Museum Classroom: Cargo on the Welland Canal (Intermediate)

Lesson: Cargo on the Welland Canal
Topic: Cargo on the ships of the Welland Canal
Grade: 7-9

Activity: Cargo Information Cards

Materials Required:

  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Lined paper

Materials Provided:

  • Cargo Information Cards
  • Cargo Material Research worksheet
  • Cargo Industrial Company worksheet

Pre-Lesson: Brainstorm Exercise
Individually, with a partner or family member, brainstorm the types of goods we use. Where does our food come from? Where does our power come from? Where does our clothes or material come from? Divulge the questioning until answers have reached the basic level of origin. Food comes from farms, from the earth. Power can come from fossil fuels, such as coal. Fabric comes from wool on sheep, etc. Discuss how goods are transported around the world. Discuss the routes ships use in the St. Lawrence Seaway to transport goods between Canada and the world by using the Great Lakes and canals. Brainstorm the possible type of goods or cargo the ships carry. Examine the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway System map online to see the various routes and ports ships travel. How important are the Great Lakes to national and international shipping?

This activity will work best with a partner or small group. Before completing the activity, print and review the Cargo Information Cards. In addition, print both the Cargo Material Research and Cargo Industrial Company worksheets.

Note: if you do not have access to a printer, STCM recommend the following steps:

  1. Download the Cargo Information Cards on preferred electronic device (i.e. computer, laptop, iPad, tablet, etc.) If you have multiple devices download the Cargo Information Cards to each and have different cargo cards displayed.
  2. Download both the Cargo Material Research and Cargo Industrial Company worksheets. If you can edit the documents on Adobe, do so. If not, download the Word document version and edit instead.

Once you have reviewed the Cargo Information Cards, with your partner or group, select a specific cargo material you would like to research. Use the Cargo Material Research worksheet to help gather your information. With your partner or group, you will own a cargo company that specializes in a specific type of material carried through the Welland Canal. You must develop a company name, state the details of your material such as where it comes from, what it is used for, where it is most often shipped to etc., and what they typically sell their cargo for by the kilogram. Use the websites listed on the cards to help gather your research. Once you have organized all of your research, transfer it to the Cargo Industrial Company sheet digitally or manually.

Wrap-up Discussion
Individual, with your partner or family member, present your company to other family members as business associates, selling their cargo. Alternatively, you can create a commercial advertising their company and cargo material.

STCM recommend using virtual resources such as Face Time (iPhone, Snap Chat calling, Instagram Calling), Skype or Zoom to present your company to larger groups of people if they are not in your household.

Extension Activity
Map a route their cargo might take throughout Canada and the world. If the company specializes in Coal, where is it mined? How does it get to a ship? What port would it go to? Where would the ship go with the cargo? Once off the ship, where would the coal be sent? How would it get there?

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