a culturally specific set of characteristics that identifies the social behaviour for women and men. Gender refers to social differences, as opposed to biological ones, between women and men that have been learned, are changeable over time, and vary widely both within and between cultures. Further explain to students that throughout different periods of time certain roles and responsibilities were expected of each gender however, not all roles and responsibilities were equal. For instance men go to work and women stay home to complete household labour (i.e. laundry, preparing meals, taking care of children, etc.).

Explain to students that throughout history, women exuded strength and courage while ignoring gender norms. Women who expressed their authentic identities helped pave the way for many other individuals in the community creating more equal representation for everyone.

For the City of St. Catharines, there are many women throughout history who helped establish equality among genders and other characteristics that make up a person’s identity. 

Explain to students that for this lesson they are going to be reading about two famous women in St. Catharines who overcame obstacles and raised awareness about equality for people in their communities:

Lillian Phelps

Isabella Frampton Hawken

Once students have completed the readings, explain that they are going to be completing a Journey Timeline Banner and are to either select Lillian Phelps or Isabella Frampton Hawken to answer the questions. Using the readings, students will fill in information about Lillian or Isabella (i.e. birth, education, where they lived, etc.). For the life events, they will include notable accomplishments that they achieved.

  1. Select the person you wish to complete the Journey Timeline Banner on (Isabella Frampton Hawken or Lillian Phelps). Download and Print the banner of woman you choose. If you cannot print, STCM recommend download the Adobe or Work version of the handout and completing electronically.

Wrap up Discussion
Once students have completed their interviews with a family member or friend, have students share their Journey Timeline Banner with their classmates.

Praise students for their hard work and great ideas. Close the lesson by asking “How could you support others in trying new things and participating in activities that some people may sometimes say are only for boys or only for girls?” Ask for volunteers to offer strategies. (Some responses might include: tell them that you think it’s great; tell them that they shouldn’t listen to what other people think; tell them that you will do it with them; tell them that there is no such thing as girl activities and boy activities, etc.)

Differentiated Instruction
Students who have cognitive, learning, or mobility issues may verbally describe their banner or use an assisted learning device (i.e. computer, iPad, tablet, etc.) to complete the handout.

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