maple leaf

I need a backboard, don’t I? Where do I find one?

No, you don’t need to have a backboard. There’s other ways to display a project. However, that’s a topic for a different post.

For today’s post, if you’re trying to put together Heritage Fair projects in your class and want backboards, but don’t have them, don’t despair. They’re easy to find and there’s different options whether a parent is buying for one child, or a teacher is buying for an entire class.

  1. Staples is the obvious choice. They have good, solid, full size presentation boards, but they’re not cheap.
  2. Walmart carries a variety of sizes of presentation boards at a slightly lower price point.
  3. Amazon has a few models of presentation boards that might be worth a look.
  4. In a somewhat smaller size, with a significantly lower price, Dollarama often has good, sturdy presentation boards. Sometimes they also have foam boards and cardboard stands to hold them.
  5. Probably the cheapest source of presentation boards is at Instabox Winnipeg at 236 Lowson Cres. They don’t always have boards in stock, so call in advance at 204-488-3064. As well, they handle quantity orders. You don’t buy just one or two boards here.

8 Heritage Fair ideas for ’18

If you’re searching for topics for the Heritage Fair in 2018, how about remembering a few of these anniversaries and how they’ve shaped us?

  1. 1608 – Quebec City is founded as one of the earliest and longest lasting European settlements in Canada. Would this lead to bigger and better things, or was the beginning of the end of the good life that was already in place for the people who already lived in the area?
  2. 1918 – The First World War comes to an end. The war brought Canada together in a new way, but also devastated many families. What did the war accomplish? Why did it fail to end all wars?
  3. 1918 – All women receive the federal vote in Canada. What prompted the government to give the vote? How has women’s expanded political role changed the nation?
  4. 1948- Louis St. Laurent is sworn in as prime minister, replacing the long serving William Lyon Mackenzie King. A lot happened under this prime minister including old age pensions, the first Canadian Governor General, the founding of NATO, making the Supreme Court truly supreme, and the admission of Newfoundland to the Dominion.
  5. 1958 – The Trans Canada Pipeline is competed, a feat we don’t seem to be able to accomplish today. How did it shape us, and why was it possible to do then what we can’t seem to do today?
  6. 1968 – The first Prime Minister Trudeau is sworn in and women go wild for this “sexy” man as Trudeaumania sweeps the nation. Did it change anything or was it just a passing fad?
  7. 1988 – Prime Minister Brian Mulroney apologizes for the internment of Japanese Canadians in the Second World War. This would be the first of many apologies that were to come from various prime ministers for different Canadian misdeeds. How do we deal with the past? Are we responsible for it even if we weren’t there?
  8. 1988 – Calgary grew up a little bit and joined the big time by hosting the Winter Olympics. It was a good time to be a Canadian. A lot of great memories came from those Olympics.
  9. 1988 – Canada’s Ben Johnson was, briefly, the fastest man on the planet as he won and then lost gold in a drug scandal at the summer Olympics. What was a scandal then has become near routine now. How has the culture of sports changed?

Okay, that was nine items. I can’t count. The point still is that there are great topics out there for your students’ projects and for the Heritage Fair. Try a few out and see how your students like them.

1899 Winnipeg Victorias

Still looking for topics for Heritage Fair projects?

What are great topics to do for Heritage Fair projects? Ideally you want something original and different. It should be something that catches the kids’ imaginations. And it should be something that falls within the curriculum for the grade you’re teaching.

So where can you find ideas? Here’s a few places to start:

  1. Local landmarks. There are buildings, statues or even businesses in your town that help tell the story of your community. Here in Winnipeg that could be Lower Fort Garry, the Hudson’s Bay Company downtown, or maybe the Exchange District. In a city with Winnipeg’s history there’s an awful lot of old structures that have intriguing stories to tell. Wikipedia has a list of historic buildings in Winnipeg that is a good place to start.
  2. Parks. The National Parks and Historic Sites have fascinating stories to tell filled with heritage and wonder. Lower Fort Garry is an obvious example, but the lesser known Fort Gibraltar is also a great place to look. Parks Canada maintains a list of National Historic Sites.
  3. Local individuals. The Winnipeg Citizens Hall of Fame has a pretty impressive collection of locals who did some amazing things. There’s scientists, architects, and authors. Whatever you want to focus on, there’s likely someone on that list who did it.
  4. Sports teams. Not everything in sports involves the Blue Bombers or the Jets. There are many, many other athletes who did some pretty amazing things and the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame has an impressive list of inductees arranged by year. After all, can you think about the Stanley Cup without thinking about the 1896 Winnipeg Victorias?
  5. Military figures. If you or your students like the classic guns and battles type of history, there’s plenty of that available. This Huffington Post article provides a list of well known and lesser known figures who shaped our military history. The Canadian Encyclopedia also has a list of 30 Canadian War Heroes. There’s no details given on each individual, but it’s a good place to start.
  6. And finally, street names. If you’re investigating the area where your school is, or where your students live it’s helpful if you know who the streets were named after. You might already know, but some of the stories might surprise you. The Manitoba Historical Society has a list of the history of many Winnipeg street names. Spoiler alert: Archibald Street was not named for a red headed comic book character.

These are just a few places to start. A Heritage Fair topic should explain in some way a little bit about who we are as Canadians and where we’ve come from. That gives you a whole lot of choice.  Have fun with it.

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