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Photograph of John A. Macdonald, n.d.


John A. Macdonald, n.d.

ARCHIVED - Sir John A. Macdonald
Canada's Patriot Statesman

Archived Content

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Educational Resources

Classroom Ideas and Activities


Sir John A. Macdonald was Canada's first prime minister and one of the Fathers of Confederation. He was also known as "Canada's Patriot Statesman" because of his role in uniting the regions of this great land, both politically and geographically.

The following activities are a selection of ideas that address a range of learning styles and various subjects. They are flexible and open-ended to adaptation for learner needs, using an integrated approach to explore the role of Sir John A. Macdonald in Canada's history.

These activities can be used in the classroom over a one-month period, culminating in a possible class party for a Sir John "Birthday Bash" to celebrate Sir John A. Macdonald Day on January 11. Teachers can build on and use these ideas to supplement regular social studies curriculum. It is also possible to make a formal unit of study out of them by adding further detail and structure.

Target Audience

Elementary-Intermediate level
Ages 10-15
Grade 5-9

Activity Summary

The cross-curricular activities that follow will allow students to explore the life and times of Sir John A. Macdonald. Students with different learning styles will benefit from the multi-sensory activities provided. The depth and breadth of the activities can be modified to suit the needs of the students.


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Title Outcome Alternate
Activity 1
Essay Contest
To address issues related to Sir John.
(Language; computer technology)
[PDF 38 KB]
[RTF 778 KB]
Activity 2
Oral Presentation
To write or deliver a speech.
(Language; Drama)
[PDF 40 KB]
[RTF 783 KB]
Activity 3
Quiz Show and Trivia Contest
To create trivia questions about Sir John.
(Review of all subjects)
[PDF 40 KB]
[RTF 785 KB]
Activity 4
To debate issues in the "House of Commons."
(Language; drama)
[PDF 41 KB]
[RTF 787 KB]
Activity 5
Media Study
To create a newspaper or conduct an interview.
(Language; drama; visual arts)
[PDF 42 KB]
[RTF 793 KB]
Activity 6
To write lyrics and compose music about Sir John.
(Language; music; drama)
[PDF 37 KB]
[RTF 782 KB]
Activity 7
Build It
To build a monument to Sir John.
(Science and technology; visual arts)
[PDF 37 KB]
[RTF 783 KB]
Activity 8
Draw It
To recreate or design images related to Sir John.
(Visual arts; language)
[PDF 40 KB]
[RTF 790 KB]
Activity 9
Map It
To create a historic map of Canada.
(Visual arts;geography)
[PDF 34 KB]
[RTF 783 KB]
Activity 10
Write about It
To write a book or a creative writing piece about Sir John.
(Language; visual arts)
[PDF34 KB]
[RTF 783 KB]
Activity 11
Field Trip
To go on a local or an out-of-town field trip to learn more about Sir John.
(Review of all subjects)
[PDF 38 KB]
[RTF 785 KB]

Note: Some activities can involve school-wide participation (e.g., an essay contest, a poster contest or a trivia contest announced daily over the public address system). Celebrate the significance of Canada's Patriot Statesman by inspiring students to dig more deeply and to learn more about Sir John.