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Laurier House National Historic Site of Canada

V: Putting It All Together:Activities for Students

The activities may be done via the Internet over the course of one or two class periods. Alternately, teachers may choose to assign each group a different project, to be done at school and at home, using the resources of both school and public libraries as well as the Internet. Or teachers may choose to assign the same project to each group.

1) Research and compare

Imagining life in the Depression:
Using the Supplementary Resources section of this website, research and compare rural and urban life during the Great Depression. Perhaps there is someone in your family or someone else that you know who would be willing to share their experiences of the Depression. (For this activity the students could be divided into two sub- groups, with one group researching a farmer's life and the other focusing on life in a city.) How did rural and urban life differ? What were the various ways by which people coped with the devastating impact of the Depression? Discuss the ways in which your life would be different if you had lived during the Depression.

2) Research and compare

Describe the changes to Canada's family allowance program since it was introduced in 1945, i.e. the new Family Allowance Act in 1973, and the major restructuring of social security benefits for families, which began in 1978.

3) Opposing sides: Social reform an extravagant proposition?

Does the government have an obligation to provide social programs such as family allowances and health and unemployment insurance? Do you agree with the idea of a guaranteed annual income? Do you agree with the concept of cradle-to-grave security?