Parent information regarding Heritage Fair


Jan. 10/17

Heritage Fair is project based learning that may take place in Grades 4 – 8. Topics are related to Canadian Heritage and can be about a Canadian person, place or event. Without a doubt, the best projects are ones where the student has a strong interest/passion for the topic AND already has some prior knowledge about the topic. The project must clearly show the link between topic and importance to Canadian Heritage. That is, the student needs to be able to write/discuss why their topic matters to Canada and Canadians. The student’s opinion needs to be supported by facts and other opinions of value.  Other inquiry questions help the student dig deeper into learning and presenting about their topic.

Classes begin sometime between November and February. Some classes decide to provide other options for students such as Science Fair, Genius Hour and other project based learning opportunities.

Completion tends to take 2-3 weeks of regular classroom work time (research and writing and presentation planning) with 1 week of at home work time (typically this is to finalize/’prettify’ the final appearance of the project.)  The top projects from participating classes have the opportunity to present to Ardagh Bluff’s Principals to determine who will move on to represent Ardagh at the Regional Heritage Fair.

Research ability evolves over time. During the initial years, Mr. Greg Harris, Teacher Librarian will provide many reliable websites and book resources for students.  It is not worthwhile for students to spend excessive time looking for information but more worthwhile for students to collect reliable information from these sites and work with it.  As time goes on, Advanced Google Searches and use of Archives is developed.   By Grade 8 most students should be able to find reliable information on their own quickly with some support (e.g., Statistics Canada and Archives.)  Parents and guardians are welcome and invited to help their children find/gather information.

The writing and transferring of thinking into writing for the majority of the project should take place at school. The reasoning is regular conferencing between student and teacher allows the teacher to provide feedback regarding critical thinking, reading, planning, and writing.   Providing feedback and assessment throughout the process  is a valuable part of the conferencing and learning process.  When the writing takes place at home these learning opportunities are lost.  

In April, some students have the opportunity to present at the Simcoe County Museum in the Regional Heritage Fair. Traditionally, Ardagh Bluffs sends about 20 students. In 6 years of participating, four of our students have earned top honours to be eligible to attend the Provincial Heritage Fair.  20 – 30% of Ardagh students have earned other awards of distinction. This reflects the ability to demonstrate tremendous critical thinking, creating, writing, researching and presenting abilities through this project on behalf of our students.

Want more information? Email  …





We can help … and we do


Students, need research help? This blog has great ideas in Student Research Info

Heritage Fair Topics has websites suitable for most students Grades 4 – 8. Don’t see what you want? Let me know at

* If you have other questions and our library is closed, or you want to share Google Docs/Sheets or other work, email to    I will get back to very soon.

Teachers, Media Literacy and Heritage Fair and Good Teaching and Learning are two of the best sections for planning for student learning.

I can set up Classroom/Grade/Division links for units when you ask. These may contain website links, videos and suggestions for your class – I check websites to ensure they meet student learning needs.


Black History Month

Canadian Heritage – Canadian Government Black History Month website

Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister’s statement Feb. 1, 2017

Historica – Black History Month

Canadian Encyclopedia – Black History  This is a page that collects many excellent pages of information. Start with the one on the top.

Black History Society – Ontario   Worth viewing after spending time with the above sites.



Canadian Encyclopedia  A great introduction. There are great links at the bottom of this page about Sunken Ships/Shipwrecks.

Shipwreck Investigations    This is from the Canadian Archives. This is interesting because it has details on many wrecks.

After reading the introduction, I recommend clicking on Galleries, then click on Empress of Ireland Gallery >> this gives you a good idea of what you can find at the website.

SOS  Save Ontario Shipwrecks –  organization that thinks this history is important.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum   This is an American museum. BUT, has info on Edmund Fitzgerald and other Canadian info about shipwrecks on the Great Lakes.


Not as important to read:

Article of shipwrecks in St. Lawrence and Great Lake … page 3/45 shows # of wrecks from 1848-1861

… page 1/43 First paragraph is worth reading

Montreal Massacre

This is a horrible incident in Canadian History, and our country’s stories are important. Fortunately, this story has since had positive impacts on Canadians.

You will read/see information that is upsetting/disturbing.

I expect you to take care by talking with your parents and teachers while going through this. If it becomes too difficult to deal with, you should switch topics.


Canadian Encyclopedia is factual, reliable and (in my opinion) tries to be bias free as much as possible.

This article called Polytechnique Tragedy gives an introduction to the terrible event. There are great articles/links at the bottom of the page. Here is one about women who were there or directly affected by this – very emotional read: Polytechnique massacre: Lives forever changed

This article was published in Macleans magazine on Dec. 6, 1999, 10 years after the shooting. It shows how the horror didn’t stop and it shows how it positively affected an 11 year old.

I recommend NOT watching video about this. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it. Reading about it is much more gentle to you — only compared to watching it. It’s pretty much all terrible (in my opinion.)





This is a GREAT site for information about hurricanes in Canada. There are lots of FAQs and other details on the same page


The following is just about Hurricane Juan 2003

Archived Weather Canada site info:

Photos from Archived Weather Canada site:


Hockey – early ice hockey history just before the NHL started

Canadian Encyclopedia article

Canadian Encyclopedia info on Ice Hockey History

Search   for other possible connections. It is very reliable info.


Wikipedia … very cool article on original Ottawa Senators and Silver Seven

NHL Hall of Fame

Newfoundland Archives

Trudeau resourcefulness

Trudeau touts Canada’s diversity and resourcefulness in Davos

Klaus Schwab, the bespectacled 78-year-old German economist who presides over the World Economic Forum, has decreed that this year’s gathering is to dwell on the notion of a “fourth industrial revolution” — his attempt to summarize the technological innovations changing the way the world works.

On Wednesday afternoon, he took to the forum’s main stage and invited the audience to gaze upon the future. “I couldn’t imagine anybody who could represent more the world which will come out of this fourth industrial revolution,” he said.


He was referring to the Canadian prime minister, seated to his left in a white chair. In Schwab’s view, the new world — a “young world,” a “digital world” — will be typified by diversity and plurality, significant investments in infrastructure and a fostering of entrepreneurial spirit. “Who could represent such a world better than you, prime minister?” Schwab asked of Justin Trudeau.

This was heady stuff. But then Davos is rather far above sea level.

annual meeting of the World Economic Forum

The Canadian Press

January 20, 2016


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016.(AP Photo/Michel Euler)

DAVOS, Switzerland — A new prime minister and a new Canada.

That’s the message Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered when he made his entrance at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum as part of his goal to rebrand Canada on the world stage.

Trudeau sought to use his keynote address today entitled “The Canadian Opportunity” — delivered hours after a session called “Canada’s global pivot” — to differentiate himself from former prime minister Stephen Harper, who often used the meeting to tout Canada as a resource powerhouse.

Trudeau said Canada’s natural resources remain an important part of the economy — even as a slide in oil prices delivers an economic punch to resource-rich provinces like Alberta.

But he said the country’s growth doesn’t depend on what lies underground.

“My predecessor wanted you to know Canada for its resources. I want you to know Canadians for our resourcefulness,” he said.

Trudeau pointed to the success of University of Waterloo graduates in Silicon Valley and the school’s eclectic student population, calling diversity “the engine of invention.”

And he framed Canada as a safe place to invest amid global economic uncertainty.

“We have a diverse and creative population, outstanding education and healthcare systems, and advanced infrastructure. We have social stability, financial stability and a government willing to invest in the future,” he said.

The Canadian economy could use the global help.

When he took office, Trudeau’s advisers told him that global trends — social and economic — would affect the domestic economy despite Canada’s solid policy foundation and a well-educated population. His briefing binder says those international trends “could be occurring at a faster pace and on a larger scale compared to previous eras.”

Those trends included more disruptive technologies, the declining financial influence of the West, aging populations in Canada and other countries that will put pressure on health care and government spending.

Even the rise of the “sharing economy” has placed “increasing pressure on traditional policy tools like regulations,” the briefing notes warn.

Copies of the documents were obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

That disruption is part of the theme of this year’s meeting in Davos: “Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” which is focused on how technology is changing the way companies and businesses operate.

Trudeau told the forum that governments needed to spend, rather than pursue austerity measures.

“The fourth industrial revolution will not be successful unless it creates real opportunity for the billions who weren’t able to join us here this week,” Trudeau said in his speech that included references to the middle class.

Sitting across the table, Trudeau said he was attending a heap of meetings himself to “try and connect with as many different people as possible and talk about some of the challenges, but also some of the great opportunities in Canada.”