Support for Teachers
The Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History websites provide many different kinds of support for teachers using the Mysteries websites in their classrooms: materials that range from student-friendly lesson plans to teacher-oriented, philosophical discussions of the teaching methods advocated by the Mysteries project. Here is a quick overview of the seven kinds of support available to Teachers using the sites – more details are provided below.
- Teachers’ Guides containing a series of detailed lessons, briefing sheets and evaluation materials are available for every Mystery website, and can be downloaded by registering on the site.
- short, one-lesson, student-oriented MysteryQuest lesson plans, briefing sheets and evaluation materials are available for each Mystery. a series of scaffolding activities and briefing sheets to introduce students to Key Concepts in Historical Thinking.
- a summary of the Foundational Ideas of history teaching that informs the Mysteries Project.
- teachers have access to the password-protected historians’ Interpretations portion of the websites accessible through a Teachers' Login process.
- Printable posters for the Mysteries in the series.
More Details about the Support for Teachers
A guide is available for each of the Mysteries, and includes a wide range of teacher support, including background materials, activity sheets and detailed lesson plans for one or more grade-specific units for elementary or secondary students. Some suggestions are relevant for college and university classes. Just fill in our online registration form available by clicking on Teachers’ Guides and download the guides in PDF format. You can apply for your password to the Historical Interpretations at the same time (see below).
Created for teachers and students who are interested in the Mysteries, but have only a limited time to explore them. Short, focused, age-specific, single-lesson MysteryQuests lesson plans relate to one or more of the Mysteries. Each of the MysteryQuest lessons employs the popular and student-friendly WebQuest format to present a lesson that uses The Critical Thinking Consortium’s “Critical Challenge” approach and a small selection of primary documents from the sites to create short but powerful lessons involving students in thinking critically about history. Includes material suitable for ages 11-14, 14-16 and 16-18, and Teachers’ Notes providing detailed support for teachers.
Finding Franklin: New Approaches to Teaching Canadian History, a series of twelve videos for educators related to The Franklin Mystery: Life and Death in the Arctic.
We’ve adapted nine of our MysteryQuests lesson plans to create interactive whiteboards. These tools are currently available only in English.
Key Concepts in Historical Thinking
The educators who created the Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History have developed a series of practical scaffolding activities and briefing sheets to introduce students (and teachers) to the kind of teaching and learning involved in ‘history as mystery.’ The lessons include
This page gives you a thumbnail sketch of the teaching philosophy behind the Mysteries websites, the “Big Idea” behind teaching history as mystery, as well as a more detailed examination of the four different levels at which these sites "work" as ways to teach and learn about history.
Teachers can request access to the experts’ interpretations of the mysteries that have been created for each site. We have made this section password-protected to encourage students to come up with their own interpretations of primary documents, rather than relying on other people’s analyses. To access the Interpretations just fill in our online registration form and await your password, which will be sent to you within a day or two.
Colour posters for each of the Mysteries are downloadable for classroom use.