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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.