The Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia (LAA) interactive teaching and learning project harnesses information and communications technologies to transform our collective understanding of both the pivotal role Métis people played in Manitoba’s history and of Canada’s political development. The graphic, bilingual, web-based resource, also usable on data storage devices, features a historical simulation activity and thematic modules to engage secondary school students on the accomplishments and significance of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia (1869–1870) in the context of Grade 11 History of Canada – A Foundation for Implementation. This resource also provides opportunities for students to put Historical Thinking Concepts into practice.
Four-Phase Learning Process:
The learning experiences offered in this guide follow a simple and trusted framework: The Four A’s. Each experience has an activating strategy to foster curiosity, an acquiring strategy to acquire content knowledge, and an applying strategy for the creation of new knowledge. An assessment determines whether or not the intended outcomes were achieved. Given this structure, educators may adapt and modify these experiences to suit their specific learners and learning communities.
The simulation can be used as an activating, acquiring, applying, and/or assessment strategy in the context of a learning experience.
The strategies and experiences rely on strategic points of the simulation. The jumping-off points are purposefully planned areas where learners are forced to make a decision based on a particular dilemma. They will use primary sources in an attempt to navigate their way carefully through contentious situations in the history of the Red River Settlement during 1869 to 1870. Educators can use the strategies provided and also have students respond to the historical dilemmas via the simulation.
Activating strategies are generally designed to foster the curiosity of the learners by exciting them, identifying with their experience, or affecting them emotionally. Activation motivates and stimulates learners to ask “why?” by altering their understanding of the world.
The role of the activating strategy is also to make learning purposeful and about the real world. Learners are motivated when their thinking and their work has an impact on the outside world. Your role as an educator is to make that connection between the learning community and the real world.
The acquiring stage is more than the teacher simply presenting information to the learners. At this stage, we ask students to remember and understand knowledge. These strategies may include asking experts, doing research, going to archives, by holding group discussions, reading a variety of texts, attending lectures, and so on.
Processing and analyzing knowledge is just as important as collecting information. Learning experiences are constructed to assess the validity of sources and to understand their significance.
Applying is essentially the experimentation and playing that occurs once students have amassed a certain foundation of knowledge. Learners are asked to analyze, to synthesize, to evaluate, to apply critical thinking, and finally, to create. This is where learners can ask significant questions concerning the world and their role in it and think about choices available to them.
Assessment strategies allow educators to determine if the student has achieved the desired learning experiences in Grade 9 Social Studies learning outcomes and Grade 11 Enduring Understandings. It is critical that we set clear objectives during the planning process and that we continually return to those objectives throughout the lessons. Assessment strategies should include assessment as learning, assessment for learning, and assessment of learning.
Manitoba Education and Advanced Learning, Grade 11 History of Canada: Foundation for Implementation document: “Assessment and the Stages of Learning”
Dylan Wiliams on Assessment (video)