Cape Breton Magazine Curriculum Units

Grade  6-7-8

Topic: Good Story Telling

How Our Histories Become Folklore

GCO 8 Students will be expected to use writing and other forms of representation to explore, clarify, and reflect on their thoughts and feelings, experiences and learning; and to use their imaginations.

Focus: Folklore is common to all people. Understanding, appreciating and sharing another culture's folklore transcends race, color, class, and creed more effectively than any other single aspect of our lives and, as an element of our past and present society it is something we can all relate to. Its value is no less than any other part of our history and heritage and as such must be documented and preserved as a legacy for our future.

Lesson Plan:

Magazine Volume Issue: 23

Frank Doucette  “Micmac Ruggedness”

Pages 12-14

Magazine Volume Issue: 66

“How the Two Bulls Went to Orangedale”

Taken from, “From Visits with Alfred P. Mac Kay of Big Harbor Island”

Pages 7-9

Magazine Volume Issue: 56

A Little Story Told by Stephen W. Mac Neil

Page 60

Magazine Volume Issue: 14

M.C. Boue-“ How the Robinsons Got So Strong

Page IFC-( Inside Front Cover)-40

Front Loading Activity:

Have the students make use of the internet as well as a dictionary to discuss the following questions. They too can call upon their own personal ideas as to what might be contained in each.

1.    What is history?

2.    What is folklore?

3.    What is a story?

Sharing session of their findings should follow before delving into the stories themselves.

Have students read the short stories which contain all of the above things previously discussed or found using technology on the posed questions.

Focus Question to pose to the students, “What do these stories teach us about life?” This could be done individually or in a group setting and shared afterwards.



Brainstorm a list of ideas that would make a good personal story for you to write pertaining to your own history.

Suggested Ideas:

·       How your people came to reside in Cape Breton

·       How your Grandparents met

·       What is life like growing up in a rural community

·       What life is like growing up in an urban community

·       Family memorable moments which evoke strong feeling of hope, pain, determination, struggles, successes, loss of loved ones, birth of a new generation, happiness and perseverance.

Students should be asked, “What do these stories teach?  How do these stories differ from your life? In what ways do they remind you of your life?(Focus more on problem solving)


Complete the Venn Diagram by comparing three of the four stories read. Look for common issues found in the three stories. An example would be that:

·       They preserve personal history

·       They tell a story

·       They give a good account about how life was like for many.


In the outer regions of the circles write how these stories differ. You may want to include which story impacted you the most and tell why, as a separate writing activity.

Writing Extension:

Have the students become a character from one of the stories and write a journal entry as if they were actually there. Have the students pay particular attention to details of the reflection. Remind students of their senses and what they notice while in the day of their character. Have students recall things they see, smell or felt while writing. Have them use their imaginations to create a visual image for the reader as they listen to their journal entries orally in class.

Six Traits Writing Rubric














Ideas & Content

@  main theme

@  supporting details

·   Exceptionally clear, focused, engaging with relevant, strong supporting detail

·   Clear, focused, interesting ideas with appropriate detail

·   Evident main idea with some support which may be general or limited

·   Main idea may be cloudy because supporting detail is too general or even off-topic

·   Purpose and main idea may be unclear and cluttered by irrelevant detail

·   Lacks central idea; development is minimal or non-existent


@  structure

@ introduction

@  conclusion

·   Effectively organized in logical and creative manner

·   Creative and engaging intro and conclusion

·   Strong order and structure

·   Inviting intro and satisfying closure

·   Organization is appropriate, but conventional

·   Attempt at introduction and conclusion

·   Attempts at organization; may be a “list” of events

·   Beginning and ending not developed

·   Lack of structure; disorganized and hard to follow

·   Missing or weak intro and conclusion

·   Lack of coherence; confusing

·   No identifiable introduction or conclusion


@ personality

@ sense of audience

·   Expressive, engaging, sincere

·   Strong sense of audience

·   Shows emotion: humour, honesty, suspense or life

·   Appropriate to audience and purpose

·  Writer behind the words comes through

·   Evident commitment to topic

·  Inconsistent or dull personality

·   Voice may be inappropriate or non-existent

·  Writing may seem mechanical

·   Writing tends to be flat or stiff

·  Little or no hint of writer behind words

·   Writing is lifeless

·  No hint of the writer

Word Choice

@ precision


@  imagery

·   Precise, carefully chosen

·  Strong, fresh, vivid images

·   Descriptive, broad range of words

·  Word choice energizes writing

·   Language is functional and appropriate

·  Descriptions may be overdone at times

·   Words may be correct but mundane

·  No attempt at deliberate choice

·   Monotonous, often repetitious, sometimes inappropriate

·   Limited range of words

·  Some vocabulary misused

Sentence Fluency

@ rhythm, flow


·   High degree of craftsmanship

·  Effective variation in sentence patterns

·   Easy flow and rhythm

·  Good variety in length and structure

·   Generally in control

·  Lack variety in length and structure

·   Some awkward constructions

·  Many similar patterns and beginnings

·   Often choppy

·  Monotonous sentence patterns

·  Frequent run-on sentences

·   Difficult to follow or read aloud

·  Disjointed, confusing, rambling


@age appropriate, spelling, caps, punctuation, grammar

·   Exceptionally strong control of standard conventions of writing

·   Strong control of conventions; errors are few and minor

·   Control of most writing conventions; occasional errors with high risks

·   Limited control of conventions; frequent errors do not interfere with understanding

·   Frequent significant errors may impede readability

·   Numerous errors distract the reader and make the text difficult to read