Teaching Tools for the Classroom

Leading Up to Orange Shirt Day/ National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Use these Kindergarten to Grade 12 lesson plans in the week leading up to Orange Shirt Day/ National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to have age appropriate classroom conversations about the history and legacy of residential schools.

Honoring Residential School Survivors 

Each lesson on this webpage offers students an opportunity to hear from residential school survivor Ekti (Margaret) Cardinal about her experience. The video is appropriate for all ages.

Currently living in Treaty 8 Territory, in the hamlet of Joussard, Alberta, Etki comes from the Saddle Lake Cree and attended residential school for approximately 10 years at what is now known as Blue Quills University, near the town of St. Paul, Alberta.

Watch Ekti’s full testimonial here.

Length: 14:18

Talking Circles as a Tool for Learning

Talking circles, a less formal practice based on the sacred tradition of sharing circles, can be used  as a part of classroom teaching to create a safe non-judgmental place for students to share thoughts and ideas, build relationships and explore perspectives and worldviews. Talking circles are used throughout the posters and lesson plans below to engage students in discussion.

Click on the images to download these Talking Circle Protocols Posters for use in your classroom.

Kindergarten to Grade 3

Grades 4 to 6

Grades 7 to 12

Lessons for Alberta Educators

For use leading up to September 30th: Created through a grant from Alberta Education, the following tools support Alberta educators with engaging Kindergarten to Grade 12 students in conversations to understand the history and legacy of residential schools.

Introducing Orange Shirt Day,  Kindergarten to Grade 12

Kindergarten to Grade 1

Grades 2 to 3

Grades 4 to 6

Grades 7 to 9

Grades 10 to 12


Beyond Orange Shirt Day

In the lesson plans above, students are invited to craft and submit questions for Elders and Knowledge Keepers. Beginning in October 2021, this space will hold pre-recorded videos where Elders and Knowledge Keepers will respond to questions asked by students around the province of Alberta. 

Do your students have a question they would like to submit about the history and legacy of residential schools, or about Indigenous ways of knowing, doing and being?  Use this form to submit your question. Teachers will be notified in advance if their classroom questions are selected for response in one of the monthly videos.



Student Infographic Poster Activity and Giveaway Contest 

Beginning November 1st, 2021, students will be able to submit infographic posters here to share their learning about the history and legacy of residential schools

Through this activity:

  • Students in grades K to 6 will learn about the signing of treaties and experience treaty signing from an Indigenous perspective
  • Students in grades 7 to 12 will learn about the legacy of treaty signing including the impact of treaties on contemporary Indigenous peoples

Posters will be displayed here as well to support further classroom conversations for teachers around the province.

Each month, one infographic poster in each division level will be selected in a random draw to win a prize for their classroom. Prizes will include classroom resources to support continued learning about the history and legacy of residential schools.

Look here for further details beginning October 1st, 2021.