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Lesson plans

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As a result of the discontinuation of E-STAT, some of the links to the tables available in the publication 98-187-X Introduction to Censuses of Canada, 1665-1871 were broken. The tables can be requested via the Statistics Canadas Data Liberation Initiative ( For the convenience of users, the tables are also available on the Queens University website: ( The website is in English as Queens University is not subject to the Official Languages Act.

Censuses of Canada related lesson plans

Virtual winter count
Your students will learn that a winter count was a way that several North American Plains Indians tribes recorded their history. In this part of the project, intermediate students will create their own version of a winter count, using graphics and stories to record and communicate a picture of what life is like for a typical student their age.

Early French Settlements

Role playing Jean Talon
Intermediate students review tables of census data collected in 1665 and 1666 by Jean Talon. Students role play Jean Talon and prepare a presentation to convince the King of France to increase his investment in New France.Technology may be incorporated depending on the availability of resources and capabilities of the students.

The 1800s

Analysis of a colonial industry, shipbuilding in Nova Scotia 1861
Secondary students retrieve data on the inputs and outputs of the colonial shipbuilding industry from E-STAT, an electronic database. After analysing data on the number of vessels building and launched, the fishing industry, raw materials and employment, students should have a sense of the extent of the shipbuilding industry in Nova Scotia in 1861.

Chinese immigrants in British Columbia, 1870
Secondary students create graphs and tables on the number of Chinese in British Columbia according to 1870 Census data. Students analyse the data and complete worksheets in small groups and then discuss their conclusions as a class. Using data from the tables, the class discussion and independent research, each student assumes the role of a Chinese immigrant in 1870 to write a letter home that describes his or her experiences and hopes.

Where were your ancestors in 1871?
This activity looks at farm families in the 1870s, contrasting life in pioneer times with that of today. Students look at the profile of their family and community now and in the past.