Teaching Tools for the Classroom

Elder Wilson Bearhead Answers Questions from Students 

In September, students submitted questions to ARPDC that they had about the History and Legacy of Residential Schools. In these videos, Elder Wilson Bearhead shares his answers to a selection of them.

Use this Discussion Guide and the grade-appropriate video found here to share Elder Wilson’s teachings with your students.

Discussion Guide for Elder Teachings

Elder Wilson Bearhead Responds to Student Questions (Grades K-6)

Elder Wilson Bearhead Responds to Student Questions (Grades 7-12)

Elder Betty Letendre Answers Questions from Students  

Students submitted questions that they had about the History and Legacy of Residential Schools, with responses shared by Elder Betty Letendre.

This video is best suited for a grade 7-12 audience. Some responses contain mature subject matter and reference mistreatment of children. View discretion is advised.

Teachers are advised to preview this video before classroom use and follow the viewing with a classroom discussion using the Talking Circle learning guide and/or Closing Circle learning guide for support.

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


Student Infographic Poster Activity and Giveaway Contest 

In 2021 student infographic posters and submit them here for sharing with other schools around the province. 

Here are a few of the posters we’ve received. Share them with your students for inspiration and discussion.