Parent information regarding Heritage Fair



Updated: Jan. 4/19

Heritage Fair is project based learning that may take place in Grades 4 – 8. Topics are related to Canadian Heritage and must be about a Canadian person, place or event. The best projects are by students with strong interests/passions for their topic AND already have some prior knowledge about theie topic.

The project must clearly show the link between topic and importance to Canadian Heritage. That is, the student needs to be able to tell others information about their topic and demonstrate how and why their topic matters to Canada and Canadians. The student’s opinion needs to be supported by facts and valuable opinions of others.  Inquiry questions help the student dig deeper into learning and presenting.

Here is a fantastic aid to help students develop their own inquiry questions: Inquiry Question Sheet

** We have discovered with our previous 8 years of experience, that students have to be able to tell others the important facts about their topic and tell others why their topic matters to Canadians BEFORE they write. When a student can do this, the writing that follows will be in their own words; it won’t be ‘stuff’ copied from Google and other resources. Understanding will naturally be improved greatly because the student has to be able to talk about it first. AND when presenting the final project, the student already knows all about what they have written –> this makes it possible to develop a very engaging presentation.

Please read this document to better understand the workflow and reasoning why students should do almost all of their writing at school:

Classes usually begin sometime between January and February. Some classes may 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 work at home 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 and other judges to determine who which students move on to represent Ardagh at the Regional Heritage Fair at the Simcoe County Museum. Judging criteria used is the same for all students.  

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; it is MUCH 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 15-20 students. In eight years of participating, eight of our students have earned top honours to be eligible to attend the Provincial Heritage Fair.  Nearly 30% of Ardagh students have earned other awards of distinction. I think this has happened because our students are given opportunities to develop and demonstrate critical thinking in areas of reading & researching, writing, creating and presenting through projects such as this.

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.


Huronia Regional Centre – mental health

CMHA Cdn mental health  This has contact info for Orillia.


To: Madison and others — Some extremely disturbing things happened to people at the Huronia Regional Health Centre. I strongly recommend you talk with your parents before you read any information that you find on websites other than this one. I have NOT included the most disturbing links.

Huronia Regional Health Centre  a collection of links from the Ontario Government

This was in in Orillia. It closed in 2009. It was a place for people who were deemed to be inferior lived and were supposed to be looked after. Many were NOT.

History of HRC

Words to describe people with mental health issues over time

Attitudes of people late 1800s to 1960s … you may be shocked

2013 Apology by Ontario Premier K. Wynne to residents of HRC

Toronto Star article after Ont. Gov’t apologized in 2013 and settled with some residents of HRC

Spanish Flu 1918

Canadian Encyclopedia   Spanish Flu

Canada and First World War effects of Spanish Flu

Canadian Encyclopedia  Full article on Influenza (Flue)

Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Spanish Flu Pandemic:   Nov. 10, 2017  Good statistics and a few stories.
Going Viral: Spreading the 100th Anniversary of the Spanish Flu Pandemic one story at a time    # 1 of 4 Jan. 29, 2018
What is Forgotten? Influenza’s Reverberations in Post-War Canada   #2 of 4  Jan. 30, 2018
Commemorating the Forgotten Plague through the Classroom  #3 of 4  Jan. 31, 2018


Lake Louise

Canadian Encyclopedia    a short description

Wikipedia a brief history

World Guides  a brief history

Banff National Park – the Park where Lake Louise is located

Why Lake Louise is so blue  1.  Rock Flour >>> Listen to the Rock Flour audio, then read Sandpaper and Rock Flour.

Why Lake Louise is so blue  2. Glacial Rock Flour is the answer   This may be difficult to understand:

Read the following: Introduction first paragraph

Read the captions of the photos

Read This Geology Lesson Leads To Rock Flour, Our Secret Ingredient  3 paragraphs

Read Conclusion – all

Ask your parent, Mr. Harris or your teacher if you find it difficult to understand.

Lake Louise Ski Resort    one of the best in the world

Tourism   Things to do here

Where and how to watch animals near Lake Louise

Wildlife protection   A great article telling how roads were changed to save animal life. A good article to read with an adult.

Fish in Lake Louise   read near the bottom of the website.

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise … a famous hotel @ lake Louise

Lakes in Canada   >>> from that website …      Distribution of Lakes in Canada

Recent surveys suggest that there may be as many as 2 million lakes in Canada. About 7.6% of Canada’s nearly 10 million km2 is covered by fresh water; enough water is contained by these lakes and rivers to flood the entire country to a depth of over 2 m. Canada possesses nearly 14% of the world’s lakes having surface areas over 500 km2  <<< This means, Canada has more bigger lakes than any other county on Earth.

First Nations – Myths and Storytelling

Ardagh’s library has a collection of myths, legends and stories. Ask Mr. Harris for help in locating.

Library and Archives Canada   A nice start to describing how FNMI story telling takes place

Canadian Museum of History    Storytelling: The Art of Knowledge – a selection of FNMI myths/stories

Pedagogy – this tells how language and stories are the most important part of FNMI cultures. It informs how stories should be told. I know this article is meant for teachers. However, I think you should read it and then talk to a teacher about it. I am trying to find a student-friendly version.

Things to know about Oral Storytelling Traditions    Interesting article.  This would be good to read and then talk to a teacher or parent/guardian about so you better understand.

The Big Rock Story – animation from Campbell River Museum

Raventales – collection of animated tales Raven Steals the Light is one of my favourites

Library and Archives Canada   print version of Raven Steals the Light

National Film Board  7 animated clips of traditional tales




Roberta Bondar – 1st female Canadian astronaut

Canadian Encyclopedia … not a lot, but reliable info

Canadian Space Agency  Biography about Dr. Bondar

Dr. Bondar’s official website … you can contact her with Questions. Informati0n is on this website.

Roberta Bondar Foundation — this link open to a biography of Dr. Bondar. It shows what she is doing now.  The rest of the website talks about what she wants people to do to protect and learn about our planet, Earth.

2017 Article about what Dr. Bondar is doing now.






Peanut butter

Canadian History of Peanut Butter   from the Peanut Bureau of Canada

Allergy information from Eat Right Ontario

Great article on how Sabrina’s Law about Allergy protection for students became a law and why Ontari0 schools are strict about school users NOT bringing nut products (and sharing other food items) to school.

Audio and slide show:  audio recorded before Shannon died, slides have information about this child before and after she died from an allergic reaction.

For other interesting articles, click on this to see interesting Google search results about Skippy and JIF peanut butter


Caution:  Drake is a recording artist and his material is meant for older teens and adults. You will hear and or read about adult situations and words that you may be uncomfortable with.

Canadian Encyclopedia   excellent facts up to 2017  IMPORTANT: at the bottom of this link there are some excellent links about Drake’s importance to Toronto and the Raptors basketball team.

Drake’s official website