Museum Classroom: Hold on to Your Hats – Community in St. Catharines (Jr.)

Lesson: Hold on to Your Hats
Topic: The role historical community members played in St. Catharines
Grade: 1-3
Activity: Guess Who: Hats Edition

Curriculum Expectations:

  • Social Studies
  • Language

Materials Required:

  • Blue construction paper,
  • Red Construction paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors

Materials Provided:

Pre-Lesson: Discussion of roles within a community

To prepare for this lesson you will need to divide your class into teams of two. Then for each team you will need to print off:

  • One copy of the Guess Who: Hats Edition Instructions
  • Two copies of the Guess Who: Hats Edition Character Cards.
  • One copy of the Guess Who: Hats Edition Biography Cards
  • One copy of the Guess Who: Hats Edition Player Screen

Download and print the Guess Who game hand outs. If you cannot print, STCM recommend downloading the Adobe or Word version of the handout

Begin the lesson by asking students to list different members of the community. Ask students to name different outfits or equipment that help us identify certain members within our community (i.e. scrubs for medical professionals, police uniform for police officers, etc.). Expand on this by asking student if anything in their lives would help to identify them as a member of a group or organization? Answers can include school uniform or backpacks that identify children as students. Sports gear identifying players as a member of a team and the type of sport they play.

Ask students if their relatives wear special outfits that would help us see what their role in the community is. What do they wear that helps us see what they do? This investigative inquiry will help students conceptualize that we are talking farther back in history than their own lifetime or even their parents and grandparents in some cases. It will also allow them to understand that our clothing and accessories are often specified to the person/group that wear them.  

This lesson will focus on identifying community groups or members based on the hats that they wore. Have students work in teams of two to create and play the game. Provide students with the Guess Who: Hats Edition Biography Cards, Players Screen, and Game Cards.

Read the hat biography cards out loud to the class or allow students to take turns reading. This will familiarize students with the community groups that they will be guessing later. Allow students to familiarize themselves with the subject matter of the game pieces and ask questions about any of the characters that are unfamiliar to them. Some community members of the past performed functions that have changed or no longer need to be performed so allow for inquiry on anything unfamiliar.

Read the instructions of game construction to the students. Assign one member of each team to create the red game cards and one member to make the blue game cards. These will also be the colour they will play once the game is assembled. For each step of the Guess Who: Hats Edition building process, there is a series of photos to show students how to assemble their game.

  • Download the Guess Who: Hats Edition building instructions. If facilitating an in-class lesson, print off instructions for each group. If facilitating a virtual class, have students download the instructions to view and follow along.

Once students have finished assembling and cutting out the game pieces then it is time for game play. Students can begin the second half of the activity by setting up the game shield and turning over all the character cards face up in front of them on the table. Have the hat biography cards turned face down in a pile beside the character screen. Have each child choose a biography card from the top of the deck and place it on their side of the screen.

Explain to students that now they are to guess what hat the other student has by asking questions that can be answered with either yes or no. An example would be: “Is your hat black?” After the student receives the answer to their question, if the answer was no, they would turn over all the black hats from their character cards. Students continue to trade questions back and forth until they can correctly guess which hat the other student has. In total there are 20 different hats that make up the game. This would allow for students to do 10 different rounds with completely new information. The biography cards contain a break-down of the hats with who, what, where, when, and why.

Wrap up Discussion
To wrap up the lesson ask the students how many of the hats in the game they still see people wearing in our community today? Ask students which hat they would like to wear for a day and was their job or social position impacted by the kind of hat they wore? Follow this question up by inquiring why they think some of these hat styles are no longer worn or why they have changed functions? The intention is to have the students make a connection between the past, and how as times change, so does fashion, jobs and traditions.

Conclude the lesson by explaining that despite all the changes that occur over time, communities are still made up of people who are different from each other. Expand on this by explaining, that to thrive as a community everyone’s part is equally important.

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